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VIDEO: Bout time! Southside Revolution’s second of the season

A touch of sorcery on the track tonight at Southgate Roller Rink, during the Harry Potter-themed “House Cup” bout between Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby and visiting Cherry Bomb Brawlers.

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Good crowd at the rink as the skaters faced off – as is a roller derby tradition, the names on their shirts (and the refs’) were not to be missed:

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On the sidelines, baked goods and raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the medical bills of the Brawlers’ beloved “Coach SmartAss,” who died recently after battling cancer.

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We will update later when we get the results.

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SATURDAY: Southside Revolution back on the rink, for bout and benefit

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(WSB photo from Southside Revolution’s December bout)

Saturday night brings the second bout of the season for Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby. The Cherry Bomb Brawlers from Spokane are visiting, and it’s more than a bout – the Brawlers’ coach Ti “SmartAss” Marchand” lost her battle with cancer days ago, and they’re raising money both to cover her bills and to help another coach’s mom. Southside team manager Pamela McCarty sends the reminder:

THE HOUSE CUP, DOUBLE HEADER BOUT! Come watch the Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby positional and full-contact teams mashup with Cherry Bomb Brawlers and Friends. Bout 1 at 5:45 pm will be Southside Revolution Cadets & Friends Mashup. Bout 2 at 7:20 pm will be Southside Revolution Rebels, Cherry Bomb Brawlers, Mob City Misfits and Seattle Derby Brats.

This is a HARRY POTTER THEMED BOUT. The teams will be sorted into their ‘Houses’ at the beginning of the bout with the ‘Sorting Hat’ as per standard with all students of Hogwarts. The team with the most points will win the HOUSE CUP!

Doors at 5:15 pm, 1st Bout at 5:45 pm. $10 General Admission Adults, $5 Children 6-12, Children under 5 are free.

This is at our area’s only roller rink, Southgate, in White Center,

West Seattle Crime Watch: Admiral break-in; stolen mail found; more

In West Seattle (and vicinity) Crime Watch:

THANKS FOR THE TIPS: Received a few about a sizable law-enforcement presence at 15th and Roxbury this past hour. Headed that way and found King County Sheriff’s Office deputies had converged on the gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection. They were searching what one deputy told us was a stolen car; we’ll be following up on our partner site White Center Now.

ADMIRAL BURGLARY: Tyler e-mailed this weekend to share the word about this:

On Wednesday at exactly 12:44 am we had a person enter our property at 53rd and Admiral and break into our garage, stealing wire and several small tools. They then moved a camera out of the way and tried to gain access to a small basement window. They were on site for over 20 minutes.

The house is being sold, so there was no one home and only various tools on site. Police report filed Thursday.

Suspect was wearing black jeans and hooded sweatshirt also in black. He knew there were cameras as face was covered. Had a distinctive large rectangle style back back with straps.

MORE HIGHLAND PARK MAIL THEFT: Shirley in Highland Park wants her neighbors in the 11th/12th/Barton vicinity to “please be aware that there is a lot of mail being taken and thrown on the ground and or put in other mailboxes. On my dog walk this am I found some of my neighbor’s mail in my paper box. This afternoon walking the dog, I found another neighbor’s mail in the alley … Also noticed several mailboxes open along the way.”

STOLEN MAIL FOUND IN SEAVIEW: A reader “found someone’s mail from Ballard (Friday morning) dumped at the corner of 44th SW and SW Graham.” They planned to take it back to the Post Office but added, “I just wanted to let people know to be watchful for thieves using our neighborhood like this.”

FOLLOWUP: B & D Aquarium no longer able to ‘hang on’

January 11, 2016 1:04 pm
|       Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: B & D Aquarium no longer able to ‘hang on’
 |   West Seattle news | White Center

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last June, we checked in with what’s now the area’s only standalone aquarium store, B & D in White Center, after a reader expressed concern for its future. At the time, its owner told us he would “hang on” as long as he could. Recently, multiple readers wrote to tell us it didn’t appear he would be hanging on much longer. We found out they’re right.

