Wondering about big ‘cloud’ in the east? Wildfire near Leavenworth

July 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Two people have texted us to ask about a big cloud/smoke plume in the east.

Thanks to @scruffydiver for the photo. Northwest Cable News says it’s a wildfire near Leavenworth (here’s a map) that has closed Highway 2.

ADDED 6:25 PM: Here’s a somewhat-closer look from David Hutchinson:

Here’s a Facebook page with on-the-ground info in the fire zone (tweeted by Lauren – @nwtripfinder).

ADDED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Ted Johnson shared this view from the EC Hughes Playground area:

The latest highway closures are here.

Engine 29 visits West Seattle Library for Firefighter Storytime

July 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Big turnout for this summer’s second Firefighter Storytime in West Seattle, this morning at the Seattle Public Library branch in Admiral. The mission is to teach fire safety, but of course the lesson is folded up in a fun story:

No Dragons for Tea,” which Lt. Joe Clegg is holding in the photo, is the classic Firefighter Storytime book. A little girl makes friends with a fire-breathing dragon; he accidentally starts a fire. What matters is how she and her family react. Afterward, everybody headed outside, where Engine 29 from North Admiral’s Station 29 was parked in front of the library.

The engine and its crew couldn’t stay too long – they were summoned to check out a fire alarm.

West Seattle summer: Your guide to the mega-weekend ahead

July 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB file photo: Mediterranean Fantasy Festival dancers at Hiawatha)
Before moving on to more of today’s news, we just wanted to take a few minutes to be sure this weekend’s major events are on your radar. Yes, we know these are not the ONLY events (you’ll find many other activities/events on our calendar), but they’re the big annual ones. Event names link to the official websites (or, if no official link, to our calendar listings):

Hiawatha Kids’ Fun Fest: Noon-3 pm, with carnival games, bouncy toys, more at/outside Hiawatha Community Center
White Center Jubilee Days: Noon-”late,” carnival at Steve Cox Memorial Park

*Float Dodger 5K – 9:30 am from California/Charlestown (online registration ends Thursday afternoon; same-day signups at 8 am
*West Seattle Grand Parade: California/Lander southward to California/Edmunds, motorcycle drill teams start ~10:30, full parade 11, Kiddie Parade from California/Genesee at 11
*Alki Art Fair – 10 am-6 pm (booths), music (schedule not out yet) and food continuing to 9 pm
*Mediterranean Fantasy Festival – 11 am-7 pm; dancer schedule here; vendor map/list here
*West Seattle Outdoor Movies; Movie at dusk but stake out your spot early, showing “Gravity” this week, Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) courtyard
*White Center Jubilee Days: 11 am-4 pm car show; 2:30 pm parade northbound on 16th SW from SW 112th-100th; street fair info here

*West Seattle Garden Tour: 9 residential gardens, self-guided tour 9 am-5 pm plus noon guest lecture with Susie Egan at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), ticket info here
*WestSide Baby Stuff the Bus: 10 am-2 pm, drop off diapers at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) – most needed: newborn, 5, 6, pull-ups, sizes 3T-4T and 4T-5T, hygiene items such as diaper cream
*Alki Art Fair – 10 am-6 pm (booths), music (schedule not out yet) and food continuing to 8 pm
*Mediterranean Fantasy Festival – 11 am-5 pm; dancer schedule here; vendor map/list here
*White Center Jubilee Days: Street fair info here

4-mile, 5-hour closure, followup #2: SDOT’s response to councilmember’s questions; promise of ‘change in protocol’

July 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(Above, SDOT tweet with traffic-cam screen grab shortly after crash happened)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Five weeks after the 5+-hour closure of a four-mile stretch of Highway 99 during a crash investigation, another city agency has answered City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s questions about decisionmaking during the incident, which led to a domino-effect multi-neighborhood traffic jam.

We published the response from SPD – which had the decisionmaking authority – back on June 23rd, a week and a half after the councilmember’s original letter.

Now, Rasmussen has received and shared the SDOT response, which defers in spots to SPD, and adds that city agencies are working on “protocols” for interdepartmental coordination in any such future incidents.

