Seal Sitters updates: ‘Now in the throes of pupping season’

August 29, 2014 at 11:41 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 19 Comments

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
Banners are up along Alki to ensure you know that, as Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s Robin Lindsey reminds us, “We are now in the throes of harbor seal pupping season.” And with that, Robin shares four updates/reminders, including the banners’ installation, but beginning with the loss of a pup last weekend:

****Area rookeries are bustling with seal pups, a good majority of them now weaned. These pups are striking out on their own and Seal Sitters has responded to 5 pups in the past week in 5 different locations here in West Seattle.

(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
As usual, the pups have been thin. Sadly, seal pup “H2Otis” (above), who spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint, had to be taken to PAWS Wildlife Center but died en route. The pup had multiple bite wounds to the head and flippers, but the species of animal that inflicted the bites could not be determined in the necropsy. The wounds were not the cause of death. He was much thinner than we realized due to difficulty of a visual assessment.

We cannot stress enough that each year, seal pups are mauled and killed by off-leash dogs in Puget Sound. Off-leash dogs were on the beach just before “H2Otis” came ashore (we do not believe he was bitten at Emma Schmitz on Saturday night) and have been there each day since. We ask dog owners to please respect wildlife and understand that even the most well-behaved dog can be unpredictable and cause terrible harm.

****Seal Sitters MMSN, as a member in good standing of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network, has just renewed our contract with NOAA to respond to live and dead marine mammals from Brace Point through the Duwamish River (including Harbor Island). This contract gives us the authority to close off public access and establish necessary perimeters to protect both marine mammals and the public at large. All marine mammals are protected from harassment by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Violations will be documented and reported to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement (OLE) and WA Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement for prosecution.

We would like to note as well that boarders, kayakers and boaters need to stay an appropriate distance (100 yards) from the mid-channel Elliott Bay buoys when sea lions are present. In addition to the California sea lions that are now returning to the area, these haul-out sites are occasionally used by Steller sea lions, both protected by the MMPA. Violations are being documented and turned over to NOAA’s OLE.

Included as a requirement of this contract is to examine dead marine mammals and enter documentation into NOAA’s national database. We ask residents to please call Seal Sitters’ hotline @ 206-905-SEAL (7325) if there is a live or dead marine mammal on public or private beaches.

****Thursday, Seattle Parks employees hung 10 “Share the Shore” banners (top photo), featuring an illustration of a harbor-seal pup, along Alki Beach. The banners are displayed annually on light poles stretching from the Bathhouse to Duke’s Chowder House. The graphics are intended to raise awareness that September and October are the high season months for harbor seal pups to seek refuge on our shores. Read more here.

****Lastly, our usual reminder that if you see a harbor seal on the beach, stay back, keep people and dogs away and call our hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325). Undisrupted rest is critical to a seal pup’s survival – and, as proven by the unexpected demise of “H2Otis,” it is a fragile existence at best.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandal smashes window at nonprofit Discovery Shop, which has to raise repair money

August 29, 2014 at 10:50 am | In Crime, How to help, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

After questions about why the front window is boarded up at the nonprofit Discovery Shop in The Junction, we contacted volunteer Suzanne Rowe (who had just e-mailed us about some new features there), and she has just responded with the photo and report:

As the Discovery Shop was preparing to close at 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon, a person passing by on the street intentionally smashed our front window either with his foot or with his backpack. The police were called and they did take a report and interviewed witnesses. Luckily, no one in the store or other pedestrians was hurt when the giant sheet of glass broke. Those in the store said it sounded like gunfire when it happened.

What makes this event even more unfortunate is our insurance will not cover the costs of replacing the window. The Discovery Shop has to pay the entire cost and that means less money going to the American Cancer Society. We hope the community will still stop by and support our store as we work to replace the window. Again, according to witness accounts, this was done intentionally in broad daylight with people standing nearby, making for a potentially dangerous situation.

