West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle Community Recognition Awards http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:12:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 WS Community Recognition Awards: The event & the winners http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/ws-community-recognition-awards-the-event-the-winners/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/ws-community-recognition-awards-the-event-the-winners/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2008 05:56:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=6993
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Thanks to Capers for again hosting the quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards get-together, with complimentary coffee, tea, and brownies like last time (January report here) – and thanks to everybody who attended – more pix, and the winners, ahead:

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Standing up at the center of that photo is Divina‘s Julie Mireille Anderson, who hatched the idea for the WSCRA’s as a way to give back to people who give so much to the community. To the left of her, seated, with blonde hair, is one of the three honorees announced tonight, Mary Springer, founder/artistic director of what one nominator described as “West Seattle’s grass-roots theater company,” Twelfth Night Productions. She was photographed applauding one of the other honorees, who in turn we photographed applauding her:

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In the center of that photo is Dan Jacobs of West Seattle Christian Church (with wife Joanie Jacobs at right, and Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits at left). Beyond the community service of his ministry, Dan is deeply involved in supporting the Junction community, business and residents, with endeavors including the Ginomai arts center that he created in what used to be WSCC’s school building, across 42nd from the church.

We wish the third honoree could have been on hand tonight – in our conversations with so many people, it is repeatedly made clear he is deeply missed: Tim St. Clair, “Mr. West Seattle,” veteran West Seattle Herald reporter who was only 57 when cancer ended his life this past February. The Herald paid tribute to him with this obituary and this compilation of dozens of reader letters paying tribute to him.

Profiles of all three honorees will appear here on WSB in the next few weeks (read about the first-quarter honorees here: Cindi Barker, Larry Carpenter, Paul Sureddin). Meantime, be thinking of someone you think might merit this type of honor – we’ll let you know when nominations are open for the next quarterly edition of the West Seattle Community Recognition Awards.

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Community Recognition Awards event: 7-8 pm tonight http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/community-recognition-awards-event-7-8-pm-tonight/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/community-recognition-awards-event-7-8-pm-tonight/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2008 01:45:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=6991 Just a reminder, you’re invited to Capers in The Junction 7-8 pm for the second quarterly informal get-together to announce the latest West Seattle Community Recognition Awards recipients. The three of us will be there, as will WSB Forum Community members selling tickets for tomorrow night’s raffle, plus – treats! Come say hi if you can. 8:41 PM UPDATE: Great crowd, fun event. We’ll post with photos and winner announcements in a bit.

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Last call: Suggest someone for a special honor http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/last-call-suggest-someone-for-a-special-honor/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/last-call-suggest-someone-for-a-special-honor/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2008 04:40:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=6739 trophy.jpgThe second quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards will be announced in less than two weeks, and this is the last call for you to nominate people who are working to make our community a better place! The first-ever awards — brainchild of Divina‘s Julie Mireille Anderson — were announced at a January get-together at Capers; we then profiled the recipients here on WSB — Cindi Barker from Morgan Junction, Larry Carpenter from Alki, and Paul Sureddin from Fairmount Springs. So who’s next? Up to you! Forms are available at Divina (California/Genesee) and other participating businesses, or you can download it here (it’s a Word doc so you can use “replace” and type the info “inline”), and e-mail the completed form to us at westseattleblog@yahoo.com; explanatory info is here. Then mark your calendar for the informal gathering April 18 at Capers at which we’ll announce the winners!

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Meet a winner: Paul Sureddin http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/meet-a-winner-paul-sureddin/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/meet-a-winner-paul-sureddin/#comments Sun, 10 Feb 2008 22:51:33 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=5680 Last month, we announced the winners of the first quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards, trophy.jpga new way to honor West Seattleites working to make a difference — the brainchild of Julie Mireille Anderson from Divina, with the nominating process open to everyone in West Seattle. As we open the next round of nominations, we are profiling the first three winners — people you may or may not have heard about or met, people whose hard work makes West Seattle a better place. Thursday, we told you about Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association (meet Cindi here); Friday, Larry Carpenter from the Alki Community Council and Southwest Seattle Historical Society (meet Larry here); and today, we profile Fairmount Springs community organizer Paul Sureddin, who also is webmaster for FS and MoCA:

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Fairmount Springs neighborhood – mostly west of Fauntleroy and south of Fairmount Park, northeast of Morgan Junction – has a website. But it doesn’t truly tell the story of how dozens of Fairmount Springs neighbors are communicating online.

paulphoto.jpgPaul Sureddin can tell that story. He set up the website as an offshoot of the Fairmount Springs neighborhood mailing list that he keeps. It’s faster than door-knocking (though he does a lot of that too).