Since this response was made inline to his original note, we are publishing the entire document below:

Click to read the rest of 4-mile, 5-hour closure, followup #2: SDOT’s response to councilmember’s questions; promise of ‘change in protocol’…

Fireworks tonight as White Center Jubilee Days festival begins

July 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm | In West Seattle news, White Center | 5 Comments

At dusk tonight, you might hear fireworks in the distance – if you’re not at White Center Jubilee Days watching them in person. The fireworks are part of the festival’s opening night; the WCJD carnival opens at 3 this afternoon in Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd), which is where the fireworks will be set off once night falls. You can find out more about the festival, which includes a parade Saturday afternoon and street fair Saturday/Sunday, at jubileedays.org.

West Seattle Wednesday: Calendar highlights for today/tonight

July 16, 2014 at 10:03 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments

(Wednesday morning fog, looking toward Harbor Island; photo by Eileen McHugh)
Busy calendar for today/tonight – just some of the highlights:

FIREFIGHTER STORY TIME: Bring the kids to the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch of the Seattle Public Library and firefighters will read to them this morning! 10:30 am. (2306 42nd SW)

CHEER THE 11-12 WSLL ALL-STARS: The West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars continue on in the state tournament they’re hosting at Bar-S, after a dramatic win last night. They’re playing again today at 3 pm. (64th/Admiral)

HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN: Second of 12 Wednesdays this summer/fall when you can visit the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand 4-7 pm and buy organic produce grown next to it. (32nd/Juneau)

FUNDRAISER FOR MT. RAINIER SEARCH AND RESCUE: Mountain-climbing legend Jim Whittaker is now part of this event at West 5 – details here – with raffle items including this bike:

Stop by 6-9 pm, have a beer, help the climbing rangers’ program. (4539 California SW)

CAREER IN REAL ESTATE? Find out if it’s for you by visiting the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor) event at 6 pm – details here. (4700 42nd SW)

(Tuesday morning fog; photo by Laura Goodrich)
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S QUARTERLY MEETING: 7 pm at The Kenney (WSB sponsor). Agenda includes a recap of the Morgan Junction Community Festival, updates on nearby development projects, the California/Fauntleroy intersection, Metro Route 128, Coalition for an Affordable Livable Seattle, Morgan Junction Business District, and more. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

MUSIC BINGO AT THE CASK: 7 pm at The Cask (WSB sponsor), guess the songs, play the game! Details here. (2350 California SW)

COMEDY AT THE FEEDBACK: West Seattle’s Mona Concepcion hosts tonight’s bill at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm – featured comics listed here.

MORE NIGHTLIFE! (etc.) … on our calendar.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries in Sunrise Heights, Gatewood

July 16, 2014 at 9:21 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share:

SUNRISE HEIGHTS BREAK-IN: On 34th SW between Othello and Webster, someone broke in at midmorning Tuesday, taking computers, tablets, jewelry, even money from kids’ piggy banks, according to a neighbor who shared the info on behalf of the victims – who couldn’t because their computers were gone.

INTRUDER ARRESTED AFTER MULTIPLE BREAK-INS: A Gatewood resident reports a burglar was arrested in her neighborhood on Saturday afternoon after breaking into her home and three others nearby – at least two, while people were home, as was the case at her house. One witness gave police a good-enough description to spot and arrest the suspect. At our tipster’s house, she says, “He broke in the back door, stole a laptop, mail, a Batman costume and a Coke and Gatorade.” Making his getaway, he dropped a backpack and ran – “into the arms of cops up the road,” who, according to the victim, said the suspect was under the influence. Since receiving this reader report, we also have obtained the police report, which says the burglaries that day began in the 8400 block of 42nd SW (map) and ranged southwestward across about four blocks until he was stopped in the 4300 block of SW Southern. The report says he tried to give a false identity, claimed to be suffering from heat stroke (Seattle Fire medics screened him and determined he wasn’t), and ultimately was booked into King County Jail.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch/updates

July 16, 2014 at 6:49 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Another warm day ahead. No traffic trouble in the area so far. Two weekend reminders to repeat again today and each day until the weekend:

WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE CLOSURES: Saturday morning, California will be closed south of Admiral, south to Edmunds, for the parade. Staging zones will be on side streets along both ends of the route, so watch for, and heed, no-parking signs that day. Bus reroutes, too (check your route here).

ONE WEEK OF I-90 LANE CLOSURES … westbound 90, starting this Friday – details here.

DOWNTOWN BUS REROUTES THIS WEEKEND … because of road work; check your route here.

