FOLLOWUP: Generous West Seattleites help kindhearted local students assist animal advocates

August 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm | In Pets, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

For the third year in a row, generous West Seattleites helped those two local students do a good deed for animals via their annual Seattle Humane-benefiting bake sale and donation drive. We photographed Muriel and Gwen on Sunday; David and Carey sent the followup tonight:

The girls raised over $300 and got nearly a full barrel of dog and cat food! West Seattle is awesome :)

Reader report: West Seattle fifth-grader’s half-marathon with dad

August 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

Big day for running! Just in from California – that photo and an update on young half-marathoner Miles Trius:

Miles Trius of West Seattle runs with dad again – at Santa Rosa (CA) 1/2 marathon this morning. He ran at 2:10:37. Running with his dad, Navy Chief Ernesto Trius, has become bonding time for father and son. Miles will start 5th grade at Our Lady of Guadalupe School.

Last December, as shown here, they ran the Seattle Marathon half.

Congratulations! Honors for West Seattle’s Boy Scout Troop 282

August 15, 2015 at 4:13 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

The photo and report are from Kevin McMahan:

West Seattle’s Boy Scout Troop 282 completed their annual summer outing at Fire Mountain Camp near Mount Vernon. The boys received the distinct recognition of Honor Troop, took first place in the camp wide Lake Challenge challenge, and won Best Baton design competition. The boys spent the week working on merit badges, team work, and honing their outdoor skills.

Troop 282 has a long history – going back into the 1940s.

Celebration of life next Sunday for Robert Markley, 1918-2015

August 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

A celebration of life is planned one week from today for Bob Markley, whose family is sharing this remembrance:

Robert “Bob” Markley, born in Montrose, Colorado, on March 2, 1918, passed away peacefully on July 30, 2015 – a full 97 years of life.

Bob grew up in the Richmond Highlands, graduated from Lincoln High School in 1936, and rose to Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After serving as the cook at the Perry Institute in Yakima, he settled in West Seattle, where he was an over-the-counter butcher, real-estate agent, tugboat cook, and public-health inspector. His passion was remodeling old homes, including the three he provided for his family. His diligence, tenacity, and enthusiasm conquered every challenge (including a midlife paralysis), making lifelong friends and acquaintances along the way.

Bob is survived by Bette, his wife of 72 years; his daughter Shannon, his sons Scott (Sally) and David (Jeanne), and his grandson Galen.

A celebration of his life will be held at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW) on Sunday, August 16, 2015, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to The Kenney Foundation for the Resident Care Fund, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136-2008.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering lifelong West Seattleite Earl M. Mickelson, 1925-2015

August 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

Earl M. Mickelson, a West Seattle native and lifelong resident, has died at age 89. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:

Earl passed away at home at the age of 89 on July 31st. He would have turned 90 in September.

Earl was born to Christian and Martha Mickelson, both descendants of Norway, at West Seattle hospital. Earl spent his entire life in West Seattle; he was a graduate of West Seattle High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946. He served for 27 years as a Seattle Department firefighter, retiring in 1974. Earl was very proud of his Norwegian heritage. He loved West Seattle and, after retirement, boasted about having no reason to cross the West Seattle Bridge.

Earl enjoyed time spent with his family and his many neighbors that he grew so fond of. For many years he was the neighborhood Block Watch captain. He took pride in his work overseeing the neighborhood and actually kicked a neighbor’s door down to save the life of a woman who collapsed and was trapped in her home.

Earl was very generous in donating to many charities over the years. He was the elder statesman for both the West Seattle Yacht Club and West Seattle Eagles. He was a longtime member of the American Legion. Earl is survived by his lovely wife of 65 years, Sylvia, whom he met on Alki Beach; his three children, Susan Scott (Daniel), Chris Mickelson (Kimberly), Bart Mickelson, and his four grandchildren, Shawna Clark (Steve), Christiana (George), Trine and Tristen Mickelson. Earl is survived by sister-in-law Beverly Alger and many nieces and nephews. His brothers and their spouses Kris (Janet) and Kenny (Marian) Mickelson are deceased. He was looking forward to his first great-grandchild, expected in February.

Earl’s feistiness and humor continued to the end and he will be missed by all his family and friends. He was always very macho and gruff but deep down he could be very compassionate and kind. He is remembered to many as a wonderful father, grandpa, father-in-law, firefighter, neighbor, husband, and friend. We want to thank his family and many caretakers over the past years and especially Mary Ikua (who referred to Earl as the commander), Maureen, and Susan (his most recent caregivers) and his neighbors, along with Station 29 of the Seattle Fire Department, for all their service over the years.

A celebration of life is planned at a later date. Services will be private. Memorials may be sent to the Medic One Foundation.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering Charla Mustard-Foote, 1945-2015

August 7, 2015 at 8:59 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

“Today we lost another of our own.” So wrote a WSB Forums member last weekend, sharing news of the sudden passing of longtime participant/contributor Charla Mustard-Foote. The sentiment goes for the wider community as well; here is the remembrance Ms. Mustard-Foote’s family is sharing:

Charla Mustard-Foote passed away at her home in West Seattle on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Charla was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 12, 1945. She was the only daughter of Charles Foote and Velma Mustard. K-12 education occurred in Cambria, Michigan, and she graduated from the University of Iowa, in 1970 with a degree in Journalism.