The shop at 4535 California SW is open today until 4:30 pm. According to its website, one way they’re hoping to raise window-repair money is via a special sale on pants tomorrow and Sunday.

You can help! Be a tutor in West Seattle, just 1 hour a week

August 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Can you spare an hour a week – a small amount of time that can make a big difference? Invest in Youth is signing up volunteers now:

Your investment of one hour a week can lead to a lifetime of dividends for a child…

Invest in Youth is a Seattle-based non-profit organization that provides free tutoring to local elementary students across the city, including two West Seattle elementary schools (Roxhill and the new Fairmount Park). Our program is unique in that we don’t charge families or schools to provide our quality tutoring services. We are able to do this because of the support of our volunteers who commit to tutoring a 3rd through 5th grade student once a week. Will you join us this fall?

The program is pretty straightforward:

Click to read the rest of You can help! Be a tutor in West Seattle, just 1 hour a week…

Two special spotlights previewed for Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 2014 Gala Champagne Brunch

August 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments

Fall is approaching, and that means fundraising-gala season. So again this year, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society gathered board members and longtime backers at The Pacific Institute across from Seacrest Park for a preview of this year’s Gala Champagne Brunch. At last night’s gathering, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals announced that the gala, 11:30 am November 8th at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), will feature two special spotlights.

As Eals mentions in our brief clip, one relates to the gala’s theme, celebrating the renovated Admiral Way totem pole unveiled in June at SWSHS’s Log House Museum:

The totem pole was carved from a log cut in Schmitz Park, one of the West Seattle treasures donated by the Schmitz family, whose Vicki and Dietrich Schmitz will discuss the family’s unique historical legacy.

Also in the spotlight at the SWSHS gala brunch: A panel spotlighting West Seattleites’ roles in the world-renowned Northwest music scene – “Why West Seattle?” Marty Riemer and Jodi Brothers will host panelists including Chris Ballew, Tim Bierman, Gary Crow, Megan Jasper, Nicole Vandenberg, and Matt Vaughan. Here’s Marty’s video invitation:

Postal-mail invitations are going out soon, but even if you don’t get one, you’re very much welcome at the event (sponsors, by the way, include WSB). Reservations will be available via the SWSHS website in about a week. If you reserve your seat by October 8th, you’ll get a $10 discount – we’ll publish an update as soon as we get word the page is live.

West Seattle scene: Rotarians sort school-supplies donations for Pencil Me In For Kids

August 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm | In How to help, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | No Comments

Thanks to Josh Sutton from the Rotary Club of West Seattle for the photo from an annual late-summer tradition – the sorting party for school-supplies donations collected and obtained by Pencil Me In For Kids. In the heart of the activity at Monday night’s event, that’s Sue Lindblom waving, and Cathy Rouyer talking with her. Josh adds that overall, “More than a dozen West Seattle Rotarians sorted over $9,000 in school supplies destined for students in need from every West Seattle public school. Thanks to Staples and to QFC for their discounts and support of Rotary Pencil Me In For Kids.” P.S. PMIFK has been getting school supplies to kids who need them for almost 20 years! Here’s how to help.

You can help! Benefits with beer: Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama; Washington Organic Week

August 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS beverages | No Comments

Raise a glass to good deeds! We have word today of two upcoming benefits involving breweries – one in West Seattle, one featuring a WS brewer:

BOWLING AND BEER: A benefit bowl-a-thon at West Seattle Bowl this Thursday has a few lanes still open. From Ingrid at Georgetown Brewing Company:

The event is called Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama, and it is the final event of our fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Charities for 2014.