ADDED 9 AM: Checked on The Junction and California midblock between Alaska and Edmunds is down to one lane each way again because of construction work, with no parking on the west side of the street (which does have a “free parking” lot behind it).

Heartstopping comeback keeps West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars going in state tournament at Bar-S

July 16, 2014 at 6:39 am | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 5 Comments

(WSB photo from early in Tuesday night’s game)
The West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars play again at 3 pm today in the state tournament that WSLL is hosting at Bar-S – after a thrilling comeback in their Tuesday night game. It wasn’t looking good going into the bottom of the 8th: As tweeted by Cami MacNamara, the team was down 5-2, three outs away from potential elimination. But they rallied with four runs to beat Eastside 6-5, and will play Spokane South today.

Update: House fire in Arbor Heights blamed on spider-killing attempt

July 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | 58 Comments

(WSB photo)
8:33 PM: Firefighters are arriving at a house fire in Arbor Heights near 34th and 102nd (map), reporting black smoke and also that ammunition is going off in the house – so they’ll be fighting it from outside.

(Photo texted by Joe)
8:38 PM: Scanner now indicates they don’t believe there’s more ammunition in the building and they are changing firefighting tactics.

(WSB photo)
8:48 PM: Our crew is at the scene. No word yet on whether anyone’s been hurt. They believe everyone in the house got out safely.

8:58 PM: Just talked again with our crew at the scene. The fire appears to be under control but there are still flare-ups of flames visible here and there. Way too soon to know what caused it.

Above this line, we’ve added a quick Instagram clip – you can see firefighters on the roof and hear the saws they’re using to ventilate the attic.

(WSB photo)
9:18 PM UPDATE: We’ve just talked again with firefighters. The fire began in a bedroom and spread up to the attic. The house has major damage and isn’t inhabitable. One person was inside when it started, and we’re told he got out OK, unhurt. The “ammunition going off” suspicion is now a mystery – we’re told the resident said there had been firearm(s)/ ammunition in there, belonging to a renter who moved out a few weeks ago, so whatever the bangs/pops were in the early going, they now don’t know. SFD’s investigator is en route to work on figuring out how the fire started.

ADDED 11:16 PM: From SFD: “Cause of West Seattle Arbor Heights fire is man using spray paint can & lighter to try and kill spider in the wall. Damage estimate $60k.”

West Seattle Big Band @ 2014 Hi-Yu Concert in the Park

July 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm | In West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival, West Seattle news | No Comments

That’s a quick clip from “In the Mood,” the Glenn Miller classic with which the West Seattle Big Band started tonight’s annual Hi-Yu Concert in the Park. They’re just a few songs in, so there’s lots of time to get to the east lawn of Hiawatha (Walnut south of Lander) for the rest of the free concert – bring a chair or blanket, picnic if you want, and enjoy the music.

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: More photos and video from the concert. It’s a tradition for Hi-Yu royalty to speak to the crowd at intermission:

Their upcoming public appearances include Hiawatha Fun Fest on Friday afternoon and the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday. Meantime, WSBB’s Jim Edwards, a former Hi-Yu president, and daughter Michelle Edwards, 2006 Hi-Yu Senior Court Queen, showed off the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Community Service that’s been updated for this Saturday’s parade (they’re both part of the parade-coordination team too):

As reported here Monday night, this year, the trophy honors community volunteer/advocate Earl Cruzen, best known for West Seattle’s murals, a project that expanded to include the Walking on Logs art installation. He’s scheduled to ride with it in the parade.

Back to the concert – the band, with director Donn Weaver at left:

(We met a concertgoer who was excited to be there because she had been a student of Weaver’s in high school!) Next, vocalist Sarah Ackers:

Still working on the video.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Flasher reported in Admiral area

July 15, 2014 at 5:45 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

Reader report – a flasher exposing himself to girls in the Admiral area:

At 3:15 today, my 13-year-old daughter and her friend were walking home from Hiawatha and spotted a silver SUV parked on SW Stevens street with its driver door open. As they were walking the man inside exposed himself to the girls and took off in his car. As they rounded the corner, he was there again, this time in the middle of the street with no pants on, masturbating and laughing at the girls. They ran home and we called the police and filed a report right away. He is approximately 5’9, large frame, scruffy looking with brown hair and wearing a red t-shirt. He was last seen driving north on 38th in a 2000s silver SUV. Please alert readers in the area to be on the lookout and to call police right away if they spot anyone matching this description.