After college, Charla worked as a reporter for several newspapers in the Midwest. In 1979 she moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, to work for the Digital Equipment Company in Boston as a Technical Writer, eventually becoming a Documentation Manager. She worked for several computer companies in the Boston area after that, moving to Sun Microsystems in 1993 as a Lead Technical Writer. At Sun, she rose through the ranks of management, transferred to Cupertino, California, in 1994 and was appointed Director of Product Integration in the company’s development group in 1998.

She met her husband, Robert Shields, in 1996 and they married in 1997. Together they moved to West Seattle in December 1999 so Charla could take a position with, then for the supercomputer manufacturer Cray Inc. Charla started her own consulting firm in 2003 and retired in 2010.

She was a busy professional woman, but she was an avid fan of blues and rock and roll. A voracious reader, she accumulated nearly 3,000 books. She was a Red Sox fan through and through, before changing her loyalty to the Mariners. Of course, the Seahawks were her favorite, even when they played the Patriots.

She is survived by her husband; her stepson Aaron Shields and his spouse Jennifer; and three grandchildren: Cole, Connor, and Katri Shields.

A memorial gathering will be held at a place and time to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Heifer International, Arbor Day Foundation, or a charity of your choice.

Please share your memories of Charla in the online guestbook at

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Memorial planned next Friday for Linda Ann Heimbigner, 1943-2015

August 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

Linda Ann Heimbigner will be remembered in a service at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Friday. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:

Linda Ann Heimbigner, 72, of West Seattle, passed away on Monday, July 27, 2015, as a result of a long battle with cancer. Friends and family were by her side as the Lord called her home.

She was born on February 3, 1943, in Seattle to William and Constance Baccetti. She graduated from Holy Rosary School in West Seattle back when Holy Rosary was a grade school and high school combined. During her high-school years, she lost her father to a heart attack and later her mother to cancer. She continued to care for her brother, Fred, until he passed away in 1976. After high school, Linda went to work for the government. It was during this time she met Don Heimbigner. They were married on September 16, 1967.

Linda devoted much of her time to caring for her family and friends. She worked in the front office of Our Lady of Guadalupe School while her children attended school there. She passionately supported her children’s activities, especially soccer, which often included endless fundraising for travel throughout the Washington State, the U.S. and even Europe. She also loved to bake for her friends and family, never missing a special occasion.

She is survived by her husband of almost 48 years, Don; her children, Gina, John, and Joe; and her 5 grandchildren, Andrew, Gabriel, Nathan, Angelica, and Jordan. Her funeral will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West Seattle on August 7, 2015 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

What a ride! West Seattleite Joel Kampf arrives on Alki after pedaling cross-country for World Bicycle Relief

July 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 15 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
Joel Kampf just arrived home from a bike ride. A big bike ride – 4,500 miles. A big bike ride with a big achievement, raising money for World Bicycle Relief. And he got a big welcome:

Joel’s wife LaVonne Dorsey and friends showered him with champagne as he turned onto 53rd SW to head home. He’s been on the road for more than two months (read his chronicles here), so hugs and kisses were in order too:

Thanks to LaVonne for letting us know so we could be there for Joel’s big arrival. She shared this information about his ride for World Bicycle Relief, which started May 14th in Williamsburg, Virginia:

The goal is to bring bicycles to the developing world as engines for economic and cultural empowerment.

Having built and distributed over 230,000 bikes this year, their Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students (70% girls), teachers and education workers in rural Africa. With the ability to save time and shorten distances between schools and villages, the program dramatically improves grades and attendance rates after students receive bicycles. Other programs include a Healthcare effort that helps workers who would walk over 4 miles a day to visit four patients, visit 18 patients in a single day; (also) micro-finance, Environmental and social enterprise programs.

For $147, we can provide a World Bicycle Relief bicycle to a student in need. Every donation helps. Seattle is one of the most successful and supportive bicycle commuting cities in the country and we also realize the importance of cycling for recreation and good health.

Even more friends and family were waiting at Joel and LaVonne’s house for a welcome-home party. You can still donate, by the way, even though his journey’s done – here’s how.

Memorial planned next week for Robert ‘Bob’ Kacel, 1948-2015

July 27, 2015 at 6:43 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

A memorial is planned Tuesday, August 4th, for Bob Kacel, who died earlier this month at 66. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing:

Robert (Bob) Ernest Kacel, 66, passed away at home on July 10, 2015 after a long illness. Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 18, 1948.

He graduated in 1966 from Osborn High School and continued on to receive a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Michigan in 1971.

Bob was married to Rebecca Kleen on August 12, 1972. They were married 42 years. Bob worked as an architect for the University of Michigan and then the State of Washington over a career of 44 years. He enjoyed a lifelong hobby of creative model-making and creating dioramas for which he won many awards. Bob was also actively involved in the Lutheran and Episcopal churches, and was a member of the Alpha Rho Chi Fraternity.

Bob is survived by wife Rebecca Kleen Kacel, daughters Melissa Kacel and Julia Kacel, grandchildren Adelle and Dane Leatherwood, brother Richard J. Kacel Jr., sisters Patricia Fischer, Nancy VerWest, and Cheryl Ahlborn, as well as other family and friends. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Richard J. Kacel and Gladys E. Kacel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Swedish Cancer Institute and sent to Swedish Medical Foundation, 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA, 98122.

The memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on August 4 at St John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California Ave SW, Seattle.

Please go here to see more pictures and to sign the online guest book.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

LETTER: Think before you honk – someone might need help

July 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 43 Comments

The WSB Forums are the usual place for standalone first-person rants/raves/opinions not linked to WSB news stories. But Jeannette‘s e-mail troubled us enough on multiple levels that we decided to share it here on the front page:

I was in an accident on Friday July 24th around 9 a.m at the intersection of Admiral and California. My new car of 4 days was rear-ended by a big construction-size dump truck while I was stopped at a red light.

The truck pushed me out a bit and I was hit in such a way that it was hard to move the car right away, I tried to get it together to get the car out of the way, and pull to the side. In doing this I was shocked at how many West Seattleites honked their horn sometimes leaning on it for me to get it out of the way. I couldn’t move and couldn’t drive very well and needed help; my car was badly damaged so it was obvious it was bad. Not one person stopped to see if they could help me in some way. I would do that in a heartbeat.

I have lived in W.S for 16 years and thought of it as a community, not so much right now. I needed an ambulance to take me to the hospital and am still in shock over all the people’s reactions, that I seemed to have interrupted their day.

I was hoping I could post to remind people to think of others and stop for a few minutes to help those that need it. 5 minutes won’t kill anyone. I can’t imagine driving by an accident like that and not stopping to offer assistance.

(We asked Jeannette how she’s doing now: Out of the hospital, she said, but still with a lot of neck and back pain.)

Memorial next Tuesday for Dolores ‘Dee’ Barnecut, 1926-2015

July 23, 2015 at 11:43 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

A memorial is planned next Tuesday for Dolores Barnecut, who died two weeks ago at 88. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:

Dolores M. Barnecut succumbed to cancer on July 9, 2015, surrounded by her family.

“Dee” was born in Seattle on July 26, 1926, and was the only daughter of the late George and Margaret Anderson. She graduated from West Seattle High School, Class of 1944, and she married her high-school sweetheart, Richard J. Barnecut, in 1947. Dick and Dee lived in West Seattle for the entirety of their 68-year marriage.

As the consummate wife, mother and homemaker, Dee was always in your corner and selfless in her commitment to those she loved. She was a happy person, humble to a fault, and she presided over a happy household.

Dee was a longtime member of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle, where she served on the altar guild. The family vacation home on Hood Canal was a special place for her. She was a loyal fan of Husky football and held season tickets for almost fifty years. As the nest emptied, Dee had the opportunity to evolve and nurture her artistic side, and she developed into an accomplished and prolific watercolorist.

Dee will be remembered for her devotion to her family, her sense of humor, and her tenaciously positive outlook on life. She was a purveyor of unconditional love before that term became fashionable, and she gave her children what all parents must: roots and wings. Mom was tired at the end but she faced her final illness pragmatically and with her characteristic wit, dignity, and toughness. She will be missed and never forgotten.

Dee is survived by her husband, Richard, four adult children and their spouses: Margaret (Paul) Abrahamson, James (Jamie) Barnecut, Mary Ellen (Ron) Smulski, and Andrew (Lisa) Barnecut. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Tom Smulski, Jill Smulski, Jenny Abrahamson, Rachel Barnecut, Nick Barnecut, and Angelina Barnecut.

A memorial service honoring Dee’s life will be held at St. John The Baptist Episcopal Church on Tuesday, July 28th at 3:00 p.m. with reception to follow at the parish hall. The church is at 3050 California Avenue SW. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the charity of your choice. Sign Dolores’s online Guest Book at and/or at

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Remembering ‘Big Steve’: Celebration of life Saturday for Stephen B. Murray, 1944-2015

July 21, 2015 at 9:00 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

A celebration of life is planned in West Seattle this Saturday for Steve Murray, whose family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Stephen B. Murray, 70, passed away on July 6, 2015 at the UW Medical Center in Seattle, with the love of his life, Linda Mae, by his side.

Steve was born in Chicago on December 28, 1944 in the elevator at the hospital.

He left Chicago and moved to Seattle in 1968. Steve began his 40-year career in the natural gas industry in 1969 at the Washington Natural Gas Company, later to become Puget Sound Energy. The last 9 years of his career were spent at Pilchuck, a gas service provider.

Steve was an easy-going, very likable man, always quick with a clever quip, or a smart remark. His sense of humor could defuse many a situation. He never realized how many friends he really had.

Although a devoted Seahawks and Mariners fan, he never masked his love for the Chicago Blackhawks, and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan. When asked about the Cubbies, he used to say “someone’s gotta love ‘em.” He followed up his Cubs devotion with a bright blue and red tattoo on his arm of their logo. Watching hockey was a favorite pastime, and he always enjoyed golfing, and took more than a few golfing road trips.

But the true loves of his life were his family. And it was an extensive one, spread from coast to coast.

Steve is survived by wife and best friend of 34 years, Linda; his daughters, Jennifer (Johnson) and her husband Mike, Amanda (Mason) and her husband Doug, and son Spencer and his wife Jessica (Sutyla), as well as 7 grandchildren.

He leaves behind his siblings, brother Mike and sister-in-law Judy, sister Mary Pat (Arostegui) and brother-in-law Vince, brother Mark, brother John and sister-in-law Connie, sister Maureen (Carlson) and brother-in-law Mark, and brother Matthew and sister-in-law April (Cody). Stephen also leaves many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, John and Patricia, and his oldest brother, Jerry, in 2014.

