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Highway 99 tunnel tolls: Your chance to comment – online now, and in person @ West Seattle meeting soon

(WSDOT photo, looking north at southbound – upper – tunnel deck, earlier this month)

The Highway 99 tunnel, you’ve no doubt heard here and elsewhere, could open as soon as this fall. One last thing remains to be decided: The toll(s). Now, it’s time for public comment. Received this afternoon from the Washington State Transportation Commission:

The public process of setting toll rates for the State Route 99 tunnel is starting and the Washington State Transportation Commission is seeking public comment on toll rate options under consideration. Interested persons can provide comments to the commission at upcoming public meetings in Seattle or they can provide comments electronically starting today, Tuesday, May 22.

The commission has spent more than a year studying and assessing all aspects of tolling the SR 99 tunnel, including various toll rate levels, possible toll exemptions, estimated traffic diversion to city streets, and effects of tolling on freight movement. Based upon this analysis, the commission has developed three possible toll rate options, on which it now wants the public to weigh in.

The Legislature made the decision to toll the tunnel in 2012 (RCW 47.56.862). The commission is charged with making sure tolls generate enough revenue to cover specific costs as required under the law, including toll operations, maintenance, and debt payments associated with the construction of the tunnel. In 2018, the Legislature directed that initial toll rates will not cover future repair and replacement costs, such as for the roadway and ventilation systems for the SR 99 tunnel. Proposed future toll rate increases would need to be re-evaluated if the Legislature determines these costs should be covered by toll revenue.

Toll Rate Options

The three toll rate options currently under consideration would be in effect from when tolling begins in 2019 through at least June 2020:

Option A:

Toll rates range from $1.50 – $2.25 during peak travel times and $1 overnight.
The midday toll rate is $1.25.

There are four different toll rates over six time periods on weekdays.
Beginning in July 2022, toll rates increase 3 percent, every three years for all days of the week.

Option B:

Toll rates range from $1.50 – $2.25 during peak travel times and $1 overnight.
The midday toll rate is $1.

There are four different toll rates over eight time periods on weekdays.
Beginning in July 2020, there will be annual toll rate increases of 3.5 percent for five years that will apply to the weekday rates only.

Option C:

Toll rates range from $1.50 – $2.25 during peak travel times and $1 overnight.
The midday toll rate is $1.25.

There are five different toll rates over seven time periods on weekdays.
There are no toll rate increases during first five years of tolling. Then there are three toll rate increases of five percent each, taking place in July of 2024, 2029, and 2034, for all days of the week.

Public Comment Opportunities

The commission will hold public input meetings in early June in Seattle to gather comments on the three toll-rate options under consideration. The meetings are as follows:

· Monday, June 4
4 – 5 p.m.: Open house on tunnel project and tolling
5 – 6:30 p.m.: Public input meeting on tolling options
Seattle Public Library, Washington Mutual Foundation Room
1000 4th Ave., Seattle

· Tuesday, June 5
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Open house on tunnel project and tolling
6:30 – 8 p.m.: Public input meeting on tolling options
High Point Community Center, Multipurpose Room
6920 34th Ave. SW

· Wednesday, June 6
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Open house on tunnel project and tolling
6:30 – 8 p.m.: Public input meeting on tolling options
Phinney Center, Blue Building, Room #7
6532 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle

More information on the tolling options under consideration, and additional ways the public can comment, can be found on the commission’s web site under “pending actions” at: wstc.wa.gov. The Transportation Commission is taking public comment on these tolling options until July 17. An official proposal will be announced in mid-July 2018, followed by an additional public comment period before toll rates are finalized in fall 2018.

Here’s the direct link to the page with feedback options – scroll down. The “commission feedback form” link doesn’t appear to be working properly at the moment, so we’re sending a note to report that.

Verity Credit Union’s West Seattle brainstorming breakfast, pre-opening

(WSB photo: Verity team at this morning’s breakfast)

You might have noticed that Verity Credit Union (WSB sponsor) is getting a jump on community involvement, even before opening their first branch in West Seattle. They’ve gotten involved with community events from the West Seattle Food Bank‘s Instruments of Change to Bike Everywhere Day. This morning, Verity hosted an event of its own, gathering West Seattle community leaders for a brainstorming breakfast at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction.