“Somebody sees a suspicious stranger in the neighborhood, they send word of it to the list, immediately 75 people know about it,” he says. “The list is where all the action happens.” Paul also tells the tale of an elderly neighbor who he checks on often, just as that neighbor checks on those who live near him: “He walks around the neighborhood, keeps an eye on things.” And he says that checking on people is more pleasure than business: “I enjoy talking to people.”

Paul moved to West Seattle in 2001 — “it was time to become a homeowner.” He’s originally from San Antonio, Texas, where he lived till age 21; after some subsequent time in Dallas, working in the defense industry, he came to Western Washington in 1997, where he now works in information tech.

“I lived for a year on the Eastside,” he says, quickly making it clear that it wasn’t a good fit. Then he tried apartment life in Fremont for a few years. It wasn’t long after his arrival in West Seattle that he jumped into neighborhood volunteering: “I saw an ad that the Morgan Community Association was looking for a web person. I really like to get things done.”

This is a point he repeats during our conversation, with great energy and enthusiasm: “I really like to get things done.”

He feels he manages to achieves that despite working outside the traditional framework of a formal community council or association. Fairmount Springs neighbors are organized, but without an official group, or meetings, or votes, or officers. They talk, and they take action when necessary. Paul still maintains the Morgan website — look at it and the one for FS, and you’ll notice the similarities — but the bulk of his work, offline as well as online, is for the neighborhood where he lives.

It appears they have a level of trust and connectedness that other neighborhoods would envy: Paul keeps a community directory in which neighbors can participate if they choose, with emergency phone numbers and other vital information.

To Paul, it’s a practical matter — building support networks for himself as well as the neighborhood. “If I was having trouble, I’d like the neighbors to be able to help me (too).”

The community involvement is about fun as well as practicality. Perhaps the most visible face of Fairmount Springs is the traffic-island triangle along Fauntleroy, known semi-fondly, semi-ruefully as “Weed Island.”

It’s a lot less weedy these days, thanks to neighborhood efforts. And at holiday times, it becomes festive — we’ve shown its Halloween decorations (link here) and Christmas decorations (link here) in just the past few months.

As we talked, in fact, Paul was mulling whether Valentine’s decorations would go up. He was considering skipping that holiday — till a neighbor asked him, “Hey, Paul, where’s the Valentine’s stuff?”

He has grander dreams for “Weed Island” beyond the holiday decorations; some sort of big art piece, perhaps, though he is quick to add that he would hope it could be “guerrilla art,” not something resulting from some kind of official process: “Something that just says, ‘hey! this is our neighborhood!’”

That is to say, a neighborhood with a few quirks, like the chickens Paul and at least one other neighbor keep in their backyards. His mate, he says, would love to have goats, too — they have some blackberry growth requiring landscaping vigilance — but Paul keeps telling her that might be overkill.

Much as he might want to keep those blackberry vines away, you can tell Paul is more into creation than destruction. And innovation — like the time he and others helped a neighbor with a power problem by stringing cords till the neighbor was no longer “unplugged.”

That effort was emblematic to Paul’s efforts to get Fairmount Springs neighbors “plugged in” to community happenings and concerns. It’s his paramount concern, even though nobody elected or appointed him, and it’s a role he could relinquish at any time, though it’s obvious he wouldn’t want to, as he says it again: “I like to get things done.”
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Nominations are open now for the second-quarter West Seattle Community Recognition Awards — deadline is March 31st, but why not nominate someone now, while you’re thinking about it? Three people will be honored each quarter. Forms are available at Divina (California/Genesee) and other participating businesses, or you can download it here (it’s a Word doc so you can use “replace” and type the info “inline”), and e-mail the completed form to us at westseattleblog@yahoo.com; explanatory info is here. Then mark your calendar for the informal gathering at which we’ll announce the winners (here’s WSB coverage of the first event, last month), tentatively set for April 18.

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Meet a winner: Larry Carpenter http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/meet-a-winner-larry-carpenter/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/meet-a-winner-larry-carpenter/#comments Fri, 08 Feb 2008 20:01:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=5517 Last month, we announced the winners of the first quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards, trophy.jpga new way to honor West Seattleites working to make a difference — the brainchild of Julie Mireille Anderson from Divina, with the nominating process open to everyone in West Seattle. As we open the next round of nominations, we are profiling the first three winners — people you may or may not have heard about or met, people whose hard work makes West Seattle a better place. Yesterday, we told you about Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association; today, Larry Carpenter from the Alki Community Council and Southwest Seattle Historical Society, who has stories galore to tell, starting with the one about the day he and his wife started the cross-country drive to get here:

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By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Larry Carpenter says he’ll never forget the day he and wife Margelyn moved to Seattle.