A Celebration of Life will be held in West Seattle on Saturday, July 25th, from 12 – 3 p.m. at 6040 California Ave SW.

Please come, share your condolences, share a story, share your favorite Steve(ism), and share a laugh.

If we could all be as nice to people as Big Steve was, the world would be a better place.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Congratulations! West Seattle’s Alina Guyon chosen to become a Girl-Up Teen Advisor

July 20, 2015 at 9:52 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

That’s Alina Guyon, a West Seattleite chosen by the United Nations Foundation to be a Teen Advisor for Girl-Up. She is one of 20 girls chosen, and the only girl from Washington State. More about what she’s doing:

Girl-Up advocates for adolescent girls in developing nations; they focus on the countries where it is hardest to be a girl. They stress the importance of education for girls, health and safety.

To become a teen advisor, a girl first needs to be nominated by someone from outside her family. A letter is submitted to describe why the applicant would be a good candidate, and describes her past experience advocating for girls in developing nations. Girl-Up then selects 100 girls to complete an extensive application, including essays, videos and photos.

Why focus on adolescent girls? Statistics show that investing in girls between the ages of 12-15 has tremendous long-term benefits. A girl who is educated is less likely to be married as a child; she will have a better income and can provide for her family. She is more likely to value education for her children, which breaks the cycle of extreme poverty. Adolescent girls are agents of change.

Alina’s first task was to travel to Washington DC for a United Nations Leadership Summit. She even met First Lady Michelle Obama after her talk supporting Girl-Up. In the coming year, Alina will advocate for policy change on behalf of adolescent girls, meet with our state representatives and senators, and encourage students to start Girl-Up clubs. Girl-Up clubs meet to raise awareness of girls rights and support girls who need it the most.

If you are interested in learning more, go to Contact if you have any questions or are interested in starting a Girl-Up club.

‘Music is worthwhile’: Donn Weaver, who proved that for decades, to accept Orville Rummel Trophy at tonight’s Concert in the Park

July 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm | In West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

(At right in our video, Donn Weaver directing the WS Big Band at 2013′s Concert in the Park)

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.” – President Obama

When Donn Weaver, the 2015 recipient of the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community, received as a seventh grader the gift of a trumpet from his older brother, he certainly could never have imagined he would someday be honored for sharing his love of music with the West Seattle community.

Yet, honored shall he be, at tonight’s Hi-Yu Concert in the Park featuring the West Seattle Big Band, an organization for which Weaver served as director from its inception in 1996 until stepping down this past winter, and then he’ll carry the trophy in this Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, whose committee chooses the honoree.

The band initially was formed as a collection of a “baker’s dozen” of band alumni brought together to play at a West Seattle High School reunion.

“They asked for a band to play, so we contacted as many former members as we could. We had a rehearsal and played the reunion,” recalls Weaver. “At the end of the reunion, they got together in a huddle in the lunchroom and they told me they decided they wanted to have the band keep going. So I thought, “Well, we’ll just make it into a swing band,” and it’s been going ever since.”

The all-volunteer band quickly grew into the 18-piece unit that has been entertaining crowds throughout West Seattle ever since, while also raising thousands of dollars for the music programs of local public schools.

Born in Onalaska in southwest Washington, Weaver first arrived in Seattle to attend the University of Washington. where he earned his BA in music education in 1954. His career eventually brought him to West Seattle High School, where he taught from 1966 until 1978.

When Weaver first started at WSHS, there were just eleven students in the band. By the time Weaver moved on to new challenges, taking him to Franklin, Rainier Beach, and Ingraham high schools, the program was flourishing with more than 80 members.

“It was phenomenal how it blossomed,” says Weaver, downplaying his own role in helping build the school’s program. “High-school kids love a challenge.”

One person who does not underestimate Weaver’s contributions to not only the WSHS program, but also to the community at large, is former student Jim Edwards, who worked closely with Weaver in the West Seattle Big Band before succeeding his mentor as its director (he’s also a Rummel Trophy recipient, with wife Barbara Edwards, in 1998).

“Donn’s years at West Seattle High School, while a paid position, are not representative of your normal band director,” says Edwards. “He had a record of building strong programs wherever he taught. In 1978, his last year at West Seattle, his combined instrumental performing groups had a total of 72 performances out of a 180-day school year.”

It was Edwards, a member of the West Seattle Parade Committee and longtime co-coordinator of the parade, who nominated Weaver for the Orville Rummel Trophy before recusing himself from the decision-making process due to the long-term personal ties between the two men that has spanned several decades.

“When I first knew Jim, he was in elementary school and in the summer music program,” says Weaver. “I used to get a kick out of him because the trombone he played was bigger than he was!”

While there may be no more-fitting testimony to Weaver’s legacy than to have a former student nominate him for a prestigious community award while also continuing his work with the Big Band, Weaver always defers to the power of the music to move young and old alike, as seen repeatedly at his many performances.

“Music is worthwhile,” says Weaver. “If someone asked me to prove it was worthwhile, I wouldn’t know what to tell them, but I have seen it.”

You can applaud Donn Weaver for his decades of community service at tonight’s Concert in the Park – again, 7 pm, east lawn of Hiawatha (2700 California SW, but the concert’s on the Walnut side), free! – and when he rides in the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday, starting 11 am from California/Lander and proceeding southbound along California to the south end of The Junction at Edmunds.