Attendees were asked three questions:

*What makes West Seattle unique – how is it different from other neighborhoods?
*What role can Verity play in the community?
*What do you need from a bank that you’re not getting now?

Verity CEO John Zmolek participated, and presented Senior Center executive director Lyle Evans with a $1,200 donation for the center’s foot-care program:

Verity CU expects to be open in the former Radio Shack storefront on California south of Oregon before West Seattle Summer Fest (July 13-15). During the festival, they’re planning a variety of activities out front of what will by then be the newly opened branch.

Will Highland Park’s roundabout ever be funded? SDOT update Wednesday

(Early design concept for proposed Highland Park Way roundabout)

Tomorrow night, the Highland Park Action Committee gets an update on the long-in-the-works roundabout proposed for Highland Park Way and SW Holden. SDOT’s James Le is expected to be at the meeting with the newest information. After last month’s meeting, HPAC chair Charlie Omana learned from SDOT that SDOT has been “performing a survey of existing site conditions which should be completed within the next month. Once the survey is complete, project design can proceed, and SDOT intends to engage the public with multiple opportunities for feedback.” But, he added, only $200,000 of the project’s estimated $2.5 million cost has been committed. SDOT says it’s applied for a grant from the WSDOT City Safety Program but won’t hear until later this year. (It’s been half a year since the project was turned down for a different WSDOT grant.) Omana says, “After 5 years of working on this project in its current capacity, to have only $200k committed is disappointing. HPAC is concerned about the effects that increasing construction costs will have on the feasibility of this project over time. … HPAC will continue pushing to bring this project to fruition sooner rather than later.” And that includes Wednesday night’s discussion (7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden).

What’s up for your West Seattle Tuesday

(House Finch, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for your Tuesday:

DINE OUT, SUPPORT STUDENTS: WingStop in Westwood Village will donate 20 percent of your purchase today (10:30 am-10:30 pm) to the Chief Sealth International High School ASB, if you show this flyer. (2600 SW Barton)

DROP-IN CHESS: 4:30-5:30 pm at High Point Library, kids are invited to drop in and play chess! (3411 SW Raymond)

WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct, tonight’s WSBWCN agenda focuses on updates from local police and Block Watch issues. But you don’t have to be part of one to be there! All welcome. (2300 SW Webster)

FAMILY STORY TIME: Bring the kids – all ages – to enjoy story time before bedtime. 7 pm at Delridge Library. (5423 California SW)

SHAMBHALA MEDITATION: All welcome, 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Meditation followed by tea and socializing, and group discussion. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WSCO CONCERT, WITH FOND FAREWELL: 6 pm concert doubleheader for the West Seattle Community Orchestras at Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium – including this farewell:

Longtime West Seattle Community Orchestras (WSCO) Executive Director and Orchestra Manager Mariane Hermanson will be retiring from those roles as of the end of the 2017-2018 season.

Mariane began with the organization in its fledgling years. Her participation was enabled by a Department of Neighborhoods Social Justice grant secured the Westside Symphonette, WSCO’s predecessor organization. At the time, only about 60 adults and students participated in two orchestras. Mariane has been the major force in helping the organization grow significantly, to where it now encompasses three orchestras, a concert band, and a percussion ensemble as well as instructional classes for adult and student beginners. The group now serves around 250 musicians annually!

Mariane will be honored at tonight’s season-ending double-header concert. It’s been a great 12-year run! WSCO will definitely miss her!

Other concerts details here. Free, though donations are always welcome! (2600 SW Thistle)

‘GEEKS WHO DRINK’ TRIVIA: 7:30 pm at Whisky West (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. (6451 California SW)

SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … via our complete-calendar page.