Charles “Bob” Hirsch was the inspiration for our beer, Bob’s Brown Ale. Manny, one of Georgetown Brewing Co.’s founders, met Bob when he was a counselor at Camp Goodtimes and Bob was a camper. Bob fought cancer for half of his life, and when he passed away, the company decided to brew a beer in his honor and donate all of the proceeds. Bob’s mom chose RMHC as the recipient charity for our donation saying “They put us up for treatment every time we came in from Alaska.” For the past 9 years, we’ve released Bob’s Brown Ale on Bob’s birthday, May 14th, and have raised over $400,000 to date. Even if folks can’t buy a lane, even if they just come out for a pint of Bob’s Brown Ale and buy a raffle ticket, that would be great.

Bob’s Bowl-A-Rama starts at 7 pm Thursday (August 28th) and if you’re interested in a lane, sign up ASAP – here’s all the info.

WASHINGTON ORGANIC WEEK: As part of WOW, Elliott Bay Brewery is participating in Tilth ProducersBeer, Cider, Chocolate Tasting event; Amy from EBB tells WSB, “Elliott Bay Brewery will be pouring our delicious Organic Chocolate No Doubt Stout & our Organic Vanilla No Doubt Stout, in support of Washington Organic Week. This is our fourth year contributing to this event and we always have a great time.” It’s not in WS but it’s not far – 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 10th, at Theo Chocolate (3400 Phinney N.) – ticket details here.

You can help! Straight Blast Gym collecting school supplies for New Beginnings

August 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Above are Jei and Sonia, co-proprietors of Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor). Jei turned blue for this recent photo in honor of a promise he made when the SBG crowdfunding campaign hit a milestone; that campaign is now 86 percent of the way to its goal. But that’s not why we’re mentioning them tonight. SBG is inviting you to help them help a nonprofit with a last-minute school-supplies drive:

New Beginnings-Ending Domestic Violence is a fantastic organization that has asked us to run a school-supplies drive. They provide “services to those whose lives have been affected by domestic violence – physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Some who use our services are in physical danger. Others are living with controlling partners in relationships that are emotionally abusive. Explore our site to learn how to get help, how to get involved, how to donate and how to learn more about domestic violence in our community.”

I know this is semi-last minute; we have until the end of August to collect items. We’ll be taking donations in the front room next to the couch. If you’re shopping for your child, or at Target, grab something… every little bit counts.

- Backpacks (Ninja Turtles, Princesses, Sports, Solid Colors, etc.

School supplies:
- Scientific Calculators,USB Drives, Protractors
- Highlighters, rulers, pencil sleeves
- Coloring pencils
- Markers
- Glue sticks and Elmers glue
- 3-ring Binders, zip-up 3-ring Binders
- Mechanical pencils (with extra lead)
- Refillable water bottles
- Folders with cool Designs

Back to School clothes
- Boys boxers/boxer briefs (S, M, L, XL),
- Men’s boxers/boxer briefs (S, M)
- Girls leggings (S, M, L, XL)
- Sweatshirts in youth sizes

Gift certificates for new school outfits:
- Target, H&M, Forever 21, Pac-sun

Whatever you can donate, drop it off at SBG, which is at 5050 Delridge Way SW (map).

Yard-sale Saturday! LLL benefit, plus WSB Forum listings

August 23, 2014 at 11:49 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

Out yard saling today? Here’s a fundraising sale to visit. Photo and announcement just in:

La Leche League of West Seattle is holding its annual fundraiser yard sale, bake sale, and lemonade stand. Items range from a giant Barbie to suitcases, toys, clothes, espresso machine, super-fancy ice-cream maker, infant items, puzzles, and more. Folks are invited to pay what they want, since it’s for charity. 5281 45th Ave SW, 10-3.

Find more listings in the WSB Forums‘ Sales/Deals/Freebies section, where you can post YOUR yard/garage sale, too.

Happening now: ‘Paint party’ as Pathfinder preps for playground

August 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm | In How to help, Pigeon Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
As the new playground for Pathfinder K-8 and its Pigeon Point neighbors gets closer to reality, today’s the “paint party” announced in the most recent project update. Until mid-afternoon, more than 100 visiting volunteers are at the school to help the PF community, courtesy of a grant from Capital One. Their projects include, above, the “braided river” that’s part of the new-playground plan; below, a map:

Even curbs are getting TLC:

More photos later! P.S. Here’s the full-size design rendering for the new playground.