ABOUT THE ORVILLE RUMMEL TROPHY: It’s named after the man who founded the parade in 1934, Orville Rummel – lots of background in the story we published the year we were honored with it, in 2010. The award was first presented in 1984. Click ahead for the full list of recipients from 1984 through 2015:
Click to read the rest of ‘Music is worthwhile’: Donn Weaver, who proved that for decades, to accept Orville Rummel Trophy at tonight’s Concert in the Park…

VIDEO: Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen vows to continue fight for federal recognition

July 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 10 Comments

Six days after the federal government announced it was again denying recognition to the Duwamish Tribe – as reported here last Thursday – Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen declared today that they will continue to fight for it. She led a media briefing today at the tribe’s West Seattle longhouse; our video above shows it, unedited. Hansen has led the tribe for 40 years; she spoke of the treaty the tribe signed 160 years ago, saying “When we signed that treaty, we did not give up sovereignty. … We seek justice, and we continue to seek it.” She said she feels especially let down by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, a former West Seattleite whose department includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which issued last week’s decision. According to Hansen, they’ll be meeting later this month with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, and are continuing to review legal documents from along the way in their long battle for recognition – granted by the Clinton Administration, overturned by the Bush Administration, now rejected by the Obama Administration. A letter-writing campaign is under consideration as well. “We’re not going to give up,” she declared. “I think there should be an uprising of the citizens of this city that their indigenous people are not being recognized by the federal government.”

FOLLOWUP: Congratulations to AMNO & CO for big win at international ROV competition!

July 3, 2015 at 9:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 4 Comments

They’re back, and they won! The local trio AMNO & CO, who’ve been sharing their stories of international marine-tech competition here for the past few years, won first place in their division this year. Alex Miller (above right) – who’s one-third of AMNO & CO, along with (from left, above) Nicholas Orndorff and Clara Orndorff - shares the details, and a challenge:

We are pleased to let you know that at last week’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International 2015 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition, AMNO & CO received first place in the Ranger (predominantly high school) division.

This competition included 31 Ranger teams from over 10 different countries.

The international venue at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada was very unique in that were three different tanks, including a flume tank with current, a tank with waves, and a tank covered with a layer of ice. In each of these tanks, there were a set of separate mission tasks, faced by scientists and industry professionals working in the corresponding extreme environmental conditions in the Arctic.

While AMNO & CO had practiced extensively in swimming pools, piloting in the unusual competition conditions posed unique challenges. In the ice tank, the team had issues with buoyancy due to an EGADS solution (ethylene glycol, aliphatic detergent and sugar) which was dissolved in the water. In addition, bubbles stuck under the ice sheet, as well as the ice sheet itself, obscured visibility.

In the flume tank, the team struggled to keep their vehicle in their designated station, as the ROV with its large surface area was greatly affected by the current. Despite these difficulties, the team used quick problem solving skills and well-practiced driving in order to confront the issues.

High scores in AMNO & CO’s poster, presentation, and technical report were also important contributors to their winning overall score. This communication element of the competition serves a very important role, honing speaking and writing skills as well as allowing teams to connect with members of the industry, who serve as competition judges, getting a feel for what a marine-technology career really entails.

In addition to the overall first-place Ranger division award, AMNO & CO also received awards for excellence in safety, and design elegance.

For the team, this was the culmination of six years participating in the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional event and four years competing in the MATE International Competition, which is held at a different location each year.

AMNO & CO would like to encourage other teams to get started in the Seattle area: MATE is a great competition that fosters independent thinking, creativity, and a diverse fusion of different branches of engineering which must be integrated individually. Feel free to contact AMNO & CO at or for more information.

UPDATE: Duwamish Tribe’s bid for federal recognition rejected again; tribe’s chair vows to ‘prevail after all’

July 2, 2015 at 3:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 17 Comments

ORIGINAL THURSDAY REPORT: The U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has again told the West Seattle-headquartered Duwamish Tribe that it does not qualify for federal recognition. The decision (first reported locally by KUOW) was announced in this BIA news release and spelled out in this 95-page document that accompanied a letter to Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen. This means that the tribe has now been denied recognition under 1978 and 1994 rules; while Interior declares its decision final, it coincidentally has just announced another change in the recognition rules. Today’s decision traces back to a federal judge’s ruling in 2013, telling Interior to re-review the Duwamish Tribe’s petition. We contacted the tribe for comment and were told they’re waiting to review the decision before commenting; a media briefing is expected next week. (WSB file photo of Duwamish Tribe chair Cecile Hansen, from April 2015 Duwamish Alive! event)

ADDED FRIDAY: We did hear back from Cecile Hansen via e-mail today. Her reaction: “It is a major shock, but after 40 years of proving our case, and why, when I was attacked for trying to defend all Duwamish people in this country, we will prevail after all – does the city of Seattle remember that our tribe welcomed the settlers before treaty times. It is our history and no one in DC can change that part!”

