West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle people http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:34:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Followup: Mayor tells police to stand down in post-foreclosure West Seattle eviction case of Byron and Jean Barton http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/followup-mayor-tells-police-to-stand-down-in-post-foreclosure-west-seattle-eviction-case-of-byron-and-jean-barton/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/followup-mayor-tells-police-to-stand-down-in-post-foreclosure-west-seattle-eviction-case-of-byron-and-jean-barton/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 03:51:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280164

(Friday photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand: Above, deputies carrying Byron Barton from his home)
New development today in a West Seattle family’s quest to stay in their foreclosed-on-and-auctioned-off home. On Friday, we chronicled a day of tumultuous activity at the 41st/Holly home of disabled veteran Byron Barton and wife Jean Barton, a day that started with King County Sheriff’s Office reps removing them from the house, which they then defiantly re-entered, continuing to keep vigil with local activists. That evening, Seattle Police and the local City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison arrived, but ultimately left after concluding nothing would be done that night.

(Friday evening WSB photo)
This morning, the activists went to City Hall to ask the mayor and council to tell SPD to stand down – several also spoke during open-comment time at this afternoon’s City Council meeting – and this evening, Mayor Murray sent this statement:

We are attempting to understand all options that may exist in this situation and I have asked Chief O’Toole and the Seattle Police Department to stand by while the latest court proceedings unwind.

An interdepartmental team has been working on the issue of foreclosure and how the City of Seattle can proactively connect residents to resources early in the process. I’ve pledged the City of Seattle’s participation in the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness in 2015, and will launch a separate process to address homelessness and increase housing affordability in the months ahead, one of my visions toward making Seattle an affordable city.

“In Washington State, we’ve seen recent victories such as the 2011 Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act, which I worked on closely, designed to help homeowners and their lenders explore alternatives to foreclosure and reach a resolution when possible. I’m committed to working with all stakeholders, using this and other alternatives in the work Seattle does on housing affordability.”

The City of Seattle and Washington State have resources to help homeowners avoid default and work out repayment plans in order to stay in their homes, or gain enough time to sell their homes on their own terms: http://www.seattle.gov/housing/buying/ForeclosurePrevention.htm and commerce.wa.gov/Programs/housing/Foreclosure/Pages/default.aspx

The Bartons have a lawsuit pending, alleging the foreclosure – which had been in the works at least since 2012, according to court documents we have found so far – was illegal. The development company that bought their house in an April auction has sued for “unlawful detainer” – seeking to have the Bartons removed. The situation that led to foreclosure is complicated; while the house has been in Byron Barton’s family for more than 60 years, changes in the family put it back under a mortgage. P.S. How long this will take to play out in the courts is unknown – the civil system doesn’t always move quickly, and the current trial date for the Bartons’ lawsuit (filed in May) isn’t until June of next year.

TUESDAY MORNING, 9:22 AM: A commenter asked about the Sheriff’s Office role/responsibility at this point. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates, who replied:

The eviction was completed and our involvement in serving that eviction order is over.

The legal owners of the house are always able to return to court and get another civil order which would compel our department to act. I’m unaware of any filings or movement on that topic.

Our departments stand is the eviction was completed, anyone reoccupying that house is committing a crime. At least trespass, if not burglary.

It is now up to the local police agency to enforce those crimes.

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West Seattle scene: Protester outside Senior Center http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-scene-protester-outside-senior-center/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-scene-protester-outside-senior-center/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:23:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279673

The controversy over the abrupt firing of the Senior Center of West Seattle‘s longtime director Karen Sisson drew a protester this afternoon. We were in The Junction for something else when we saw Vanessa‘s comment on our followup from last night, saying she was going to go stand on the corner with a sign, so we ran by, and there she was. She says she’ll be there until about 4 pm and will return tomorrow. As first reported here Monday night, Sisson was let go last week by the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services, after 25 years; SS wouldn’t comment on why, but the West Seattle center’s board director David Robertson says he was told it was over a widely distributed e-mail voicing concerns about SS’s planned direction for the center, and the board met to take a vote of confidence in Sisson’s leadership. While the center owns its building/property, its employees report to Senior Services, so the board’s future potential path of action isn’t clear at this point.