One week away! Alki Beach 5K to help Northwest Hope and Healing help breast-cancer patients

August 17, 2014 at 6:46 pm | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(Photo by David Hutchinson, from 2012 Alki Beach 5K)
Only one week till the summer’s next big benefit 5K in West Seattle, the Northwest Hope and Healing-presented Alki Beach 5K, 9 am next Sunday (August 24th). It’s a fundraiser for West Seattleite-founded-and-led NWHH’s work helping breast-cancer patients. You can run or walk; Alki SW will be closed for the run, so there’s plenty of room for you and the other hundreds of people who will be part of it. Sign up online right now, or in person this week at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), which also has an early-packet-pickup event set for Saturday (10 am-2 pm, California/Charlestown), if you want to get yours before 5K day. See you at the beach (start/finish line is by the Bathhouse, 61st/Alki) next Sunday!

Straight Blast Gym in North Delridge aiming to kick it up a notch ‘to become a community center where adults and children thrive’

August 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm | In Delridge, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Video from Straight Blast Gym’s Indiegogo page)
Being in business isn’t easy anywhere. You take a chance, hope you’re offering something people want and need, in a place where they want it, need it, and will spend money for it, and then you take the leap.

Sonia Sillan knows how that goes. She and partner Jei took the leap two years ago with a big empty building in North Delridge. They put everything into it, even lived there when they opened in October 2012, found places to shower off-site, ate cheap pizza almost every night. Six months later, things weren’t going well – yet – they parted ways with a business partner and rebranded last year as Straight Blast Gym of Seattle (WSB sponsor). That’s when, Sonia says, things took a turn for the better. They started to grow, started to really fix up the building, added walls, equipment, a heater, a kids-after-school room, a gym-specific van for tournaments and their before/after school program … Now, they need to do more. And they’re looking to do it as a community partnership – mat expansions, showers, bathroom remodels (Sonia says the women’s restroom hadn’t been used in at least a decade when they moved in).

We feel that we are close to being the change that needs to happen in this neighborhood; however, we are not quite there. Most gyms are just a place where you go to sweat; our goal is to become a community center where adults and children thrive through various programs and activities.

To get this done, they’re crowdfunding. This week, Straight Blast Gym launched an Indiegogo campaign, and they’re already a third of the way to their goal. And they’re stressing that this isn’t just a request for contributions – they’ve come up with a list of perks, traditional to crowdfunding campaigns, to give back.

As explained on the campaign page, the projects they’re hoping to get funded are broken into three parts:

SPACE: $6,100 toward new mats and a platform extension
VISIBILITY: $8,400 toward new glass and insulation for the storefront, so it’ll be clear (literally!) when they’re open
EQUIPMENT: $5,840, with resulting expansion in programs including Warrior Woman and Growing Gorillas (kids)

They’re offering perks equal in some cases to discounted services, such as three private lessons for a $200 contribution (worth $300), and also ways to help the community even before the upgrades – a $1,500 donation sponsors a child through SBG-Seattle programs for a year. “We really want to make this about the community,” says Sonia.

Need a massage? Benefit Friday for LaVida therapist’s cancer fight

August 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm | In How to help, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

In case you haven’t seen this already in the WSB calendar: LaVida Massage (WSB sponsor) in The Junction invites you to a special benefit tomorrow for longtime therapist Marie Norton, one of the original staffers. She is recovering from cancer surgery and between 2-8 pm Friday, you can stop by for a free 15-minute chair massage, with “all gratuities donated to Marie,” according to proprietor Paul Silver. More details in our calendar listing; LaVida is on the southeast corner of 42nd/Alaska in outer Jefferson Square.