“It was September the twelfth, 2001,” he explains, talking with WSB inside the cozy Log House Museum, nerve center — and public face — of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. The Carpenters were so busy packing the day before, they didn’t get to pay close attention to the news — recalling mostly an early snippet about a “small” plane hitting the World Trade Center.

The rest is history — as is part of what is keeping Larry busy in West Seattle these days. In addition to his role as treasurer for the Alki Community Council, he is volunteer coordinator for the SWSHS.

And that’s a job with its ups and downs, particularly in recruiting, he acknowledges. “I had this terrific run — I asked 45 people to volunteer, nobody turned me down.” The follow-through after they said “yes”? That’s sometimes another story.

First, let’s get back to the story of what brought Larry to West Seattle. He’s from Maryland; the Carpenters’ two children moved westward long before their parents did. Then, in the early ’90s, he explains, the “kids” — well into adulthood — were part of the big wave of people migrating to Seattle right about then. One lives on Capitol Hill now, the other on Beacon Hill, and especially once grandchildren started to arrive, Larry and Marge flew out to visit — a lot — finally deciding it would be easier just to move here.

The drive to Seattle from Maryland took two weeks. Larry remembers one eerie side effect of the post-9/11 state of affairs — “we stayed in great hotels all along the way for great prices, because they were empty — no one was traveling.”

A month after arriving in Seattle, they found the Alki home they’ve been renting ever since. And his induction into West Seattleisms came just days later: “November 13th was the Denny anniversary” — the sesquicentennial, that particular year — “and there was a re-enactment on Alki that day. It was raining, cold, damp … I knew nothing about all that history. I saw it when I went down to the [old Alki] market for some milk, said to a guy at the store, ‘What are they doing?’ He said, the people from the Historical Society are re-enacting [the Denny Party landing at Alki]. I said, ‘This is a crazy place, I think I’m going to like it here!’”

Shortly afterward, Larry saw an ad in the Alki News-Beacon seeking Log House Museum volunteers … he signed up … and now, after several years, he’s the one who recruits and organizes those volunteers.

When we met to talk on a quiet day at the museum, one of those volunteers had just left after her monthly two-hour shift, local realtor Alice Kuder (a WSB sponsor). A quiet day for her, Larry admitted: “Some days, 20-30 people might walk in, other days nothing. So far today, we’ve had three.”

It’s not for lack of intent or dedication that keeps some people from following up on their volunteering commitments, Larry says; those slow days in winter just aren’t exciting enough for some people (although he notes it’s a great time to catch up on your reading).

But for Larry himself, there’s no such thing as “slow.” He has plenty to do, including piles of paperwork, for his Historical Society work and his treasurer role on the Alki council. Even back in Maryland, this is the type of neighborhood work he has done for a long time: “I was always the secretary or treasurer. Did that for 8, 10 years.”

The appeal of those roles, he notes, is that you get to find out the most information about what’s going on and who’s involved. The quest for knowledge runs deep with him — he’s retired from 35 years of “intelligence agency” work.

From his observations, we ask, what’s his greatest concern for West Seattle’s future?

“We need to bring in the next generation (of volunteers and activists), get them involved. The gap is so wide now — we have to keep them from just drifting.”

That’s something you could never accuse Larry Carpenter of doing. At the very least, he’s watching, and working; before our conversation at the Log House Museum concluded, he extracted a promise that we would at least consider the concept of becoming another member of his volunteer ranks.
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This weekend, you’ll meet our third winner from the first-quarter West Seattle Community Recognition Awards, Paul Sureddin, a community leader in Fairmount Springs. Nominations are open now for our second-quarter awards — deadline is March 31st, but why not nominate someone now, while you’re thinking about it? Three people will be honored each quarter. Forms are available at Divina (California/Genesee) and other participating businesses, or you can download it here (it’s a Word doc so you can use “replace” and type the info “inline”), and e-mail the completed form to us at westseattleblog@yahoo.com; explanatory info is here. Then mark your calendar for the informal gathering at which we’ll announce the winners (here’s WSB coverage of the first event, last month), tentatively set for April 18.