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Followup: Senior Center of West Seattle board votes ‘full confidence’ in ousted director http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/followup-senior-center-of-west-seattle-board-votes-full-confidence-in-ousted-director/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/followup-senior-center-of-west-seattle-board-votes-full-confidence-in-ousted-director/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 06:34:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279635 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two nights after reporting on the abrupt ouster of the Senior Center of West Seattle‘s well-regarded longtime director Karen Sisson, we have an update.

SC-WS board president David Robertson had told WSB on Monday that he was awaiting the center’s parent nonprofit Senior Services‘ reply to questions about Sisson’s reported firing by the organization’s CEO Paula Houston.

When we inquired with Senior Services, spokesperson Karen Bystrom would only confirm that Sisson was no longer employed, saying that otherwise, it’s a “personnel matter.” Robertson said he understood it had something to do with an e-mail Sisson had sent “voicing her concerns regarding points brought to (her) attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.”

Today, Robertson told WSB that the Senior Center’s board has met to discuss the situation:

The Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle met in executive session on July 15 to review the termination of Karen Sisson as Center Director.

The Board reviewed the letter of explanation it received from Paula Houston (CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County).

The Board also considered the long-term quality of Karen Sisson’s work.

The Board unanimously voted full confidence in Karen Sisson as Center Director.

As President of the West Seattle Center Board, I can assure you, we will continue to pursue this issue and I will keep you updated as appropriate.

Sisson had been with the Senior Center of West Seattle for 25 years. She has not yet commented publicly on what happened.

The center is a nonprofit facility with a budget of more than half a million dollars per year, one of half a dozen operated by Senior Services, and within that, one of two that own their own buildings. Some of the funding for senior centers, including WS, comes from the city budget.

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Longtime director of Senior Center of West Seattle out; board president ‘demands … explanation’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/longtime-director-of-senior-center-of-west-seattle-out-board-president-demands-explanation/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/longtime-director-of-senior-center-of-west-seattle-out-board-president-demands-explanation/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 04:27:04 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279420 After 25 years, the executive director of the Senior Center of West Seattle, Karen Sisson (WSB file photo at right), is suddenly out. Hearing about this over the weekend, we sought confirmation today from the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services of Seattle, and received it from spokesperson Karen Bystrom. She would not discuss the reason, saying it was a personnel matter. But the West Seattle center’s board president David Robertson had more to say, in this statement tonight:

Without knowledge of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle, and without any consultation with Board Members, Karen Sisson was terminated as Executive Director of the Senior Center of West Seattle on Thursday, July 10, 2014.

She was terminated by the CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County apparently because Karen sent an email to all staff of Senior Services voicing her concerns regarding points brought to Karen’s attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.

I have demanded an explanation by Senior Services of Seattle/King County which I expect by tomorrow evening.

David Robertson
President of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle

Sisson’s achievements as the center’s executive director were detailed in its newsletter earlier this year, including a $3 million capital campaign for renovations and launching popular programs including its Stop ‘n’ Shop store and Rainbow Bingo events. We have not reached her for comment but will be continuing to follow this. Senior Services spokesperson Bystrom told WSB that Lyle Evans is the center’s acting director right now.

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One more note for tonight: Memorial for Karen Sykes http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/one-more-note-for-tonight-memorial-for-karen-sykes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/one-more-note-for-tonight-memorial-for-karen-sykes/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 23:00:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279394 Forgot to mention this in the daily-preview list – as announced three weeks ago, the public memorial for Karen Sykes, the West Seattle writer/photographer/hiking expert who died on Mount Rainier last month, is happening tonight. Here’s the most-recent reminder we received:

A public memorial service for outdoors writer Karen Sykes will be held on the evening of July 14 at the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center in Magnuson Park.