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog and White Center Now

Citing a continued “rising costs and lower sales,” the owner of B & D Aquarium says the 44-year-old White Center business will be closing shop for good at some point in the coming weeks.

“You can’t keep losing money every day and stay open,” says P.D. who opened his aquarium-hobbyist shop at 35th and Roxbury in 1972.

Though a sign hanging from a corner of the shop declares that December 31st would be the last day for business, P.D. is still open because he’s trying to liquidate as much of his stock as he can before he’s is forced to vacate the building. In addition to the deep discounts he’s offering on everything in the shop in what the owner calls his “indoor yard sale,” he’s been giving freebies to his loyal, long-time customers to help things come to a close as quickly as possible.

Though B & D was unable to continue to compete, price-wise, with the offerings of online retailers or big-chain pet stores, P.D. and his staff have long been well-regarded by local hobbyists for their expertise, which will the biggest loss to local hobbyists.

“What we’re getting from the customers is that they don’t want us to leave, because they don’t know where they’re going to go,” says Kelly Greer, who has worked at B & D for nearly 30 years. “Their next options are in Burien or Kent.”

Facing the loss of such knowledge and willingness to help, several customers have apparently decided to give up the hobby altogether, knowing how difficult it would be to replace what they’ll lose when B & D finally shutters its doors.

“Yeah, we’ve had about a dozen people give up their tanks because we’re going out of business,” says P.D. “They want to give their tanks to us, but I’ve got a couple-hundred tanks to get rid of already.”

Because they’ve already stayed open beyond what they’d originally planned, P.D. doesn’t know when the true final day will arrive. Though he’d prefer to be able to close shop because he’s successfully cleared his on-hand stock, he knows he’ll likely have to stop before he can liquidate everything completely.

As for his own future?

“I’ll have to start wearing shoes, get a haircut, and look for a job.”

Until they finally close, B & D will continue to open at 10450 15th Ave SW (next to the White Center Eagles) Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Phone service has been disconnected, so you won’t be able to call to see whether they are still there.

Miss Charlestown Café? New home for some of its old favorites at White Center’s just-opened Taradise Café

Story and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“Welcome to Taradise.”

That’s the greeting you’ll see when entering our area’s newest restaurant/bar.

“Tara” is for proprietor Tara Scott, who’s celebrating the grand opening today for her Taradise Café in what used to be Marv’s Broiler at 9808 16th SW in downtown White Center.

Here’s the special attraction for West Seattleites:

If you miss the Charlestown Café – which closed 4 1/2 years ago at the site where the Rally townhouse development is going up – you’ll find some of its legacy at Taradise.

Tara herself, for one, is a Charlestown alum, and has several others on staff.

She tells WSB she’s really excited to have the permission to use some of the Charlestown’s recipes. Her permanent menu is still being finalized, so we don’t have the full lineup, but she mentioned the curried chicken salad, the pancakes, and the clam chowder, for openers.

We asked about the Montana Potatoes, by the way, and she said she has plans for them too – likely under the name Idaho Potatoes, since that’s where she’s from. The restaurant will serve breakfast all day as well as a full lunch menu and rotating dinner menu.

While Taradise Café has a bar – and two pool tables! as well as darts and TVs for sports-viewing – the restaurant is open to all ages. The hours for starters will be 6 am to midnight Sundays through Wednesdays, then 6 am to 2 am Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Family factored into Tara’s decision to open a restaurant now. She explained that she has wanted to do it for a while but needed to wait until she could devote more time and attention to it – one key factor, her youngest child is now at an age where some self-sufficiency is starting to emerge.

So if you’re looking for some place to celebrate New Year’s Eve, the grand-opening/NYE Party is on until 2 am at Taradise. This date holds significance for the location, the proprietor adds, because Marv’s Broiler opened on New Year’s Day in 1976.

YOU CAN HELP! End the year with a few hours of volunteering

December 20, 2015 1:44 pm
|       Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! End the year with a few hours of volunteering
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | White Center

One way to start the New Year off fresh – end the old year by doing a good deed. The White Center Food Bank is asking for help on New Year’s Eve:

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR INVENTORY HELP DECEMBER 31!