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Meet a winner: Cindi Barker http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/meet-a-winner-cindi-barker/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/02/meet-a-winner-cindi-barker/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2008 20:24:19 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=5588 Last month, we announced the winners of the first quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards, trophy.jpga new way to honor West Seattleites working to make a difference — the brainchild of Julie Mireille Anderson from Divina, with the nominating process open to everyone in West Seattle. As we open the next round of nominations, we are profiling the first three winners today, tomorrow, and Saturday — people you may or may not have heard about or met, people whose hard work makes West Seattle a better place. Today, we want to tell you about Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association, which has its next quarterly meeting tonight (7 pm, The Kenney); even if you don’t live in the Morgan Junction area, chances are that Cindi’s work has touched you:

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One of Cindi Barker’s greatest passions is work that she hopes will all be for naught.

It’s intense work, difficult work, trying to motivate people to take time out of their hectic lives to think about the unthinkable, and what they must do now, to be ready “just in case.”

The work in question is disaster/emergency preparedness. Though Cindi’s official role in the West Seattle community is “information coordinator for the Morgan Community Association,” what she is doing regarding preparedness is benefiting everyone on the peninsula – and some beyond.

cindimugshot.jpgWe first worked closely with Cindi, in fact, last year, as she brought together experts, volunteers, community leaders, and interested residents for the West Seattle Emergency Preparedness Event on June 23, 2007, at West Seattle High School.

This year, no giant event in the works at this point, but what matters about disaster/emergency preparedness is a series of small actions — creating a family kit, a family plan, stocking up on supplies. Cindi keeps in close touch with local government-agency reps whose job is to help educate people on the best way to do this. You will hear more about all this from Cindi (and from us) and from your local neighborhood reps as the year goes by. But right now, she is doing it in parallel with her work gathering information to share with the Morgan Junction community (and environs) — hers is the only official neighborhood group on the west side of West Seattle between The Junction and Fauntleroy.

She’s been in West Seattle for 15 years, after living in various communities around South King County, where her previous volunteer experience included 10 years with the Renton Historical Society, though she says that until her Morgan work, she wasn’t nearly as immersed in the terminology and details that comprise the officialese of neighborhoods — “arterials, zoning.”

Now, she’s the scribe who shows up at every even-remotely relevant public meeting to take copious notes and ask pointed questions. A far cry from those early days when she “walked into the middle of neighborhood planning” and saw so much contention, discussion, and challenges, she wondered how a plan would manage to emerge from it all.

Along with a plan, Cindi says, MoCA has a philosophy — they’re not an organization that speaks for its members and all area residents; they are there to be stewards of the neighborhood plan, as the blueprint for the neighborhood’s future, and to get information to people, to empoweer them to take action, if they choose.

Cindi gets that information to Morgan Junction residents, and other interested parties, in a variety of ways. She e-mails a detailed, info-rich bulletin which also includes numerous city alerts that she vets for relevance to area residents. The bulletins, as well as her notes from key meetings — most recently, that includes the Morgan and Myrtle park meetings — are posted to the MoCa website (morganjunction.org).

“I’ve overdosed on meetings sometimes,” Cindi laughs. “I think my record was attending seven in one week. Now I try for a healthy average — like, one.”

What keeps her going with this intense work — for which she has never quite tallied the total number of hours invested — is the joy of “getting things done.” She smiles widely and says, “I get the biggest kick out of that — My energy is around tangible things, like seeing a new park created.”

What about West Seattle’s future in this time of growth and transition, we ask — what would she like to see?

“Thoughtful change” is Cindi’s answer. She elaborates, “Certainly, we’ve got to change; we can’t just keep what’s old BECAUSE it’s old. But let’s think two generations down the road — before we get rid of something — what would it mean if this is here, what would it mean if this is gone?”

That’s why neighborhoods, indeed, have plans — to help guide such decisions — and Cindi Barker is determined to make sure hers has all the information it needs to work within those boundaries, for the current time, and what’s to come.
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Tomorrow, meet our second winner from the first-quarter West Seattle Community Recognition Awards, Larry Carpenter, who works with the Alki Community Council and Southwest Historical Society. Nominations are open now for our second-quarter awards — deadline is March 31st, but why not nominate someone now, while you’re thinking about it? Three people will be honored each quarter. Forms are available at Divina (California/Genesee) and other participating businesses, or you can download it here (it’s a Word doc so you can use “replace” and type the info “inline”), and e-mail the completed form to us at westseattleblog@yahoo.com; explanatory info is here. Then mark your calendar for the informal gathering at which we’ll announce the winners (here’s WSB coverage of the first event, last month), tentatively set for April 18.