As Mountaineers Books Publisher Helen Cherullo reflected, “Washington’s hikers and climbers were Karen’s community. She paid tribute to those who came before her and became a leader in her own right,” adding, “this will be the hiking community’s opportunity to pay tribute to her indomitable strength and joyful spirit.”

Cherullo, who worked with Sykes on the guidebooks Best Wildflower Hikes – Washington and Hidden Hikes in Western Washington, will give remarks at the memorial service. Attendees are invited to share their stories and experiences with each other starting at 6:30 p.m., with the formal program beginning at 7 p.m.

Sykes died from hypothermia while hiking in Mount Rainier National Park in late June. By sharing advice and hidden hikes through her work with Mountaineers Books, The Mountaineers, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and more, Sykes inspired thousands of people to experience the beauty found in wilderness.

The Seattle Program Center is located at 7700 Sand Point Way NE. The Mountaineers (also) invite those who knew Sykes to share their memories on the Mountaineers website.

Ms. Sykes was 70 years old. She had shared nature photos on WSB, usually via our Flickr group, from time to time, and we published more than three dozen here on the website in the past few years.

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WestSide Baby expands, adding Capitol Hill agency in merger http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/westside-baby-expands-adding-capitol-hill-agency-in-merger/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/westside-baby-expands-adding-capitol-hill-agency-in-merger/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:35:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279369

(Photo added: WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s board members)
Days before one of its biggest donation events of the year – the Stuff the Bus diaper drive, coming up next Sunday (July 20th) – WestSide Baby has big news: It’s expanding, merging with a similar Capitol Hill-based agency. Here’s the announcement:

Thousands of children living in King County will benefit from a new collaboration between WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner, located on Capitol Hill. The Boards of Directors from both agencies unanimously voted to merge the organizations, effective July 11, 2014. This exciting development comes as WestSide Baby is preparing for its largest ever outreach event: the 14th annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive July 20th.

(WSB file photo from past WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ event)
WestSide Baby will continue to operate from its headquarters in White Center, and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner facility in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will remain open under the leadership of WestSide Baby. Baby Corner will operate under the WestSide Baby name while continuing to honor the Baby Corner legacy.

The merger of St. Joseph’s Baby Corner, established in 1988, and WestSide Baby, established in 2001, capitalizes on the strengths of each organization: the St. Joseph’s Baby Corner community’s longevity and loyalty, and WestSide Baby’s operating systems and deep-rooted support. The organizations have very compatible missions serving local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and safety equipment, such as car seats and cribs. Both agencies have operated in partnership with established social service agencies, such as public health and food banks. Combining operations will immediately improve the service delivery to families. More diapers, clothing and safety equipment will reach more local families in need.

The announcement continues ahead, along with more information on how you can help with Sunday’s Stuff the Bus event:

“WestSide Baby serves children all over King County, but we realized two years ago that we were failing many of the struggling children in areas of central Seattle,” WestSide Baby Executive Director Nancy Woodland said. “We began laying the groundwork to improve our systems so we could accelerate growth. While doing this we remained committed to honoring our West Seattle roots and serving the thousands of children living right in this neighborhood and in South King County with critical items such as diapers and car seats. When approached by the Baby Corner Board of Directors, we knew this partnership was exactly the right step to achieve that goal.”

The resulting Board of Directors will include current WestSide Baby directors and add directors from the Baby Corner Board.

The Stuff the Bus diaper drive, which originated in West Seattle, has grown into a regional event, as WestSide Baby will have major donation sites in West Seattle, Burien and, for the first time ever, in Ballard. School buses will be on hand at each major location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 20 to collect donations, and supporters are encouraged to donate new or opened packages of diapers as well as hygiene items, such as wipes and diaper cream. The most need sizes newborn, 5 and 6, and on-line giving is available at www.westsidebaby.org.

WestSide Baby hopes to collect 290,000 diapers for children in need on July 20th. More than 70 individuals and businesses are hosting diaper drives to help fill the buses. More than a dozen HomeStreet Bank and AmericanWest Bank branches are collecting diapers, and 24 King County Safeway stores are offering significant savings while collecting right in their stores throughout the weekend. Several participating drivers are located in eastern King County, and WestSide Baby will partner with Issaquah’s Eastside Baby Corner to collect and distribute diapers collected on the east side.