Hot job tip: Seattle Fire Department is recruiting in a big way

June 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

The mayor and fire chief came to the southeastern edge of West Seattle today for what amounted to one big “Help Wanted” ad. During the event at the Joint Training Facility, new Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said the department is recruiting – not just because of jobs open now, but because of up to 400 retirements projected in the next few years; he described SFD as an “aging department” and explained that recruiting and hiring is a long process:

This does NOT mean SFD is short-staffed right now – Chief Scoggins says all stations are fully staffed 24 hours a day, but if the force gets any thinner, current firefighters might be scheduled a little more intensively than the department would prefer. To cast a wide net for recruits, SFD will be going to community events around the city and holding open houses; if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a firefighter, just stop by a fire station to inquire. You can also go here to find out about qualifications, the application/hiring process, and more.

Memorial service planned July 9th for Barbara E. Boe, 1944-2015

June 30, 2015 at 2:35 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

Barbara Ellen Boe, who died last weekend at 71, will be remembered at a service in West Seattle on July 9th. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing with the community today:

Barbara Ellen Boe was born to Clayton Royal Lape and Ellen Ward on January 2, 1944, in Big Timber, Montana. Barbara spent part of her early childhood with her beloved grandparents, Robert (Bud) Ward and Anita (Brannin) Ward Hoyem up the Sweet Grass Canyon at the Ward & Parker Sawmill and ranch. Barbara’s father served in the US Navy during the Second World War, and her mother worked in Helena, Montana. Barbara formed a deep attachment to her grandparents and south central Montana.

Following several years in the Big Timber area after the war, the family moved to Santa Barbara, California. Barbara went through the Santa Barbara school system until the latter part of high school. She returned to Big Timber, Montana to stay with and help her grandmother. Barbara graduated from Sweet Grass County High School and attended the University of Montana at Missoula for a short time.

Barbara returned to Big Timber and was later married to LeRoy Schilling. They had one daughter, JoAnna.

Barbara married John Christopher (Chris) Boe on May 31, 1981 at the Big Timber Lutheran Church. The couple moved to Billings, Montana and resided there for nine years. Barbara worked for then Eastern Montana College in the library and also with the Continuing Education Department. While in Billings, Barbara and Chris were blessed with two daughters, Elizabeth Ellen and Kristina Anita (Nina).

In 1989 the family moved to Seattle. Barbara was employed as a property manager until her retirement in September of 2010. Following her retirement, Barbara maintained her lifelong love of reading, staying up on current events locally, nationally, and internationally, attending church, and being involved with her family and grandchildren.

Barbara passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2015, from acute myeloid leukemia. She is survived by her husband Chris, daughters JoAnna (Stacey), Elizabeth, and Nina, and grandsons Benjamin and Cameron.

Her funeral will be held on Thursday, July 9, at 2:00 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California Avenue SW). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

REPORT #2: Mayor hands over key to the city as Seafair Pirates land on Alki Beach

June 27, 2015 at 9:13 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)
So how do pirates wind up with the key to the city? Particularly pirates who storm ashore with a roar – and a trident?

(Photo by David Hutchinson)
All in a day’s work – make that, a day’s plunder – as the Seafair Pirates sailed through an armada of onlookers on the water and on the shore at Alki Beach this afternoon, amid a haze of cannon smoke:

Once a few shots were fired at sea, not much resistance – in fact, it was Mayor Ed Murray (former Alki resident) himself who handed over the key:

We did glimpse a dagger here and there:

More in evidence: Stickers:

Perhaps that helped draw in the youngest pirate recruits:

Others were in danger of being spirited away when the Pirates made their landlubbing escape via Moby Duck:

But we have it on good authority that the West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty and Miss Seafair are safe:

Same goes for this year’s Miss Seafair contenders, last seen taking refuge in the Alki Bathhouse:

That’s Lorelei McFadden, last year’s West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Queen, second from right in the back row. We’ll find out on Seafair Torchlight Parade night in four weeks who wins. Meantime, today, it seemed as if everyone won:

If you don’t recognize that scalawag – it’s Oliver Little, event manager extraordinaire, who not only wrangled this 66th annual Seafair Pirates Landing, but also will be making things happen as tens of thousands storm The Junction for West Seattle Summer Fest July 10-11-12. As for the Pirates:

Last seen off to scowl and saunter elsewhere – but they’ll return to West Seattle for the Grand Parade three weeks from today, 11 am Saturday, July 18th – more on that as we get closer.

VIDEO: West Seattle teen and dad heading out on another big bicycle ride to help Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

June 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

That quick video is a pitch from Cal Prinster, who you’ve probably seen here before – dating back to 2011, when he and dad Gordon Prinster finished a 1,732-mile West Coast bicycle ride, raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation along the way. The year after that, they rode cross-country. And today, we learned they’re about to head out on a ride to Austin, Texas, as Cal explains in the clip – he’s now a sophomore at West Seattle High School, where his dad is the school psychologist. Gordon’s wife Bernadette Brown says, “While it’s shorter than their ride to NYC, it’s going to be a challenging one with two mountain ranges and ridiculous heat.” If you’re inspired to donate to PBTF, you can do that online, here – as they say on that page, “Now, we know we’ve hit you up a few times over the years, so you might have a touch of ‘solicitation fatigue,’ but we also know there’s no better cause to support. No, nobody in our family is sick. But there are plenty of kids who do need our help. Every day, 13 more kids in the US will be diagnosed with a brain tumor. By supporting the PBTF, we can help give these kids hope for a brighter future!”