You can help! WestSide Baby needs volunteers @ Sounders match

August 10, 2014 at 11:09 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

In today’s West Seattle Sunday calendar-highlights list, we mentioned WestSide Baby‘s big diaper drive at tonight’s Sounders FC match. WS Baby has since let us know they need volunteers to “fill in for some last-minute cancellations” assisting with the donation drive – you would have to arrive at the stadium at 5; most jobs would end at 8:30, and then you’d be able to watch the second half of the match. If you think you can help, e-mail shana@westsidebaby.org ASAP.

You can help! West Seattle Girl Scouts collecting school supplies to help other kids

August 8, 2014 at 9:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Less than four weeks until the new school year, and kindhearted West Seattleites are working to make sure that no kid goes without the school supplies s/he needs for success. Among those collecting donations: West Seattle Girl Scout Troop 45077, working with Pencil Me In For Kids, taking donations earmarked for scholars at Highland Park Elementary. We received word of their drive, and the photo, from troop leader Kari:

All of the girls have boxes at their homes and are collecting from friends, family, and neighbors. They also have a donation box at Mind Unwind, located at 2206 California Ave SW. Their goal is to be able to donate 34 backpacks filled with school supplies to Highland Park Elementary and are collecting donations until August 17th. So, they don’t have much time to meet their goal and could use everyone’s help.

(Kari’s original note also included a request for publication from Sophia, who is a troop member as is Kari’s daughter Morgan.) The fine print on the sign toward the right side of the photo says they’re looking in particular for:

*Rulers
*Notebooks
*Children’s books
*Paper
*Pencils
*Pens
*Backpacks
*Highlighters
*Erasers
*Glue/glue sticks
*Binders

New playground for Pigeon Point! Pathfinder project gets grant, announces ‘paint party’

August 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment


(Click image to see full-size site plan/design by Johnson Southerland as PDF)
The new playground for Pigeon Point is getting ever closer to reality. Pathfinder K-8 Playground outreach co-chairs Holli Margell and Toni Wells are sharing the following update that includes a chance for you to help out at an upcoming “paint party”:

The Pathfinder Playground Revamp was awarded the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund large grant! Thanks to the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods for helping us really get the ball rolling with our new design. Our playground is now 40% funded, and our fundraising team has kicked into gear to help us get the rest of the way there.

August Paint Party:

August 21st, the playground is getting a little facelift in preparation for our new design. With a Capital One $4,000 grant for the school, we are having a work party to do projects all over the school–and the playground is one of them. That means we can get started painting the braided stream and adding new features like a labyrinth and accurate US map. The foursquares, hopscotch, and old marking will be refreshed too.

Are you ready to help us on August 21st? We need 6-8 folks ready to help lead the volunteers for the day, help organize supplies the day before, and a few creatives to help us make stencils to add some critter prints to the playground. Interested? E-mail pathfinderplayground2014@gmail.com – thank you!

New design (above):

The school district is still working on the feasibility of the fence changes, but we expect that to be part of phase one. If fundraising needs are met, and the bids come in as expected, the equipment and surfacing of the blue areas will also be included in Phase 1, which could start Summer 2015.

The playground is on the north side of the Pathfinder campus at 1901 SW Genesee (map).

You can help! Restaurants including Matador in The Junction to donate proceeds to Eastern Washington fire victims tomorrow

August 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(Central/Eastern Washington wildfire photos taken this week by Long Bach Nguyen)
The aerial photos by Long Bach Nguyen are dramatic enough – imagine the devastation of the fire victims on the ground, one by one, family by family. Tomorrow, a West Seattle restaurant is one of six around the city participating in a fundraiser to help, in connection with a nonprofit.