Are you available to help weigh and count the inventory of the White Center Food Bank? We start at 9 am and go until it’s done (usually before 2 pm). We will need 5-10 people who can lift 40 pounds. Other tasks that morning include counting and recording. If you can help with this important yearly task, contact Audrey Zemke at audrey@whitecenterfoodbank.org or 206-762-2848.

The WCFB is headquartered at 10829 8th SW.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire in Highland Park leads to search in White Center; car, house break-ins

We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with a story that’s still developing:

GUNFIRE & SEARCH: For the second consecutive afternoon, police are investigating gunfire, with no injuries reported. This time it happened at or near the Seamart store at 16th and Holden. Police we talked to there say that one person was reported to have left on foot northbound afterward while a vehicle described as a green SUV – in which the shooter reportedly was riding – headed south.

What’s believed to be that vehicle has turned up in downtown White Center, on 16th south of Roxbury, but police are still looking for the person believed to have been driving. We’ll update with anything else we find out about this incident.

All that happened as we were putting together a roundup with other reports from the inbox, so on with those:

CAR PROWL ON VIDEO: Mike‘s surveillance camera caught what happened early Monday morning on the street outside his home in the 6300 block of 41st SW:

Mike is a firefighter and says the thief/thieves “got some of my Firefighting gear. Brand new boots (still in the box) and gloves worth about 500. Some DVDs.”

ANOTHER CAR PROWL: Bill says this happened last night near 41st and Barton in Upper Fauntleroy:

After removing Christmas tree from car at 8:30 pm 12/14, I forgot to lock the vehicle. Approximately at 1 am on 12/15, just before going to bed, I was in the kitchen getting a drink. I looked out to where my car was parked, I noticed a pick-up truck suspiciously parked in the middle of the street next to my vehicle. I went out to my car noticed that the driver side door was ajar, and the contents of my glove compartment and middle console compartment were dumped on the seats. Some personal items, a pair of Nike sunglasses ($75) and a tray of coins/change < $5.00. The prowler sped off when he saw me, but I got a pretty good look at the vehicle and have reported its description to the police.

CAR PROWL/HOUSE BREAK-IN CONCERN: Mia at 42nd and Findlay writes, “Over this past weekend, we experienced our 3rd car break-in (we’ve also had a couple home break-ins in the past 5 years). Fortunately, we didn’t have any valuables inside the car, but we’re very worried that we are being watched, or, rather, there is a very shady crew combing our streets on a regular basis.”

PHOTOS: Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby on a roll with season’s first bout

(First 3 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
‘Tis the season for .. roller derby! We stopped at our area’s only roller rink, Southgate, last night during the first bout of Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby‘s second season. The theme – as you might have seen in the preview we published – “Skate Wars,” playing off this coming week’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiere. Note the ref’s handle:

Southside Revolution’s two teams faced off with their counterparts from the Kitsap Derby Brats (in red) from the other side of the Sound. The theme carried on into a bake sale during the bout:

After the younger “positional” teams – Southside Revolution Cadets (ages 8-12) and the KDB Rawkettes – bouted, the older “full contact teams” took the floor:

They are the SSR Rebels (ages 12-17) and the KDB Bomb Squad. Thanks to team mom Lashanna Williams for the photos above and below this line:

Lashanna confirms Southside Revolution won both bouts. (Added – from coach Pam – scores were: SSR Cadets 282 – Kitsap Rawkettes 212, and SSR Rebels 342 ~ Kitsap Bomb Squad 90.) The team launched last year and practices at Southgate.

P.S. For photos of the halftime “Star Wars” costume contest (and more from the bouts), see photographer Jeff Jackson‘s set.

What happens when you mix ‘Star Wars’ and junior roller derby?

You’ll be able to find out this Saturday (December 12th) at Southgate Roller Rink in White Center, when Southside Revolution Junior Coed Roller Derby hosts a “Star Wars“-themed bout just days before Episode 7 premieres. Doors open at 5:30 pm; tickets at the door will be $10 adult, $5 ages 6-12, kids 5 and under free. From the announcement:

Bout one is Southside Revolution’s Cadets battling it out with the Kitsap Derby Brats Rawkettes. The second bout will find the Southside Revolution’s Rebels facing off with the Kitsap Derby Brat’s Bomb Squad.