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1st-ever West Seattle Community Recognition Awards http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/1st-ever-west-seattle-community-recognition-awards/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/1st-ever-west-seattle-community-recognition-awards/#comments Sat, 19 Jan 2008 07:59:44 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=5251
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That’s what the sign on Capers’ back door said. And first, we must thank them yet again for playing host, with refreshments (including delish brownies) for all in attendance. Now, thanks to the people who dropped in, some of whom you see here –

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Attendees included some folks we already knew (including some of our fine WSB sponsors), some we didn’t. (We met “Bob Loblaw”! But sorry, no photo. You had to be there.) And the winners are …

From the award-announcement flyer distributed at the event:

CINDI BARKER
“BLOGGER’S CHOICE” AWARD
Cindi is with the Morgan Community Association. From the entry form nominating her:
“She tirelessly worked on keeping the neighborhoods informed on the Monorail project. Never once taking sides or voicing her opinion. She also was instrumental in putting on the preparedness fair/workshop at West Seattle High last year. She continues to donate time and money to her community by sitting on the parks levy board, helping to build a P-patch and working on the Orchard Street park and trail project. With all that she does for the community, she still has time to hold down a more-than-full-time job with the Boeing Company.”

LARRY CARPENTER
“MAKING OTHERS GREAT” AWARD
Larry is with the Alki Community Council, and more, as this excerpt from the nomination shows:
“Quite often, the success of an organization depends on the efforts of someone who works doggedly and quietly behind the scenes, seeking neither fame nor glory; someone who loves his community and the people in it; someone who labors simply for the pleasure it gives him and the service he provides. The Alki Community Council, the Southwest Historical Society, the Log House Museum, and the whole of West Seattle have been graced by the presence of Larry Carpenter. … Larry is the type of person who brings the whole community together. He has a wondrous curiosity about others and believes wholeheartedly in community.”

PAUL SUREDDIN
“MAKING WEST SEATTLE GREAT” AWARD
Paul is a Fairmount Springs community leader. From the entry form nominating him:
“Paul has been actively engaged in his local neighborhood and the larger West Seattle community by organizing and spearheading the Fairmount Springs Neighborhood group and by assisting other WS organizations, particularly in their web site needs. The Fairmount Springs neighbors are working to improve their area through beautification projects, traffic safety projects, emergency preparedness (Paul just got his HAM radio license) and most importantly, on social activities that help people get to know each other as neighbors. Through the use of their website, they also learn how to get involved in larger West Seattle projects. … It’s that kind of thoughtfulness and concern about citizen engagement that will make West Seattle great.”

cindimugshot.jpgAll three will be profiled in-depth in the coming days on WSB, and we’ll be creating a poster to honor them, once we have pix of everybody, to put up around WS to make sure the offline community knows about it too. Cindi Barker (photo left) was able to make it to tonight’s event on short notice — next time, we promise earlier notification to the winners — and the nominations have already started coming in. Julie Mireille Anderson from Divina, who hatched the Community Recognition Awards idea as a new way to thank some of West Seattle’s best and brightest, will ringlead this quarterly, with online support from WSB, and judging support from this all-star panel:

Julie Bennett, West Seattle resident & contractor
Lisa Gluckman, Pathfinder School parent
Dave Montoure, West 5
Frances Smersh, Click! Design That Fits
Kim Tingley, Windermere Real Estate
Linda Walsh, Clementine

How can you help, you ask? Nominate somebody! We’ll be posting a new link to the forms this weekend. And mark your calendar for the next gathering — we’re looking to do this on the third Friday of each quarter, so right now that looks like Friday night, April 18 — Capers seems willing to have us back since we didn’t do too much damage — we’ll keep you posted as it gets closer.

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Join us in The Junction tonight http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/join-us-in-the-junction-tonight/ http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/join-us-in-the-junction-tonight/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2008 15:01:52 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=5237 Second-to-last reminder (we’ll bring it up again toward day’s end) — if you’re in The Junction tonight or not otherwise occupied, we hope to see you TONIGHT at Capers, 7-8ish pm, at the informal gathering announcing the honorees in the first-ever quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards (explained here). trophy1.jpgSince this is the first time, there’s no big formal program planned — no big speeches, no golden statuettes, no tuxes and gowns (sorry), just a chance to come say hi, find out who the recipients are, and meet some of your fellow West Seattleites. Can’t say whether 10 people will be there or 100, but the three of us will be, as will Julie Mireille Anderson of Divina (who hatched the idea for this as a new way to recognize and thank some of the unsung heroes of West Seattle), and the nice folks from Capers who offered to host the gathering (thank you, and also thank you to the judges, who we’ll be listing later, as well as to the people who sent nominations). 7-8ish pm, Capers in The Junction (west side of California, midblock between Oregon and Alaska).

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