There are more than 10,000 children under the age of three living in poverty in King County. Many families are forced to choose between buying diapers and paying bills, as diapers are not covered by any government aid programs, including food stamps or Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs. Babies who sit in dirty diapers are more likely to suffer infection, illness and abuse. These children will need at least 22 million diapers per year.

Learn more about the event and see a full list of drive locations at http://www.westsidebaby.org/news-and-events/stuff-bus-diaper-drive-2014.

Stuff the Bus locations:

-West Seattle: HomeStreet Bank, 4022 SW Alaska St.
-Burien: Burien Toyota Scion, 15025 1st Ave. S.
-Ballard: AmericanWest Bank, 2237 NW 57th St.

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West Seattle weekend scene: Local ‘STP’ bike ride http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-weekend-scene-local-stp-bike-ride/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-weekend-scene-local-stp-bike-ride/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:14:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279267

(Photos by Don Brubeck)
While thousands finished the legendary Seattle to Portland (STP) bicycle ride today, dozens of West Seattle riders showed solidarity with their own version. West Seattle Bike Connections president Don Brubeck shares the report:

We had about 30 riders of all ages on the West Seattle STP bike ride today. A beautiful day for a fun ride from SW Seattle Street to SW Portland Street in about an hour, then back to the Junction for West Seattle Summer Fest.

The group included a three-generation family and several “family bikes” or bikes with trail-a-bikes. Ride leader was Stu Hennessey, with help from Al Jackson, Jeff Hallman, and Eric and Michael from Stu’s shop.

See a few more of Don’s photos in the WSB Flickr group pool.

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Happening now: Cancer-fighting all-nighter West Seattle Relay for Life 2014 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/happening-now-cancer-fighting-all-nighter-west-seattle-relay-for-life-2014/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/happening-now-cancer-fighting-all-nighter-west-seattle-relay-for-life-2014/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 02:24:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277708

It began with a lap around the West Seattle Stadium track featuring the participants hailed as heroes – cancer survivors and their caregivers. And with that, this year’s West Seattle Relay for Life was underway as of about an hour ago. More than 20 teams are there for the all-night relay-style walkathon/campout.

They’re raising money for the American Cancer Society, with a goal of $50,000. Some teams and participants have been raising money all year, like tonight’s greeters, the mother-and-daughter team of Gerry and Lauri Cunningham:

Again this year, they made and sold spaghetti dinners to go, and told us tonight that they raised more than a thousand dollars. Just before the kickoff lap by survivors and caregivers, participants heard from organizers including Sarah, who identified herself as a survivor – diagnosed with kidney cancer at age 3, now cancer-free 20 years later: “The money you raise is saving someone’s life,” she said. “It saved mine.” As the night goes on, a long list of activities awaits participants – from the reflective luminaria ceremony at 10 pm (you are welcome to go make your own luminaria in honor of someone fighting cancer or someone who has passed) …

… to lighthearted activities like balloon ping-pong, hula-hooping, and midnight bowling, plus music by “DJ Gary.” It’s participants only from 11 pm to 5 am (some will walk, some will sleep, some will even watch movies) but visitors are welcome the rest of the time. At the heart of it is the walking, whether you’re in costume (like team Answers for Cancers, below) or not:

Tomorrow morning’s schedule includes 8 am yoga and stretches, a fire truck visit at 9 am, the kids’ parade at 10 am, and closing ceremony at 11:30 am. It’s not too soon to start thinking about getting involved next year, either by organizing a team or volunteering to help behind the scenes – more info (and donation links) can be found on the official WSR4L page.

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Update: After more than a day, Vincent has been found http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/have-you-seen-vincent/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/have-you-seen-vincent/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:11:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277393 WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: According to scanner traffic, Vincent has been found in North Delridge, and is with police. *Added*: His mom called us to verify this and also said he was found with an orange bicycle, so if anyone is missing one, let police know.