The game of roller derby is played on quad roller skates with “jammers” scoring points by passing the opposing team’s “blockers.”

Come in costume for a chance to win two opening day tickets to the movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Southgate is at 9646 17th SW.

YOU CAN HELP! White Center Food Bank needs turkeys, volunteers tomorrow

November 24, 2015 7:02 pm
|       Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! White Center Food Bank needs turkeys, volunteers tomorrow
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | White Center

One more day to make sure hundreds of local families can celebrate the holiday with a traditional meal … First, the White Center Food Bank needs more turkeys, and you can bring them by 8:30 am-7 pm on Wednesday. If you can spare some time, they also need help distributing food Wednesday afternoon/evening:

Volunteers needed Wednesday, 4:30-8 pm. It’s holiday distribution time again at the White Center Food Bank and we are currently short volunteers for the afternoon/evening of November 25 to pass out food to clients. We get set up at 4:30 pm. We distribute food from 5:00 to 7:30 pm and then clean up. Families welcome. If you can help, please call Audrey at 206-762-2848 or e-mail audrey@whitecenterfoodbank.org

WCFB is at 10829 8th SW.

VIDEO: Freedom for 13 cleaned-up birds from oiled White Center pond; 61 remain in rehab

Our phone video is the first look at post-cleanup freedom for 13 of the birds captured at the oil-contaminated White Center stormwater-retention pond. A team from PAWS just brought them back to the area and joined state and county reps in opening the carriers and watching them go free. We first reported on the pond problem a week and a half ago; last Friday, the state announced that a WC food-manufacturing business, La Mexicana, had taken responsibility. They say the pond is now clean enough for the birds to return to it safely, but they were released this morning across the street at Steve Cox Memorial Park. As you can see in the video, all 13 brought back by PAWS this morning were mallards; crews have captured 78 in all, a mix of mallards and Canada geese. Four birds did not survive, including two that were euthanized, according to the state Ecology Department.

ADDED 2:20 PM: A few more photos and additional information about today’s release and the cleanup:

Ecology spokesperson Larry Altose says oil-recovery efforts wrapped up at the pond yesterday, as contractor National Response Corporation removed the last cleanup materials. NRC’s subcontractor Focus Wildlife captured the oiled birds and, Altose says, “housed and treated the birds at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society Wildlife Center in Lynnwood,” where, he adds, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife “supplied a bird rescue trailer to provide extra space for the effort.”

Of the 61 birds still in treatment after today’s release, he adds, 27 are mallards and 34 are geese. All four of the birds that died were mallards. A WDFW spokesperson confirmed that this is the largest bird-rescuing operation in our state in some time, in terms of spill recovery.

Meantime, as for the birds released today …

… they were last seen taking a few test flights around the field. If you see oiled or distressed birds, WDFW asks, call 800-22-BIRDS, but don’t “approach or handle the wildlife,” the state asks, adding that “WDFW asks dog and cat owners in the area to keep their pets under control, as oiled birds are less able to escape from animal attacks.”

P.S. In addition to reporting to the state, the federal EPA also tells us they are interested in information about environmental violations – here’s how to report them. (You can also call the local office directly at 206-553-8306.)

Saw the flash? Heard the boom? Big power outage south of here

2:23 AM: Some West Seattleites saw one or more flashes and heard booms about the time more than 4,300 homes and businesses lost power south of here – parts of White Center, Shorewood, Boulevard Park, also a pocket of the southeastern edge of WS at Olson/Myers. We’re covering it on partner site White Center Now but thought we’d mention it here too, because of the sights and sounds. No official word on the cause yet but Seattle City Light says crews are headed toward its Duwamish Substation.

3:39 PM: Most have been back on for some time but City Light spokesperson Scott Thomsen says about 10 percent of those originally affected remain out – he also updated us on the cause: “A tree fell into wires, which caused a fault current that was big enough that it damaged some of the wire. So crews have been working to replace the damaged wire. There are about 450 customers still out. We estimate having them back in service around 4:15 pm.”