7:05 PM UPDATE: We asked the person who reported this if there were any other description/location details; for the former, white, “short, scruffy brown hair and shadow of a beard”; for the latter, “he was on 39th SW and SW Stevens to start and ended up getting out of the car on 38th SW and SW Stevens heading toward Lander when he got out of the car.”

West Seattle businesses: Clementine moving to Pioneer Square

July 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Linda Walsh has a clearance sale going right now at her West Seattle Junction shop, Clementine.

This isn’t just any old clearance sale. It’s also a moving sale: She’s leaving West Seattle and moving her shop to Pioneer Square.

It’s been eight years now since, in the early months of WSB, we noticed the “coming soon” sign on papered-over windows of what had been a tanning salon at 4447 California SW.

The shoes, handbags, and other accessories Walsh has sold in the ensuing years have received acclaim and attention citywide. Yet making a go of it as a bricks-and-mortar business in an increasingly digital world hasn’t been easy, as Walsh and the proprietor of nearby Carmilia’s, Linda Sabee, told us in this WSB story a year ago. Yet Walsh says she’s not ready to give up on in-person shopping … after eight years, she says, she feels like she finally has a handle on how things should work.

But she’s going to deploy the knowledge elsewhere soon. Walsh says her new Pioneer Square space at 310 Occidental (a former lighting store) just seems to be a better place for what she does and offers. Office workers will be there during the day. Tourists will be there during the summer.

Besides the location, her new storefront will bring a few changes – it’s bigger than her cozy Junction space, including some basement. And Walsh will change the name a bit – it will now be Clementine’s. (Her web address has always been clementines.com, anyway.)

In the meantime, the aforementioned clearance sale continues. She told us today, “I hope not to have to move a single shoe.”

She also hopes for a seamless move to the new space without much, if any, downtime, intending to open there by early September.

SIDE NOTE: Hers is the second business to announce it’s about to leave the block of California SW north of Oregon – as reported here two weeks ago, Shoofly Pie Company is closing in mid-August; no new location in this case – they say they’re just getting out of the retail business.

Jailed, West Seattle-residing deputy fired by King County Sheriff

July 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Followup on the story of Darrion Holiwell, the King County Sheriff’s Deputy jailed and charged with crimes including promoting prostitution and drug dealing: Sheriff John Urquhart has fired the 49-year-old West Seattle resident, according to this announcement we just received:

Click to read the rest of Jailed, West Seattle-residing deputy fired by King County Sheriff…

New website up for West Seattle Car Show, set for September 14

July 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(WSB file photo)
Yes, the West Seattle Car Show is definitely a go for September 14th, and its new website has just gone live, announces Oliver Little, producing the show again this year, with new co-presenters Swedish Automotive and West Seattle Autoworks (both WSB sponsors), who stepped up to continue the legacy of car-show founder Michael Hoffman, who died in March, just 47 years old.

As always, you’ll be able to wander the streets of The Junction admiring hundreds of vehicles; admission will be free as usual, with optional raffles/drawings that will raise money for Pencil Me In For Kids, which provides school supplies to children in need. So mark your calendar – 10 am-4 pm Sunday, September 14th – and stand by for news of applications, plus sponsorship info, soon.

West Seattle whales: Orca sighting!

July 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm | In West Seattle news | 4 Comments

A group of transient orcas is in the area – northbound off Alki Point as of minutes ago.

New look at Fauntleroy Way ‘Boulevard’ in-progress design

July 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm | In Transportation, Triangle, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

That’s a “typical cross-section” from a brand-new update on the long-in-the-works Fauntleroy Way SW “Boulevard” project, focusing on Fauntleroy Way through The Triangle, between 35th SW and SW Alaska. Right now, the plan is more than halfway still in the early stages of the design process, and SDOT is stepping up the public communication. Spokesperson Maribel Cruz tells WSB they’re meeting with property owners and community organizations in the area. Here’s the brand-new fact sheet from SDOT:

(Click here if you can’t see the embedded version above.) While $1.3 million for design was worked into the current city budget (as reported here last year), the construction funding isn’t yet nailed down, nor is a timeline. But the design is scheduled for completion early next year, and a community open house is planned (no date yet) for this fall. Watch the official project webpage for updates.