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FIRST PUBLISHED TUESDAY EVENING, UPDATED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Vincent is still missing, so we’re moving this up. Please call 911 if you see or have seen him.
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ORIGINAL 7:45 PM TUESDAY REPORT: Vincent, a West Seattle resident who is 26 years old and developmentally disabled, is missing, according to a phone call we received from his mom.

He was the subject of a search three and a half weeks ago and turned up outside West Seattle. Today, he left his home at 3 and was supposed to be back at 4 but hasn’t been seen since.

His mom says Vincent is wearing a green tank top and gray cargo pants. Please call 911 if you have seen him.

12:22 PM WEDNESDAY: We checked with Vincent’s mom; he is still missing, and a report is filed with police. One addition to the photo – he wears wire-rimmed glasses.

1:57 PM WEDNESDAY: SPD just tweeted a new photo:

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Memorial planned July 14th for West Seattle author/photographer Karen Sykes http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/memorial-planned-july-14th-for-west-seattle-authorphotographer-karen-sykes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/memorial-planned-july-14th-for-west-seattle-authorphotographer-karen-sykes/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 06:38:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277387 A public memorial has been announced for West Seattle-based hiking writer/nature photographer Karen Sykes. She was reported missing one week ago while hiking on Mount Rainier; last weekend, her daughter confirmed her death, and authorities subsequently determined she died of hypothermia. Ms. Sykes, 70, was known best for her books and columns about hiking, but we also knew her for the many West Seattle nature photos she shared via WSB in the past few years (see her Flickr gallery here). And now there’s word of a gathering to honor her memory:

Celebrate the life and legacy of Karen Sykes at the Seattle Mountaineers on July 14, 2014. Share stories and experiences with friends at 6:30 PM, with a program beginning at 7:00 PM.

Karen Sykes was an inspiration to many hikers as hiking companion, hike leader, columnist, guidebook author and photographer. Even though she is gone, she lives on in her work and in our hearts.

Please send photos of Karen Sykes for incorporation in a slide show to Heidi Walker at fotogirl.heidi@gmail.com

And don’t forget to share reminiscences of Karen at NW Hikers Trail Talk or at
mountaineers.org/blog/karen-sykes-shared-her-love-for-trails-with-thousands.

The Mountaineers is at 7700 Sand Point Way NE.

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Update: Search over for Karen Sykes, West Seattle author/ photographer lost while hiking Mount Rainier http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/search-reported-over-for-karen-sykes-west-seattle-author-photographer-lost-while-hiking-mount-rainier/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/search-reported-over-for-karen-sykes-west-seattle-author-photographer-lost-while-hiking-mount-rainier/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 02:07:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277178 At Mount Rainier, the search for West Seattleite Karen Sykes, a prolific hiking writer and nature photographer, is reported to be over. Regional media says it was called off about three hours ago; posts on NWhikers.net pointed to Karen’s daughter Annette Shirey reporting on Facebook that she had been told her mother was found dead. She had commented on WSB last night that she was on her way here after getting word of the search.

No formal confirmation from Mount Rainier yet but KIRO TV’s Chris Legeros tweeted that “the medical examiner is here.” As noted in our first report Friday, Karen was an expert hiker who had written books about hiking and had been an outdoor columnist for multiple publications. We knew her mostly through her photographs – posted to Flickr with the handle “old desolate,” by which she asked to be identified when we published her photos on WSB. She was reported to have been hiking on the east side of Rainier on Wednesday with her partner Bob, with whom she lived in eastern West Seattle, when she went ahead on Wednesday but never returned to rendezvous with him. Search-and-rescue crews have looked on the ground and from the air these past three days. We will add official information when it becomes available.

SUNDAY MORNING: Authorities have reported recovering a body on Rainier and saying the person was female. This morning, Ms. Sykes’s daughter posted this comment on our previous story saying it was her mom.

MONDAY NOTE: The Pierce County Medical Examiner says Ms. Sykes, 70, died of hypothermia.