FOLLOWUP: White Center company takes responsibility for oil spill; 51 birds affected

(WSB photo from last weekend, as wildlife rescuers capture an oiled Canada goose)
One week after a neighbor noticed oil contaminating a stormwater-retention pond in White Center, the state Ecology Department announced that a food company has taken responsibility. La Mexicana says it was transporting oil that accidentally spilled and will pay the costs of cleanup and wildlife rehabilitation; 51 birds have been captured for cleaning and treatment, says the state, and one had to be euthanized. Full details of the state’s announcement are on our partner site White Center Now.

FOLLOWUP: Another oiled bird rescued at White Center pond

As promised, we went back this morning to the White Center stormwater-retention pond where the state and its contractors are cleaning up what’s believed to be a cooking-oil “spill” (yes, as has been pointed out, it could also have been intentional dumping) and rescuing oiled birds. The Canada goose caught while we were there late Saturday was the first bird captured for cleanup, a state Ecology Department spokesperson told us today, right before they caught a second one:

(Aside from a honk of protest, the goose didn’t resist.) Oiled feathers impair a variety of vital functions for birds, as explained here, including waterproofing and temperature regulation; we learned at the spill scene yesterday that rescued birds would be warmed on site and then transported to PAWS for rehabilitation. We expect to find out more tomorrow about where the investigation of the spill stands and how the birds are doing.

UPDATE: Wildlife experts rescuing oiled birds after White Center pond spill

(Photo added 5:32 pm, looking southward over the pond, toward SW 102nd)

FIRST REPORT, 3:09 PM: Wildlife experts are hoping to help more than a dozen birds struggling with oiled feathers after a spill in a White Center pond. A reader texted us this photo:

King County has sent this news release:

Crews are responding Saturday afternoon to an oil spill that was discovered in a King County stormwater retention pond in White Center.

An estimated 20 to 50 gallons of what is believed to be cooking oil was found floating in the pond, which sits along 13th Avenue Southwest at Southwest 100th Street in unincorporated King County. Lab analysis of the oil will determine its exact composition.

Employees with the Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD) of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks were at the pond this morning, along with Washington Department of Ecology spill response personnel, to assess the spill and determine its source.

An oil-spill response team from NRC Environment was also on site this morning to contain and clean up the oil from the pond. A crew trained in cleaning wildlife was on its way to the pond to capture and clean the estimated 20 waterfowl that appeared to have been in contact with the oily water.

Stormwater system experts with WLRD will look into how the oil got into the retention pond, which accepts runoff from the surrounding neighborhood and helps clean stormwater runoff before it continues downstream to Hicklin Lake.

Shorelines along the White Center pond system have been a focus of cleanup efforts we’ve covered on partner site White Center Now, but usually the problems have been on the shore, not in the water.

5:17 PM UPDATE: We’re just back from the scene, where we talked with a Department of Ecology rep; others on the scene include NRC (spill response) and Focus Wildlife, the contractor there to help with the birds. While we were there, they captured one Canada goose that had been wandering in busy SW 102nd on the south side of the scene, apparently unable to fly because of the oil.

They found out about the oil because of a nearby resident who watches the area and often photographs birds; they haven’t traced the source yet but because of its smell and consistency, they’re fairly certain it’s cooking oil. What looks like a white boom around the edges of the pond is actually absorbent material intended to soak up anything that can’t be cleaned up.

The responders were going to work until it got dark and then return at first light tomorrow. The rescued birds were going to be warmed in a truck on site, and then taken to PAWS for rehabilitation. Besides the wandering goose, we saw a group of ducks milling on the sidewalk along the pond’s western side; the Ecology rep said they’d been there all day.

Most of the oil, he added, was on the north end of the pond.