SPRAYPARK SEASON! Highland Park opens Saturday

(WSB file photo, Highland Park Spraypark)

It’s sunny, it’s warm, and Memorial Day weekend is days away. That means spraypark season is almost here! West Seattle’s only spraypark, at Highland Park playground (1100 SW Cloverdale), opens Saturday, May 26th, and will be open daily, 11 am-8 pm. (That’s also the first day of the first pre-season weekend for Colman Pool, but wading pools don’t start until almost a month later – Lincoln Park wading pool will be the first to open, on June 23rd.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday watch

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

6:58 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported so far in/from West Seattle. No transit alerts either.

UPDATE: Small fire in house near Charlestown water tower

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)

9:54 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full response to a reported fire “in a house being remodeled” at 39th/Bradford, near the Charlestown water tower. More to come.

9:57 PM: The response is being scaled down – it’s described via scanner as a “small fire … in mechanical equipment” on the second floor.

10:01 PM: SFD has corrected the address – it’s in the 3800 block of 40th SW.

10:04 PM: The fire is reported to be out and firefighters have confirmed the home is “unoccupied.”

10:28 PM: SFD has closed out the call, less than 40 minutes after dispatch.

Cle Elum chimps get special gift from West Seattle seniors

The folks at Providence sent that photo, explaining that the quilt the result of “a service project over a year in the making.” Providence ElderPlace participants made it for Chimpanzees Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum. They heard about the sanctuary via NPR and formed a group about chimpanzees, reading about them and watching videos. Then they decided to make a quilt – with a square for each of the seven chimps living at the sanctuary. A volunteer from Providence Mount St. Vincent‘s sewing room helped with the final sewing after participants did all the pinning. The quilt’s creators are hoping to see their gift turn up on the sanctuary’s blog.

YOU CAN HELP! Celebrate with, and give a boost to, Sanislo Elementary

Last year, the wider West Seattle community opened its arms and embraced Sanislo Elementary, our area’s least-populous public elementary school, and the little school got a big boost. The Sanislo PTA is hoping for an encore this year, and the big auction/dinner is less than two weeks away! Here’s the invitation:

Thanks to the community support of Sanislo Elementary’s auction last year, we kicked our $5,000 goal to the curb and raised $15,000!

This windfall provided a mindfulness program, increased teacher stipends, created a ‘book fair bucks’ program, and is affording scholarships to kids in need so they can participate in after-school enrichment! YOU, yes YOU, helped make this happen! Let’s do it again!

Our annual auction is just around the corner. We hope you can join us once again in supporting educational equity.

– All Around the World Auction

– Saturday, June 2nd from 6 pm-10 pm

– Alki Masonic Center, 4736 40th Ave SW

– Silent Auction

– Dinner and TWO Drink Tickets Included!

– A special performance by Seattle Kokon Taiko Japanese Drummers, a DJ, Dancing, and more!

You can reserve your tickets online, or, if you can’t make it but would like to donate, you can do that through the link below as well.

Donations to our auction make a significant impact in the education of our kids. With more than 70% of our families living in poverty, our school community simply cannot raise these essential funds alone. We hope to see you there!

Click to reserve tickets or directly donate.

P.S. Preview the cool stuff you’ll be able to bid on, by going here.

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Junction restaurant Fresh Bistro has closed after 9 years

Thanks for the tips. We just confirmed that West Seattle Junction restaurant Fresh Bistro has closed after nine years. Proprietor BJ Duft talked with WSB by phone. He opened Fresh Bistro on the ground floor of Mural (on 42nd SW across from Jefferson Square) almost exactly nine years ago. He said there are multiple reasons they decided to close – last night was their final night – but didn’t elaborate; he said he’s grateful for “nine fantastic years” and that they appreciate the community support. Since the building was new when Fresh Bistro opened, they were the first restaurant in the space; what’s next? That’s up to the building’s owners, Duft said.

DEVELOPMENT: 3 project notes from Junction, Luna Park, Morgan

Three West Seattle development notes today:

4826 40TH SW: The Fauntleroy/Edmunds development hub continues to densify. Headed for administrative design review (watch for the notice) is a 3-story, 27-apartment, no-offstreet-parking “small efficiency dwelling unit” (SEDU) building. It would replace the duplex shown in the Assessor’s Office photo above.