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Update: West Seattleites run 80 Seattle stairways in 1 day! http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/happening-now-west-seattleites-running-80-stairways-in-1-day/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/happening-now-west-seattleites-running-80-stairways-in-1-day/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 17:05:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277108

This makes the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon sound like a walk in the park! From Jake Jaramillo of Seattle Stairway Walks:

West Seattleites Michael Yadrick, Doug Beyerlein, and others are running the stairways of Seattle today! Their route covers 100 km and gains more than 11,000 feet of elevation as it traverses 80 of Seattle’s major, 100+ step stairways. They started at Summer Solstice sunrise, 5:12 am in West Seattle at Brace Point. They hope to finish before 10 tonight in Queen Anne.

That’s Michael at right, leading the pack up the Thistle Street stairs in Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy. Jake adds, “Andrew Lichtman, a stairway trekker from Los Angeles, has come up to walk the same route in two days, camping out along the way.” There’s a Facebook page about the event – see it here.

After hearing from Jake but before writing this, we also heard from Creighton, a friend of Michael, who he notes is a city ecologist mentioned here this spring for consulting on a Fairmount Ravine cleanup. Creighton adds that Michael is tweeting about this at twitter.com/yadrick and that there’s even GPS tracking, expected to work until 4 pm or so. We’ll keep an eye on it for potential updates here. Good luck!

9:56 PM NOTE: Jake reports in comments that Michael, Doug, and company made it within the past hour or so!

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Update: West Seattleite Karen Sykes missing on Mount Rainier http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/west-seattleite-karen-sykes-missing-on-mount-rainier/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/west-seattleite-karen-sykes-missing-on-mount-rainier/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:27:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276997 10:27 AM: A photographer and writer from West Seattle is missing on Mount Rainier. If you don’t know Karen Sykes in person or by name, you might know her by her Flickr handle, under which we have run dozens of her photos here on WSB – old desolate.” Her friend Don Geyer e-mailed to say that today is the second day of a search-and-rescue operation for Karen; he says she “was separated from her hiking partner while hiking to Owyhigh Lakes on Wednesday.” According to Don, King County Search and Rescue, “along with other agencies, had 35 SAR personnel searching for her, with the help of dogs and two helicopters. (More search info is in this Tacoma News-Tribune report.) They resumed the search this morning at 8:00 am.” Karen is an experienced hiker who has written books including “Hidden Hikes of Western Washington” and also wrote a weekly hiking column for the Seattle P-I; this June 2004 column was about the area where she is being sought.

3:55 PM: The News-Tribune reports that searchers are still at work but are under orders to stop for the night by 9:30 pm.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Searchers are out again today, report our partners at The Seattle Times.

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Memorial this Saturday for E. Eilene Powelson, 1919-2014 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/memorial-this-saturday-for-e-eilene-powelson-1919-2014/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/memorial-this-saturday-for-e-eilene-powelson-1919-2014/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 16:18:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276902 Friends and family will gather this Saturday to remember 94-year-old ‘Eilene’ Powelson, and are sharing this remembrance:

Evelyn Eilene Powelson, known to family and friends as “Eilene,” passed away on June 16, 2014 at Providence Mount Saint Vincent Nursing Center.

Eilene was born on December 1, 1919 in Bellingham to David and Anna Larson. Early in her life, along with her parents and two younger sisters, they moved from Bellingham to Everett and eventually settled in Seattle before the breakout of WWII.

She met her husband Corden Powelson at the Lutheran Service Center in downtown Seattle 1944. They married on May 3, 1946 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Seattle) with Dr. Stub officiating. Corden preceded her in death on September 19, 2000 after 54 years of marriage. Eilene was a member of Peace Lutheran Church for over 20 years.

Eilene is also preceded in death by her son Vernon W. Powelson (2000) and Sister LaVerne R. Tostenson (1999).