VIDEO: Deputies ask for help identifying suspects in bus-stop stabbing

5:22 PM: If you recognize any of the men in those surveillance-video images, the King County Sheriff’s Office wants to hear from you. They say these are the suspects in the Sunday night bus-stop stabbing at 15th and Roxbury, an attack that left a West Seattle restaurant worker paralyzed. KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West‘s update has new details:

The stabbing occurred around 6:30 pm near the Bartell Drugs store at 15th Ave SW and SW Roxbury. When police first contacted the victim after he had been stabbed, he thought he had been on a bus with the suspects. During recovery in the hospital, he told detectives that the suspects had not been on the bus. The victim told police he had gotten off the bus and gone to a smoke shop near the Bartell Drugs store. He went back to the bus stop near Bartell’s and was smoking when the suspects bumped into him. He said words were exchanged and an altercation ended with him being stabbed multiple times.

When the first deputy on the scene arrived he found the victim, barely conscious, with a blade stuck in his back near his spine. The victim told the deputy that he could not feel his legs. The three suspects fled on foot southbound and can be seen in the video running away. The victim is still in intensive care at Harborview and is paralyzed as a result of the stabbing.

Detectives are asking for the public’s help identifying the suspects on this video. They are described as three Hispanic males, late teens or early 20s, and had blue bandanas. If you have any information related to this case, please call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311.

As reported here last night, the victim has been identified as Ramon Aspeitia, who works at Shadowland and Ma’Ono in The Junction; his employers and friends put together a crowdfunding drive to help him and his family as he recovers.

P.S. KCSO is working on making the full video clip available – we will add it here if and when that happens.

ADDED 6:12 PM: Two short clips have just been made available, and we’ve uploaded them. In the first one, Sgt. West explains, you’re seeing “when they first flee”:

In the second, Sgt. West says, they start to go back toward the scene, “then run back”:

FOLLOWUP: White Center stabbing victim ID’d as West Seattle restaurants’ employee; community contributions sought

(White Center Now photo from Sunday night)
Two nights ago, on our partner site White Center Now, we reported on a stabbing at 15th and Roxbury in White Center, as King County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives searched for three men who stabbed a 26-year-old after he got off a bus. What we didn’t know until tonight is that the victim is an employee at two West Seattle restaurants. The co-proprietor of one, Ma’Ono’s Marjorie Chang Fuller, forwarded us the YouCaring page that seeks help for the victim’s recovery, with this update:

Ramon Aspeitia is a highly respected and extremely hard working employee at both Shadowland and Ma’ono in the West Seattle Junction neighborhood. He was viciously attacked by 3 men and brutally stabbed in the back on his commute home after work Sunday Oct 25th around 6:30 pm at his bus transfer in White Center. He is currently in Harborview Medical Center, fighting to be stabilized and to regain feeling in the lower half of his body. We are all hoping for a full recovery and he could use your thoughts and prayers at this time. This is gonna take a tremendous toll on his family and of course his 2 children. We’re asking the community to help in any way they can. Every bit will help his family with the medical and monthly bills while he recovers. His family will greatly appreciate anything you can do to help..

Here’s the direct link.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Free concert and film pay tribute to Richard Hugo

Sunday nights are usually quiet on the calendar – event highlights often ending around mid-afternoon. Not tomorrow. So here’s a heads-up if you haven’t already seen this on the calendar: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is presenting a free concert and film, “Some Places Are Forever Afternoon: A Tribute in Music, Words, and Film to White Center’s Richard Hugo,” 6 pm Sunday inside the historic White Center Fieldhouse at Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd). Admission is free, thanks to funding by 4Culture; the concert features pianist/composer Wayne Horvitz (who’s in the video invitation above), who released a Hugo-tribute CD in July. The event also will screen “Kicking the Loose Gravel Home,” an hour-long 1976 film about Hugo, who was just 58 when he died in 1982.

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

September 29, 2015 11:11 am
|       Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Ticket time for White Center Food Bank’s Harvest Dinner and Auction
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | White Center

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

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

UPDATE: Meander’s Kitchen changes management, closes early today, says it will reopen Monday

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Popular diner Meander’s Kitchen in White Center closed early today – about two hours short of its usual 3 pm closing.

That wouldn’t be noteworthy, except for the circumstances: A management change, made with King County Sheriff’s Office deputies standing by, following 12-plus hours of unofficial claims, attributed to employees, that today would be Meander’s last day of operations.