2821 SW YANCY: A few more details on this early-stage proposal from Transitional Resources, first reported here back in February. This too would go through administrative design review, according to notes posted online from a pre-submittal meeting with the city. It’s described as 100 percent affordable housing with 44 SEDUs, potentially in two buildings, with up to three parking spaces on site.

7001 CALIFORNIA SW: We’ve been watching this block for a while as a lot-boundary adjustment proceeds. Now there’s an early-stage redevelopment proposal for the north end, four rowhouses with no off-street parking at 7001 California SW, where there’s currently a pet-care business.

Speaking of SDOT: Another downtown long-term traffic alert, for NB 1st Avenue

If you use 1st Avenue to get into downtown – note that a longterm two-block closure of NB 1st is about to begin. Today’s notice from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation advises travelers that due to utility construction in support of the replacement of the existing water main, northbound 1st Ave between Yesler Way and Columbia St will be closed for approximately 5 months. Additionally, the curb lane of southbound 1st Ave between Columbia St and Yesler Way will be closed for the same duration.

These closures are in addition to the following lane closures in this area:

*Westbound S Jackson St between 2nd Ave S and 1st Ave S. These blocks are scheduled to open by May 25.

*Northbound 1st Ave S between S Jackson St and Yesler Way. These blocks are scheduled to open later in the summer.

*Southbound 1st Ave S between Yesler Way and S Jackson St is occasionally closed, 9:30 AM – 3 PM. These closures are expected to conclude by the end of May.

*S Main St between 1st Ave S and 2nd Ave S is closed in both directions, 7 AM – 5 PM weekdays until May 23.

Please visit the project webpage for more information.

What do you want to see in SDOT’s new boss? Plus, hear from its interim boss in West Seattle

With so much reporting on, and talking about, transportation matters here on SDOT, we thought this announcement from the mayor’s office might interest you:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today the City of Seattle has launched a new national search and public input process for a permanent director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Interim Director of SDOT Goran Sparrman will continue to serve in the role through the end of August 2018.

Beginning today, the public can now submit their input on their transportation priorities and what they would like to see in the next SDOT Director by clicking here. The City will engage a national search firm in June and launch a review committee to evaluate applicants and provide a recommendation on finalists.

“As the Interim Director, Goran has worked tirelessly to deliver on our transportation priorities with the utmost accountability and transparency,” said Mayor Durkan. “For decades, our region has been playing catch-up on its transportation needs. As more public and private mega projects lead to serious traffic disruptions downtown, the next few years will be critical for creating more safe, efficient and well-connected transportation choices that make it easier and safer for residents to get around on foot, by bike and via mass transit for decades to come.”

“With a number of significant projects in the pipeline, our next SDOT leader must be ready to deliver on investments and protect taxpayer dollars. Our residents and businesses expect our officials to make progress and deliver results, and this administration will continue to be accountable to the people we serve,” concluded Durkan.

It’s been five months already since word that Scott Kubly had left the SDOT director job after 3 1/2 years.

Meantime, acting SDOT director Sparrman will be the guest at this Thursday’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

West Seattle Monday: Beer and ice-cream benefits, and more!

Thanks to Mark Wangerin for two views of a Green Heron on the Duwamish River (scroll down for the second), gracing our Monday highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ICE CREAM FUNDRAISER: Show this flyer when you buy something at Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center today (open noon-10 pm) and 10 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Chief Sealth International High School ASB! (9629 16th SW)

SSC ADMISSION WORKSHOP: Thinking about studying at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)? 2-3:30 pm today, you’re invited to an admission workshop with info on everything from the application process to financial aid, as explained here. (6000 16th SW)

AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Library. This month’s title is “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. (9010 35th SW)

THE WESTY’S FUNDRAISING TAP TAKEOVER: 6 pm until it’s all gone, at The Westy (WSB sponsor), it’s a tap takeover to raise money for Ronald McDonald House:

All proceeds from the sale of Bob’s brown ale will go directly to the Ronald McDonald House. We will also donate $2 from each flight of beer sold. The lineup of Georgetown beer includes the entire Bob’s series of Brown ale, Sour brown ale, Coffee, And IPA. The beer flight will be rounded out with citrus galaxy and bodhizafa. Thank you all for helping the Westy lend a hand to a great charity.