The announcement:

*To aid those stricken by the massive fires in Eastern Washington, local non-profit Band of Brothers NW is banding together with successful restaurants Matador, Ballard Annex Oyster House, and Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen along with the Northwest community to provide aid to the hundreds of families in need, and they’re asking the public for help. There are four ways the public can help in this effort:

*** Visit any of the four Matador locations (Ballard, West Seattle, Redmond, Tacoma), Ballard Annex Oyster House, or Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen in Ballard on August 7th where 100-percent of all sales from open to close will go directly to families affected by the massive Eastern Washington wildfires. All restaurants will also be accepting cash donations as well as gift cards for donation as well with 100-percent of all of these donations going directly to fire victims. A special guest appearance from Michael “The Wanz” Wansley the Grammy Award winning-singer of “Thrift Shop” for Macklemore will take place at Matador in Ballard where he’ll be signing autographs and taking photos with those who donate.

*** Go to www.bobnw.org to provide a monetary donation in any amount. One-hundred percent of donations to Band of Brothers NW will go directly to families affected by the devastating wildfire in Eastern Washington. Your gift enables Band of Brothers NW to provide gift cards for items such as food, water, medical supplies and other necessities following the devastating effects of the wildfires.

*** Mail gift cards to the Band of Brothers NW office at 8750 122nd Avenue Kirkland, WA 98033.

*** Use your online voice to raise awareness and let others know how you’re helping through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. using the hashtag #WeCareEWFires.

…The massive fires burning in the Methow Valley, and through much of Eastern Washington, have burned more than 200,000 acres. An estimated 100 homes in towns such as Pateros, Brewster, Alta Lake and others have been destroyed, and roughly 2,000 firefighters are working in Eastern Washington communities with an additional 1,000 National Guard troops and active duty military potentially being called in to help.

Would you know human trafficking if you saw it? West Seattle Democratic Women’s awareness campaign continues

August 5, 2014 at 10:22 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Did you see the signs? West Seattle Democratic Women‘s human-trafficking-awareness campaign is in a new phase with pop-up signage – the sign above was the fifth of six signs displayed Saturday along Harbor Avenue, and you’ll see them again this Thursday, 4-6 pm, on Fauntleroy Way just east of Morgan Junction. Elizabeth Heath, chair of the WSDW campaign, shared the photo and explained that WSDW is displaying the signs “a la the highway ‘Burma Shave’ signs of the past. One message was: Human Trafficking//Near Your Home//Don’t Delay//Pick Up The Phone//For Help, Call 888-3737-888″ – a national hotline to report human trafficking – followed by a sign for WSDW and its website. She adds, “Passersby on foot, on bikes, and in cars showed support by waving, blinking lights, or stopping by to learn more about the issue. You can expect to see these folks and their signs on various busy West Seattle streets over the next six weeks. Here’s a chance to learn more about Human Trafficking and how you can make a difference.” WSDW’s campaign has its own page on the group’s website, here. Not sure you would know human trafficking if you saw it? Some basic info is on this brochure from another local organization, Seattle Against Slavery.

Followup: 5th graders’ benefit bake sale/donation drive a success!

August 3, 2014 at 11:15 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

One of the benefit events we spotlighted this weekend was the second annual bake sale by two young West Seattleites working to help the Humane Society and the animals it cares for. Carey, who sent word of the sale in advance, shares the wrap-up and photos:

Thanks to the WSB and the West Seattle community for sponsoring Gwen and Muriel’s bake sale to benefit the Seattle Humane Society! With your support the barrel was filled with food and toys for cats and dogs and the proceeds were TWICE what they were last year. We are so thankful for our community and their generosity!

AAA-Washington presenting bicycling benefit Ride Around The Sound on September 13th

August 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Exercise your lungs – while fighting lung disease. You can do that in six weeks by joining Ride Around the Sound, part of which will go through West Seattle and White Center. Though you might associate WSB sponsor AAA-Washington mostly with cars, it’s excited about this big bike ride, and here’s why:

AAA Washington is proud to announce that we are the presenting sponsor of the American Lung Association Ride Around the Sound this year. This event features three scenic routes between Seattle and Bremerton that range from 38 to 92 miles, making it perfect for both beginning bikers and experienced cyclists.