‘Justice arrives like a thunderbolt’: U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage-equality ruling welcomed by local elected officials

June 26, 2015 at 8:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 16 Comments

(Photo by Don Brubeck – flags flying @ City Hall for Pride Month)
8:53 AM: The biggest news in the nation this morning is the U.S. Supreme Court‘s ruling for marriage equality, on which President Obama commented this past hour, congratulating those who had worked for decades, and hailing it as a moment in which “justice arrive(d) like a thunderbolt.” It also arrived not only at the start of Seattle’s Pride weekend but also two and a half years after the start of legal same-sex marriage in our state – remember that December 2012 night downtown (WSB coverage here) in which West Seattleites were in the spotlight, both the first couple to get a license – Pete-e Petersen and Jane Abbott Lighty – and the WS-residing elected official, County Executive Dow Constantine, who signed it. This morning, Constantine recalled that moment in his official statement on the Supreme Court ruling:

“One of my proudest moments was issuing the first marriage license to a same-sex couple in Washington state.

“This landmark decision makes our Pride celebrations a little more joyous. I’m looking forward to joining with the LGBT community and allies to celebrate at the Pride Parade this weekend.”

He will raise the Pride flag downtown at the County Administration Building Plaza at 11:45 am. Also reacting this morning, West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who, as his statement describes him, is the “first and only openly gay man to serve on the Seattle City Council”:

“Today the Supreme Court ruling means that our Constitution stands for equal rights for all. This achievement is the result of decades of persistent, tenacious and courageous work by people throughout the country. Through steadfast advocacy to not accept anything less than full equality, this ruling moves LGBTQ rights forward.

“While we succeeded on this issue, the fight for LGBTQ rights and equality continues. It is incumbent upon all of us to elect leaders who will protect and defend the rights that have been won and who will continue the effort to ensure full and fair treatment for all.

“The quote, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice’ rings true today, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Mayor Ed Murray, a former West Seattleite and longtime marriage-equality advocate, is speaking with the media in a few minutes (live on Seattle Channel at 9 am), and his office says he will lead a rally at the federal courthouse downtown later today – details to come.

9:17 AM: Joining the mayor at his news conference, Councilmember Rasmussen, who said this day seems “like a dream,” and spoke of younger days in which he was worried that his sexual orientation would keep him from getting a job, and could barely imagine having the right someday to marry:

That’s a screengrab from the ongoing Seattle Channel live feed. We’ll add the video once it’s archived on the SC website. (added 2:02 pm – here it is:)

Meantime, the aforementioned rally has been announced for 7th/Stewart downtown at 5 pm.

12:02 PM: Statement just in from another West Seattle-residing elected official, County Councilmember Joe McDermott:

I’m thrilled to join the jubilation across our country for today’s decision. From today forward, couples across the nation will be able to marry legally and be recognized as a family in the eyes of the law, just like Washington families, including myself and my husband Michael. Today, there is more love in the world, and that is a good thing!

Celebration of life Saturday for Diann Marie Sales, 1969-2015

June 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 7 Comments

A Celebration of Life is planned this Saturday for Diann Marie Sales, who died on June 9th at age 46. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:

Diann Marie Sales was born to Daniel C. Higgins and Florence Marie Higgins, on March 11, 1969, in Seattle, Washington. She went to Auburn Senior High School and later earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Diann met Ryan Jay Sales in 1994, and married him in Seattle in 2004. Diann worked as a visual artist and art framer at Northwest Art and Frame in West Seattle. Throughout her life she worked in mixed media, including photography, painting, and handcrafts. Diann’s dream of becoming a mother was realized when she and Ryan adopted Elliot, born in 2011, and Frances, born in 2013. Their adoption was finalized hours before she passed away after a courageous, nine-month battle with uterine cancer.

Diann was loved by all, from the children she cared for as a nanny, to regular customers in the West Seattle community, to co-workers, to longtime friends, to a large extended family, to her sister and brother-in-law, her beautiful niece and nephew, and especially her husband and two extraordinary children. She was a much-loved, unique, creative, and singular woman who will be deeply missed.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in honor of her exemplary life may be directed to Amara Parenting and Adoption Services, the organization who facilitated the adoption of her two children.

Celebrating the Life of Diann Marie Sales: Saturday, June 27th, 2015, 6:30 pm, Arbor Heights Community Church, 4113 SW 102nd St; Facebook link here. For anyone interested in attending, please contact Ryan J. Sales by 6 pm Friday: 206-225-9586.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

Congrats to Seattle App Academy’s ‘Hacker Cup’ competitors

June 21, 2015 at 8:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

Congratulations to the students who competed in this week’s “Hacker Cup” at Seattle App Academy (WSB sponsor)! We stopped by during the competition to check it out. Here’s what they were tasked to do:

Create an original game using the Kodu visual programming language and submit it for review by our panel of judges. Present and demonstrate your game during our competition night and you could win big time! Students compete in one of two divisions according to grade range (Division I for Grades 4-7 and Division II for Grades 8-12).

You can also submit your robotics, microcontrollers, and other gadgets for exhibition. Simply submit an entry form and show off your work to your friends, family, and SAA classmates during our competition night. Attendees will have the opportunity to select their favorite gadget by voting for the audience choice award.