(7908 35th SW)

ALL-AGES TRIVIA: 7:30 pm at The Skylark, free all-ages trivia with prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

Got a West Seattle/White Center/South Park event for the calendar? westseattleblog@gmail.com – the further in advance you can send the info (plain text in the body of your e-mail, please, not in an attachment) the better! Thanks!

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle HS track and field athletes headed to state championships

Congratulations to the West Seattle High School track and field athletes headed to state! The update is from head coach Will Harrison:

the West Seattle boys placed 3rd at the Sea King District 2 meet last Wed/Fri at Southwest Athletic Conference and were the top Metro school! They scored 51 points, one point ahead of O’Dea and Nathan Hale. In all, 9 boys and 2 girls advanced to the 3A State Championships at Mt Tahoma HS this Thursday/Friday/Saturday:

Joe Kirk-Woodbury: Shot Put, Discus

Cass Elliott: 300m Hurdles, 200m, 4 x 400m

Rylee Farrison: 400m, 4 x 400m

Alec Maroon: 4 x 400m

Jackson Delaney: 4 x 400m

Abdifatah Jeylani: 4 x 100m

Tom Nguyen: 4 x 100m

Lucas Bower: 4 x 100m

Kahlel Kelley: 4 x 100m

Chloe Cunliffe: Pole Vault, Long Jump

Symmone Davis: 100m Hurdles

The Lake Washington Boys won the meet with 64 points, and the Mercer Island Girls won the meet with 83 points. Full results here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:01 AM: Good morning and welcome to the week before Memorial Day weekend! No incidents reported so far in/from West Seattle.

8:09 AM: Crash on NB I-5 blocking one lane north of West Seattle Bridge.

8:23 AM: Cleared.

West Seattle weekend scene: Highland Park Uncorked’s 10th anniversary

(WSB photos)

Historic Highland Park Improvement Club had a full house Saturday night for the 10th anniversary of their fun and festive fundraiser Uncorked. It’s evolved from its origins as a sort of DIY wine-tasting event, where the partygoers brought the wine, to an event with 10 participating wineries! Along with beverages, appetizers, and good company, an art auction was part of the festivities – here’s some of what we noticed:

Proceeds help keep HPIC in good shape – it’s almost a century old, and hosts numerous events, classes, and meetings. P.S. This year’s Uncorked co-sponsors included WSB.

CONGRATULATIONS! Alki Masonic Lodge honors local high-school students

Alki Masonic Lodge #152 honored 16 public-high-school scholars from around West Seattle this past week. It was the lodge’s 40th annual School Awards Night. Thanks to the parents who shared the news and photos!

The faculty of Chief Sealth International and West Seattle High Schools nominated four junior boys and four junior girls to receive recognition and a gift for outstanding achievement. Chief Sealth student nominees were Thu La, Asata Golash, Olivia Palmer, Isabella Ramsell, Asher Didier, Nollen Paltrep, Kai Bretl, and Grayson Hoffman.

West Seattle student nominees were Reuben Gut, Jackson Espeut, Marlee Bennett, Emma Foulk, Ariana Guerra, Grace Sarver, Jake Jonson, Colin Roman.

One boy and one girl from each high school was also selected by the Masons to be awarded an additional recognition and gift. The winners were Olivia Palmer and Asher Didier from Chief Sealth and Marlee Bennett and Jake Jonson from West Seattle.

Last year’s junior winners from each high school were invited to return to this year’s award ceremony. Those students were Tony Tran and Chandra Burnham from Chief Sealth, and Noe Leon and Rachel Hay from West Seattle. Tony Tran was presented the Alki Lodge Community Scholarship Award.

Also from the event, here is a photo of five Gatewood Elementary alumni, including Worshipful Brother Martin Monk, who led the night’s award ceremony.

From left are Reuben Gut, Jackson Espeut, Martin Monk, Marlee Bennett, Asher Didier. Mr. Monk was one of the first students to be recognized by the Alki Lodge 40 years ago.