Eilene is survived by her sister Nadine (Claude) Thompson of Seattle; son Richard (Karla) Powelson of Vashon; daughter-in-law Julie Powelson of Port Orchard; three grandsons, Aaron (Jennifer) Powelson of Shelton; Adam Powelson and Erik Powelson of Vashon. Plus, two great-grandchildren, Kyla and Jasen Powelson of Shelton.

Eilene graduated from Lincoln High School on June 14, 1939 and started working at the America Cookie Company, then moved on to Pacific Northwest Bell, which eventually became AT&T. Eilene worked in the accounting department until she retired in 1983.

Eilene loved spending time at the family cabin on Lake Sawyer with family and friends. She also loved to spend time with her three grandsons enjoying their birthdays and making all the holidays special with how she decorated her home for every holiday throughout the year.

The memorial service will be held at Providence Mount Saint Vincent Chapel (3rd floor) nursing center on June 21, 2014, at 1:30 pm with Reverend Eldon Olson and Reverend David Wold, both from Peace Lutheran Church, officiating. The burial will precede the memorial at the Evergreen Washelli Cemetery. Yarington Funeral Home will handle the burial arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Providence Mount Saint Vincent Foundation (4831 35th Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98126) in Eilene’s name for the support and care the staff at the Mount gave Eilene over the last seven years.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

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International competition again this year for underwater-robotics trio AMNO & CO http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/international-competition-again-this-year-for-underwater-robotics-trio-amno-co/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/international-competition-again-this-year-for-underwater-robotics-trio-amno-co/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 19:42:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276605

(AMNO & CO in regional competition, sped up 2.8x)
For the third year in a row, we’ve received an update from AMNO & CO, the local trio that competes in underwater robotics, and again this year, they’ve made it to the international level! Team member Alex Miller shares this update as he and his teammates get ready to head to this year’s competition in Michigan:

Last month, the local Seattle team AMNO & CO qualified to compete in the international level of the MATE ROV competition by winning the Pacific Northwest Regional. (For more information on the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle competition [go here].)

The MATE competition has teams build robots that can accomplish specified underwater tasks. For the team members – Alex Miller, Nicholas Orndorff, and Clara Orndorff – this will be the third consecutive time they have qualified.

At the end of June, the team will travel to Alpena, Michigan, where this year’s tasks revolve around the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is home to many shallow-water shipwrecks. Not only must teams design and build high-performance vehicles; they also must create posters, write technical reports, and give engineering presentations about the design of their vehicle.

An ROV is a vehicle which is driven underwater while being controlled from the surface. This makes them invaluable for underwater exploration and for work in situations that would be dangerous to divers. In the international competition, AMNO & CO will compete against more than 30 regional champions from many states and countries around the world, including Scotland, Russia, Egypt, China, and Indonesia.

The MATE competition uses tasks that relate to real-world events to encourage students to become interested in maritime careers. This year’s tasks revolve around shipwreck exploration and preservation; due to natural and human activities, valuable shipwreck sites in places such as the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary are deteriorating. Among other tasks, the ROVs have to enter simulated wrecks and retrieve specific objects, determine the type of ship and its home port, and take relevant sensor readings from the area. While the tasks are simulated, they mimic the work done by professional ROVs in their attempts to research and preserve what remains of many important wrecks.

The AMNO & CO ROV team is supported by local sponsors, but their project would not have been possible without the generous contributions of the public during the team’s summer bake sales near Alki Beach in West Seattle. Their fundraising efforts have led them to many awards for their work as well as their trips to the international competition. The team would like to thank everyone who contributed and let them know that their support was key to their success so far.

In addition to this fundraising, AMNO & CO member Alex Miller has been using many of the skills that he has learned from building ROVs in order to mentor the robotics club at Lafayette Elementary. The ROV competition has taught him about the value of presentation, collaboration, and documentation in addition to the designing and building process. He has tried to pass that on to the younger kids, setting up a competition, where, in addition to their mission they also had to give a presentation and write programming flowcharts.

The international competition will be in Alpena, Michigan, June 26-28. For more information about AMNO & CO, please visit facebook.com/AMNOandCoROV or contact them at amnoandco@live.com.

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