Here’s one of the participants, Diego Escame-Hedger, presenting his game:

At night’s end, trophies were presented – Michael Mage from Seattle App Academy shared this photo of the winners and other participants:

They are:

Lars Moreland – First Place
Zachary Hanson – Second Place
Kian Hufford – Third Place
Gabby Betzer – Audience Choice
Owen Chapman – Robotics Medalist
Carson Comick
Constantine Olson
Diego Escame-Hedger
Gunnar Schmitz

SAA, whose mission is “to inspire tomorrow’s technology creators,” is headquartered in Jefferson Square, where it offers classes, including in weeklong day camps this summer, starting tomorrow.

Explorer West students share idea for creating low-cost housing

June 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle schools | 6 Comments

(From left, teacher Tim, students Jackson, Grant, Henry, Riley)

As we noted in an earlier story, Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) 8th graders are tasked with working in groups on major projects to research, plan, and present big ideas to “change the world.” Rather than just let their ideas and proposals stay within the confines of the campus, most if not all of the groups found ways to share them with the community. In the case of one group, its members wrote a story about their project and invited us to publish it:

Four Explorer West Middle School students – Riley Walden, Jackson Cecil, Henry Burton, and Grant Gerberding – started a project to reduce homelessness in King County and Seattle.

The project assigned by History/Social Studies teacher Tim Owens was to research, plan, do, and analyze the data, then present it to panelists. They decided to research on housing for homeless people.

One of the group members, Riley Walden, pitched his idea of using retrofitted shipping containers as temporary or even permanent homes. They decided to specifically work on this idea, and with more research, they found that Seattle was a perfect place to house the containers.

Click to read the rest of Explorer West students share idea for creating low-cost housing…

Remembering longtime Alki resident Harry Newman, 1929-2015

June 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

Family and friends are remembering Harry Newman, who died two weeks ago at 85. Here’s the tribute his family is sharing with the community:

Harry Newman
June 18, 1929 ~ June 4, 2015

Harry, an affable, competent, hard-working family man, was born June 18, 1929. He was liked by all and loved by those closest to him.

Born in Seattle, Harry spent his youth in Lynden working in the family movie theater.

He served in Korea with the US Army as a radio operator. After returning from war he worked at Boeing where he met and married the love of his life, Joy McLean. In 1955 the newlyweds moved to Diablo, WA, where he began a 33-year career working at Seattle City Light. In 1967 the Newman Family moved back to Alki.

Harry retired at 60 and never looked back. Joy and Harry traveled extensively. They lived in Lake Tahoe on and off for 20 years and spent weeks in the summer at the family house in Chelan, where Harry built the Taj Mahal of outhouses. They traveled across the country multiple times by train, plane and automobile. But they always returned to their pink house by Alki.

Everywhere Harry went he fixed things, both for himself and others. Harry led an active life. In his 50s he climbed Mount Rainier. In his 60s he hiked the north rim to the floor of the Grand Canyon and back in one day. In his 70s he skied over 100 days in a year. He rode his bike uphill to the Y in his 80s and exercised at the Y up until a few months before his death. For the last years of his life, coffee with the guys was the high point of his week. Harry and Joy were married 59 years, she died 18 months before him, and he missed her terribly. We trust they are together again.

Harry is survived by children Carolyn Newman (Kate Giannaros), Alec Newman (Margot), Annette Newman (Bill Montague); grandchildren Maclean and Lilli Newman, Daniel and Julia Montague. Harry and Joy were great parents and excellent grandparents.

Right to the end, Harry conducted his life with great dignity. His family would like to thank those who allowed him to stay in his home: Michele Abel, Brooke, Maclean, and Group Health Hospice.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

AMNO & CO does it again! ROV team to compete internationally

June 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

It’s been three years since we first heard from AMNO & CO, the trio of West Seattleites who have literally taken on the world in a robotics specialty, the ROV – and they’re doing it again this year. The theme is one with particular local resonance this year – read on for their report on what they’re doing (they provided the photos, too):

In May, AMNO & CO ROV team won first place in the Pacific Northwest Regional MATE ROV competition, qualifying for the international event in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. (Check out the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition at For the three team members – Alex Miller, Clara Orndorff, and Nicholas Orndorff – this will be their fourth consecutive year at the international competition, and as always, the team with the fewest team members.

ROVs are extremely valuable at accomplishing tasks in environments which would be too deep or risky for human divers. This year’s tasks revolve around deploying, salvaging, and servicing equipment related to the oil industry in the Arctic. Teams have to design and build a vehicle to replace components in oil wellheads, turn valves in oil pipelines, and measure icebergs. In doing these tasks, AMNO & CO will be competing against the winning teams of regional competitions in the USA, Canada, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, Scotland, Russia and several others. While MATE’s tasks revolve around oil in the Arctic, communication is also emphasized in the competition, so teams have to write a technical report, create a poster, and give an engineering presentation.

In Newfoundland, AMNO & CO will compete in a state-of-the-art marine facility, which has three unique research test tanks, including a tank with waves, another with currents, and a third covered in ice. These tanks accurately simulate the conditions in real Arctic environments, while providing teams the opportunity to test their vehicles in unusual conditions.

In addition to competing and fundraising for the MATE competition, AMNO & CO seeks to instill their passion for engineering in others. For instance, they gave a special presentation in the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters tank for the public in November. Also, team member Alex Miller will be leading a robotics summer camp in West Seattle this June, fostering an appreciation for the unique fusion of mechanical systems, electrical systems, and software which robotics encompasses.

The international competition will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland, June 25-28. For more information about AMNO & CO, please visit or contact them at

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