West Seattle Grand Parade countdown: 3 convertibles needed!

July 15, 2014 at 11:40 am | In West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo from staging zone of 2010 Grand Parade)
We’re continuing to count down to the West Seattle Grand Parade this Saturday, 11 am, California/Lander southward to California/Edmunds. This morning – a request for convertibles! Keith Hughes, parade chair for the Rotary Club of West Seattle, says three convertibles/open vehicles are needed – for Grand Marshal Col. Bruce Crandall, for Orville Rummel Trophy winner Earl Cruzen, and for the Rotary’s new District Governor, West Seattleite John Enger. Classic convertibles would be awesome, but any would be welcome. If you can help, please contact Keith ASAP – keith@westseattlenaturalenergy.com or 206-941-6654.

West Seattle Tuesday: Concert in the Park with WS Big Band; Little League tournament; more…

July 15, 2014 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 2 Comments

(Photo by Don Brubeck, Seacrest Pier as seen from Alki Trail)
It might be a sweater morning, but the forecast promises a sunny afternoon. Three highlights for today/tonight, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

POLLINATOR WORKSHOP: Learn about bees – and more – today:

The Urban Pollination Project (UPP) will be offering free pollinator identification workshop for kids or adults, at Delridge P-Patch garden, 3-4 pm. UPP is a non-profit citizen science initiative from the University of Washington, and their goal is to help get people excited about pollination, bees, and how local food depends on this amazing process. UPP will do a free 60-minute workshop. They will bring photos and specimens to help us learn to recognize our local pollinator biodiversity, talk about some of the fascinating life histories and adaptations of our local pollinators, and walk through the garden to identify them at work on our plants!

(24th SW/Puget)

LITTLE LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: The West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars won yesterday at the state tournament WSLL is hosting at Bar-S, so they’re playing again tonight, 6 pm. (64th/Admiral)

CONCERT IN THE PARK – WEST SEATTLE BIG BAND, FREE! Bring friends, family, picnic dinner, etc. to the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center at 7 pm for the FREE annual Hi-Yu Concert in the Park with the West Seattle Big Band. Always an awesome night of music. BYO chair/blanket. (2700 California SW is Hiawatha’s official address, but the concert zone fronts Walnut)

BELLY DANCING: Get in gear for this weekend’s Mediterranean Fantasy Festival at Hiawatha by checking out bellydancing in West Seattle tonight. It’s the monthly Alauda showcase at Skylark tonight, 7:30 pm, free. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

LOTS MORE for today/tonight on the calendar – see it all here!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday on the move

July 15, 2014 at 6:21 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 5 Comments

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Today’s traffic watch begins. And as always, we have reminders:

ONE WEEK OF I-90 LANE CLOSURES … westbound 90, starting this Friday – details here.

WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE CLOSURES: Saturday morning, California will be closed south of Admiral, all the way to Edmunds, for the parade. Staging zones will be on side streets along both ends of the route. We’ll be previewing the parade all week – here’s our “countdown” update from last night.

THAT HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE IN AUGUST … if you missed the new details made public last Friday, here’s our report.

8:21 AM: No trouble reported because of it yet but fog is drifting through and we’re hearing the occasional foghorn in the distance. But the forecast says it WILL make way for sunshine again later, with a high in the 80s.

9:09 AM: Ferries on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run are delayed because of the fog – 15 to 30 minutes, says WSF.

11:08 AM: Eddie points out in comments that California is narrowed again today between Alaska and Edmunds because of street work related to the 4730 California project at midblock – one lane each way, no parking.

Longtime director of Senior Center of West Seattle out; board president ‘demands … explanation’

July 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 33 Comments

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.

West Seattle Grand Parade countdown: Earl Cruzen to receive Orville Rummel Award; Marty Riemer to announce

July 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm | In West Seattle Grand Parade, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

The West Seattle Grand Parade is just five days away – this Saturday, from California/Lander in The Admiral District to California/Edmunds in The Junction. 11 am is the official starting time, but the motorcycle drill teams - Seattle Police and Vancouver (BC) Police will both be back – start a bit earlier, so make sure you’ve staked out your spot by 10:30 am. And at California/Genesee, the Kiddie Parade starts at 10 am – all kids welcome to join.