In response to our followup question, he explained that, “The Masons of West Seattle are assisted by the principals and counselors of Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School in selecting 8 outstanding students of each Junior class. All of the students are presented with a small monetary token of appreciation, with a larger sum being presented to the Top Boy and Top Girl of each school. In addition, the 4 Top Juniors of 2017 were invited to speak about their aspirations, and one of these students was awarded a Community Service Scholarship. Alki Lodge is very pleased to continue this tradition of support for the public education of our local students.”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Mini-mart hit again; repeat offender back in jail

Two items in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

MINI-MART HIT AGAIN: The police Twitter log shows a commercial burglary early this morning in the 4000 block of California SW, and Casey says neighbors report it was the gas station/mini-mart at California/Andover, again, just two weeks after the last break-in. Items stolen reportedly included thousands of dollars in cigarettes.

REPEAT OFFENDER BACK IN JAIL: Last week, repeat offender Bryan Tiedeman posted bond and got out of jail after five months; he is awaiting trial on four counts of possessing stolen vehicles. Today, according to scanner traffic, he was caught back at or near his former residence in Fauntleroy, and he turned up on the jail register a few hours later, held for alleged criminal trespass. Court documents for the case on which Tiedeman is awaiting trial call him a “prolific auto thief” and say he is a “serial reckless driver when being sought by the police,” adding that police once asked him why, and he told them that “he didn’t like being in stolen vehicles.” The December arrest that put him in jail was in South Delridge; the four stolen vehicles involved in the charges were taken from Admiral, Highland Park, The Junction, and Renton.

P.S. Got neighborhood crime/safety concerns? Your next chance to hear from and talk with local police is Tuesday, 6:30 pm, when the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

BIZNOTE: Stuffed Cakes’ founder says she will close her shop in mid-summer

(WSB photo: Donna Lawson during her shop’s 1st-anniversary party in 2012)

One of West Seattle’s most beloved bakers has announced she will be shutting down her shop. Here’s what Stuffed Cakes proprietor Donna Lawson posted online today:

It’s hard for me to write this, but the time has come for me to make a big ol’ change in my life. When I started Stuffed Cakes in 2010, I was excited to start sharing my love of making deliciously creative cakes with more than just my friends and family. My first year of business was a steep learning curve, but I was able to take my tiny investment, build my customer base and open my first shop a year later – a lifelong dream come true.

I opened my shop a couple of blocks from my house, MY neighborhood, MY shop; a way to really be part of this wonderful West Seattle community I call home. The neighbors that pop in to my shop quickly became regulars that became friends I look forward to see annually, monthly, weekly, or sometimes even more often. I really couldn’t ask for better customers! We’ve laughed together, cried together, shared hugs, stories, and mostly just our lives while nibbling on tasty treats. I’ve watched babies grow into fantastic big kids, and teens grow up to be amazing young adults. I’ve made engagement cakes, wedding cakes, baby shower cakes, baby’s 1st birthday smash cakes, and birthday cakes from then on for families. We’ve made thousands of custom cupcakes for businesses like Google and Amazon, and even more for anyone walking in for that special treat. I have made cakes on national television and even for celebrities as big as Billy Joel! We’ve won award after award, and stood our ground against some of the best pastry chefs in town. We’ve been part of the best days of your life, and even part of your saddest times – and I’m beyond honored that you have counted on us and trusted us to be part of your big moments. I’ve caught myself tear up more than once, realizing I created exactly what I dreamt of – that little neighborhood shop that brings joy to others lives and creates memories that might even last a lifetime.

It’s time I take Stuffed Cakes in a different direction. Some of you know (and most of you don’t) that I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Arthritis – both of which do not do well with long days and body-taxing work. Unfortunately, Seattle is making it harder and harder for micro businesses to flourish. Business owners either end up taking on more and more work, or we have to expand into a kind of business model we don’t want. I need to re-prioritize: more time with family and friends; and most-importantly, more time taking care of my physical self.