Your AAA West Seattle store employees invite all West Seattle Blog readers to join us in supporting this great organization, either by riding in the event itself or pledging your support for a rider. All AAA members get a 20% discount off the registration fee. In addition, we’d like to throw down a friendly challenge to our fellow WSB Sponsors to put together a team and ride with us! There are also opportunities to help promote the event by placing a poster in your window or linking to the ALA Ride Around the Sound website

Let’s help the ALA have a record fundraising year so they can continue to improve the health and wellbeing of our community.

Not an AAA member? You can fix that here. To see the three course alternatives for Ride Around The Sound, go here for the 92-mile version (which goes through Highland Park and White Center), go here for the 73-mile version, and here for the 38-mile version. To form or join a team, go here.

Tomorrow: West Seattle girls’ benefit bake sale – 2nd year in a row!

August 2, 2014 at 6:33 pm | In How to help, Pets, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

After great community support for their first benefit bake sale last year, these two local girls are doing it again tomorrow and hope you’ll stop by. We received this announcement with the photo:

Gwen and Muriel, Schmitz Park 5th graders, are putting their love for animals to work again through their second 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 3rd, from 10-3. 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.

Local runner Clark Gilbert joins coast-to-coast MS-fighting relay

August 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Clark Gilbert, a local runner and coach, has headed east to be part of a coast-to-coast relay raising money to fight MS. He left Friday for Brooksville, Pennsylvania, where he will start running the 17th segment of the annual MS Run the US Relay. He shared this info:

This relay started in April from LA with 17 different runners running various segments across the United States to finish in New York City. Each runner basically runs a marathon (26.2 miles) per day for 5 to 7 days as part of their segment. The Relay is a 3,000-mile relay run across America to help raise awareness and funds to help CURE multiple sclerosis (MS).

After finishing the 17th Segment, from Brooksville, PA to Sunbury, PA, Clark will continue running the Relay route along with Segment 18 runner, Valerie Olberding (from Bozeman, MT), to Fort Lee, NJ. At Fort Lee, they will be joined with other relay runners and supporters for the final 14-mile leg into New York City on August 16. August will be the final event, ending this year’s Relay.

In 2013 (photo at left), Clark ran two segments, #6 from Vernal, UT and then 18 from Mahoney City, PA, to New York City. Clark and his wife Shelly live and run in West Seattle. Besides running, Clark works at West Seattle Runner and is a running coach working with P3|Running. For information on donating, please visit: coachclarkruns.com/ms-run-the-us-relay.html

WestSide Baby gets an assist from Seattle Sounders, including diaper drive at August 10th game

July 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

It was Sounders FC mania this afternoon at WestSide Baby‘s headquarters – even Jaxton, son of a WS Baby volunteer, was in the spirit. And here’s why:

Sounders FC midfielders Aaron Long and Aaron Kovar were there to record a public-service announcement about the need for diapers – which will be highlighted in a diaper drive at their August 10th home game against the Houston Dynamo. (That’s WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland toward the right in the photo above.) While at WS Baby HQ today, the Sounders reps also joined local Safeway reps in sorting thousands of diapers donated at Safeway stores during the recent Stuff the Bus drive:

And of course the athletes obliged a few autograph requests:

Today’s gathering included reps from other companies that supported Stuff the Bus, such as HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor). That meant group-photo time:

You don’t have to wait for the next Stuff the Bus drive to donate diapers (or time, or money) to WestSide Baby – here’s how to help.

Happening now: Buy lemonade in Gatewood, help fire victims

July 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm | In Gatewood, How to help, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

2:55 PM: Thanks to Alex for the photo – she says this lemonade and cookie sale at California/Portland in Gatewood (map) is raising money to help the Red Cross help fire victims in our state. (We’re waiting to hear back about how long they’ll be there.)