For years, the Kiddie Parade has been presented by the Rotary Club of West Seattle, and starting this year, the Rotary is presenting the entire Grand Parade, taking over from longtime parade presenter American Legion Post 160. But Post 160 headquarters – now home to Pershing Hall and the West Seattle Veterans’ Center – is still where parade-coordination-team members Jim Edwards, Dave Vague, Doreen Vague, and Michelle Edwards met tonight to draft the parade running order. Two bits of news we wanted to share:

(2009 WSB photo)
*Earl Cruzen, whose decades of community service include shepherding the Murals of West Seattle and Walking on Logs into existence, will be honored with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community, named after the man who was Post 160 Commander when the parade began. We’ll take a closer look at his community service in a separate story later this week.

*Marty Riemer, one of West Seattle’s most famous voices, will be heard at California/Alaska, announcing the parade entries. Marty’s current endeavors include a weekly podcast/webcast and the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge.

Stay tuned for more parade news as we count down all week – and then be there to stake out your spot somewhere along the route Saturday morning; the parade will be preceded by the third annual Float Dodger 5K (still time to sign up if you want to be part of that, pre-parade).

Scam alert: Another variation of the utility-bill phone calls

July 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm | In Crime, Utilities, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

At least for this area, it’s a new spin on the recurring telephone scam in which someone calls a business and claims its electricity is about to be cut off unless it makes a payment right now. Over the weekend, Donna Burns from Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village – which had received the power-bill-scam call at least twice – reported a caller, claiming to be with Puget Sound Energy, making demands: “After I received the ‘we’re turning off your gas in 30 minutes if you don’t pay $500′ call, I immediately called PSE myself (their emergency number) and confirmed that it was in fact, a fraudulent call.” She was due to follow up with the Seattle Police fraud unit today. Bottom line is that if anyone calls you – business or personal line – claiming you need to make a payment now or face disconnection, DON’T DO IT – even if you are worried you might have bonafide bill trouble, hang up and contact the utility directly yourself to find out your status. (Searching the Web before publishing this, we see reports of this in some other parts of PSE’s service territory, but it doesn’t seem to have been as widely reported in Seattle as the electric-bill scam.)

Update: Police investigate shooting at 16th/Henderson; victim says it was accidental

July 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 59 Comments

(Added: WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
5:56 PM: The big emergency response – police and fire – is for a shooting at 16th and Henderson. 16th is being closed to traffic for now, between Barton and Henderson, because police are looking for shell casings in the street. One person is reported to have been shot in the foot, per scanner discussion, in which the suspect was described as a medium-complexion black man in his 20s, 150 pounds, 5-8, not a stranger to the victim, (added: dressed in black plus a white shirt/T-shirt), last seen walking northbound.

6:04 PM UPDATE: The victim is described as a 25-year-old man, shot in the right foot.

6:30 PM UPDATE: Per scanner – again, with the caveat that it’s still early in the investigation – the victim is reported to have confirmed what police say a witness told them, that this was self-inflicted/accidental.

6:47 PM: And now from SPD via Twitter – same thing we’d heard via scanner:

7:27 PM: 16th is open both ways.

One more note for tonight: Memorial for Karen Sykes

July 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | No Comments

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.

West Seattle Cup aftermath: Organizer Terry Kegel up for MLS Community MVP award; plus, see the highlight reel!

July 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm | In West Seattle news, WS & Sports | 5 Comments

During the early going of the World Cup, our area had its own celebration of soccer and community – the West Seattle Cup. Announced back in January and played over a weekend in June, the West Seattle Cup was dreamed up and brought to reality by local teacher Terry Kegel, who shared the highlight reel above, showing what it was all about – not just family soccer games and international learning (teams represented various countries), but also the importance of “conversations for understanding” – those were as much a part of the “final score” as the soccer goals. We stopped by during the WSC – our story included this photo of Terry:

Terry is now a finalist for the special Community MVP award given out by Major League Soccer – with the prize including a $10,000 charity donation and a trip to the MLS All-Star Game. Voting is under way and continues until July 25th. And you can vote with *no strings attached* – no requirement that you sign up for something or “like”/”follow” something – just go here and click on the Sounders logo on the map, so that Terry’s info and “vote now” button will appear below.

WestSide Baby expands, adding Capitol Hill agency in merger

July 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

(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:

Click to read the rest of WestSide Baby expands, adding Capitol Hill agency in merger…

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