What does this mean for Stuffed Cakes? Well, the honest answer is I’m not entirely sure. I know I want to teach and share my art with you. I will be growing my online presence – with videos, more photos on a regular basis and hopefully even in-person classes. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a book!

I’ve gone round and round, over all of my options, and I’ve decided it’s time to close my shop. This has been an incredibly hard decision to make – one I have not taken lightly. I have never been for lack of customers and for that I am truly grateful!

July 28th, 2018 will be Stuffed Cakes Grand Closing party! We had the MOST amazing, supportive Grand Opening in the fall of 2011, and now it’s time to go out with a BANG!, Mostly I just want to have a great time with all of you and give back to my community. More info to come…

So, if you need a cake, get your order in! The last date we’re taking custom orders for is Saturday, July 21st so we can focus on walk-in customers and prepare for our party on July 28th. Starting today there will be a $150 minimum order with a preference given to more elaborate cakes. Most of June is booking up quickly, we’ll be closed the week of 4th of July, and we’re only taking orders for Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from now on so don’t wait to place your order.

If you know anyone looking to buy a turn-key bakery/catering spot, please have them email bakeryforsale98126@gmail.com for more information.

Thank you EVERYONE!
I LOVE YOU!

(Thanks to Sandy for the tip.)

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Kayak/canoe flotilla protesting pipeline expansion

(First 2 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

A Canadian pipeline controversy drew protesters to the waters off West Seattle today. The flotilla was part of a day of sea and land demonstrations against Kinder Morgan, which has a terminal on Harbor Island. The company plans to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline, from the Alberta tar sands to British Columbia, and opponents say that would mean a dramatic increase in oil tankers traveling in waters that are home to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, among other concerns.

Along with the kayak and canoe protesters, who ended up launching from east of Seacrest Pier, there were rallies and marching on land, including at Jack Perry Park along East Marginal, where a participant texted us this photo:

Here’s some backstory on the pipeline expansion, first proposed 4 1/2 years ago, and the controversy.

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: Two more West Seattle photos, shared by David Hutchinson:

UPDATE: West Seattle 5K 2018!

(Photo by David Hutchinson)

9:25 AM: Almost 1,000 runners and walkers (per announcer Eric Radovich) just headed out for the 10th annual West Seattle 5K, a fundraiser for the West Seattle High School PTSA. Our video, via Twitter:

They’re headed to Luna/Anchor Park and back, and Alki/Harbor is closed for the duration; the Water Taxi shuttle is also rerouted.

More updates and photos to come. (WSB is a co-sponsor again this year, as we’ve been every year since the WS5K was launched in 2009.)

10:15 AM: The race is now almost an hour in. We have the top finishers: First in, 31-year-old Evan Williams, at 16:11:

A little over two minutes later, the second finisher crossed the line, 22-year-old Johanna Erickson, at 18:24:

Johanna is a West Seattle Runner employee, WSR’s Lori McConnell tells us. The rest of the top three finishers by M/F:

Males – Ryan Bjornstal, 22, 18:36

Owen Fisher, 27, 18:45

Females – Second, Olivia Willett, 18, 19:20

Third, Regina Joyce, 61, 21:19

10:44 AM: It’s over, and Alki/Harbor are reopening to vehicle traffic. We’ll be adding more photos when back at HQ!

1:12 PM: As promised. Besides top finishers, there was also a prize for first WSHS teacher across the line, and that happened to be Jeff Ursino:

Second was David Bergman.

Many families in the race – strollers abounded:

Dogs too, although it could certainly be tiring:

And banner-bearers reminding everyone what it’s all about:

Linda Rackner was race director for a second year; Amy Doll coordinated volunteers.

ADDED 2:04 PM: Just received this time lapse of the entire event, from John Saalwaechter:

You can see the results online here.

READER REPORT: Driver hits tree on 35th SW

In case you see/saw this on 35th SW in Gatewood, thanks to Camille for the photo and report:

A head on collision with a tree at 35th and Southern. The guy was stunned for a sec then took off. Nobody else in the car so no one was hurt.

At last report, Camille says, police hadn’t found the driver. She says it happened around 6:30 am.

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