ADDED: If you didn’t already see the comment – congrats to the lemonade-and-cookie sellers for raising almost $200, which will be multipled by matching donations. If you missed the stand but would like to help, here’s what the Red Cross is doing in the fire zone, and how to donate.

Happening now: Volunteer cleanup at Walking on Logs

July 26, 2014 at 11:58 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks to Sharonn Meeks for sharing that scene from the Walking on Logs area along the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge. Shown are members of the Chief Sealth International High School Key Club, part of today’s volunteer cleanup crew at the sculpture site, including Sharonn and Nancy Driver from the Fairmount Community Association just east of the nearby Triangle area. (P.S. In case this makes you wonder – to date, no word on the fourth sculpture’s fate.)

Followup: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse’s lesson in crowdlending

July 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm | In Fauntleroy, How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Last night at The Hall at Fauntleroy inside the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, potential investors gathered to find out more about the crowdlending push intended to bring in the final half-million dollars needed for fixing up the nonprofit-owned building. As mentioned in our preview, the Fauntleroy Community Service Agency is working with Bellevue-based social-investment facilitator Semble. FCSA’s Kevin Wooley explained that the project’s only been up on the Semble website a week, and they’re already more than halfway to their goal.

Wooley told the ~30 people in attendance that most of the money would go toward the ongoing roof-renovation project, and they hope to raise it within a month in order to get the roof work finished before the rainy season. A few other jobs are included, all work that FCSA promised would be done after its purchase of the former Seattle Public Schools property four years ago. Semble reps explained at the gathering that it’s an investment, not a donation, and interest will be paid – information on the project’s Semble webpage (see it here) includes the prospectus, FCSA financials over the past three years, and the interest rate, all of which you can take into account before deciding whether to become a lender.

Seal Sitters signing up volunteers one last time for this year’s pupping season

July 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, Wildlife | Comments Off

(2013 photo by Robin Lindsey)
If you’ve ever considered volunteering with Seal Sitters, there’s one more chance this season:

Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s final training for the 2014 seal pupping season will take place on August 9th. There will be no further trainings until late fall due to time constraints on volunteers.

Last year’s record-breaking pupping season stats in West Seattle (from late July’s first response to a newborn seal pup to the end of the year’s weaned pups) included 163 responses to marine mammals, including 66 positively identified seal pups. This 2014 season has begun unusually early in West Seattle with responses in June to one full lanugo seal pup “Luigi,” a second premature pup, and full-term “Junebug” who is now in rehab at PAWS Wildlife Center.

TRAINING DATE:
Saturday morning, August 9, 2014
10 am – 12 pm (doors open at 9:30 am; plan to arrive early to register and receive paperwork – training begins promptly at 10)
Alki UCC Church 6115 SW Hinds, Seattle
Please RSVP on blubberblog for the training to assure seating.

*Note to parents: All children accompanying adults must be able to sit quietly through an almost-two-hour presentation (with break).

Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters – supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who are on duty rain or shine – we hope you will join us!

A multi-media presentation will illustrate our educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other pinnipeds (due to time frame, supplementary off-season sessions will include more marine mammals of Puget Sound). For additional questions and info or to be placed on a contact list for future training opportunities, please e-mail us.

Contact info is here.

Always Brothers 100-mile run to pass through West Seattle again

July 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(2013 Always Brothers runners near WS Bridge – photo used with permission)
Again this year, eastern West Seattle is on the final stretch of the Always Brothers 100-mile run to raise money for the children of fallen servicemembers. As detailed in this story – which includes the timetable and route – they’ll start at 6 am Saturday in Leschi, heading south through Renton and to Pierce County before heading back north; they will run along the Duwamish to the West Seattle low bridge around 7 am Sunday. They appreciate support along the route, and of course, donations too – you can donate online here, and you can track the run’s progress via the AB Facebook page. (We noted the 2013 Always Brothers run here last August.)

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