First word of this came with postings in various spots on Facebook late Saturday night/early Sunday morning – including the “posts by others” section of the WSB page – saying that Sunday would be the restaurant’s last day open and urging customers to come show support. We also received a text message to that effect, saying the staff was opening the restaurant in hopes of making enough money to cover payroll and vendors. By morning, this sign was up at the restaurant (several people texted us the image):

Patrons told us employees were also telling them personally that it was closing. Contacted via Facebook, restaurant founder Miranda Krone – working out of town as a maritime chef – told us that was definitely not true, and that a new general manager/partner, Afton Larsen, who had been part of Meander’s operations in its early West Seattle days, would arrive at the restaurant later in the day to sort things out.

Larsen also contacted us directly to say she would be at the restaurant “this afternoon to talk with staff in person and keep our doors open.” And a post on the restaurant’s official FB page echoed, “We are NOT closing”:

We had planned to check in by mid-afternoon – and then came a text from a patron about the arrival of deputies, around 1:15 pm, with diners being told that service was ended for the day (regular daily closing time has been 3 pm). That accelerated our plan to go check on the situation. WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand was told on arrival that the deputies were there to ensure an orderly transition, but that there was no trouble and no one had been arrested.

Some employees say their paychecks had bounced, but so far, no one has reported filing a complaint with state Labor and Industries. Larsen (photo below) told us she was just starting to go through the books so didn’t know the status of the restaurant’s accounting yet.

She said some of the current staff has agreed to stay on; she said she hopes Meander’s will be open tomorrow, usual hours, but if circumstances make that infeasible, they would expect to reopen by midweek, potentially with limited service until things are straightened out.

Meander’s first opened in January 2011 in the tiny ex-Jade West Café north of Morgan Junction. Its popularity led Krone to seek a new, larger space, and Meander’s moved to its first White Center space in fall 2012. That turned out to be a bit too big, she said, moving the restaurant to its current space at 9809 16th SW in late summer 2013.

6:54 PM UPDATE: Via e-mail, Larsen says, “We will be open from 10-3 tomorrow running a limited menu with a skeleton crew.”

11:25 PM UPDATE: As discussed in the comment section, while a variety of allegations/rumors continue flying here, we don’t report what can’t be substantiated/verified, until and unless it is. One thing we did verify a short time ago, after some difficulty getting into online court records: An unlawful-detainer (potential eviction) complaint was initiated against the restaurant in late June by the previous tenant from whom they sublease. A hearing date was set for July 10th but online records do not indicate any court action taken then or since. We are seeking clarification from the new management on whether that means it’s been resolved.

11:19 AM MONDAY: Owner Krone responded via text that the rent is now current and resolution of the case is being negotiated by lawyers. Asked if there was any chance the restaurant would be evicted, she replied, no.

TOMORROW: Fireworks show launches White Center Jubilee Days

Every year we publish a reminder about the White Center Jubilee Days fireworks show, in case you want to go see it, or just want to be forewarned about the booms in the distance. This year’s show is tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 15th) at dusk, at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center (1321 SW 102nd), where it’ll also be the first night of the Jubilee Days carnival.

Cannabis crackdown: County, state target ‘unlicensed’ marijuana businesses in unincorporated area; City Council discussion ahead too

Tomorrow morning in White Center, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg and King County Sheriff John Urquhart plan to brief the media on what their advisory describes as an “effort aimed at closing down unlicensed marijuana businesses operating in unincorporated King County,” which includes WC. Sources tell us they’ve already been circulating letters to some of those businesses. Some unincorporated-area community advocates have long been expressing concern about the proliferation of medical-marijuana enterprises in North Highline, particularly White Center; it’s been a frequent topic at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meetings, including one we covered in April. This follows passage of a new state law requiring that medical marijuana be handled as a sideline in state-licensed recreational-marijuana shops. (One of the latter recently opened in downtown White Center.)

Here in the city, Seattle is moving toward a crackdown of its own – the issue is, in fact, on the agenda for the City Council’s Finance and Culture Committee tomorrow afternoon.

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