West Seattle smoke: ‘Conditions may start to improve Wednesday’

That’s the view West Seattle pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen had of our peninsula last night … you can only imagine what it looks like tonight. Earlier today, he did get to fly above the wildfire smoke – here’s Mount Rainier (elevation 14,400+ feet) peeking above:

The National Weather Service’s “special weather statement” about the smoke does offer a bit of hope: “Conditions may start to improve Wednesday as an upper level trough begins to approach the area…bringing a better chance for increased onshore flow.” Meantime, Twitter users have been providing photographic perspective:

About the smoke itself – lots of updated info on the Washington Smoke Information website.

Remembering Donald C. Kelly, 1927-2018

Family and friends are sharing this remembrance of 90-year-old Donald C. Kelly:

Donald Charles Kelly died peacefully in his sleep on August 8, 2018 at his daughter’s home in Ashland, Oregon. He was 16 days short of his 91st birthday.

Born in West Seattle on August 24, 1927 to George Leo Kelly and Hannah Margarite Oberg, Don and his sister Maxine spent their formative years growing up a stone’s throw from Alki Beach. Don always enjoyed the water, especially that of Puget Sound, and always seemed to have a boat, even sewing by hand the sails for his first sailboat.

He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1945 and enlisted in the Navy at the end of World War II, serving on a landing ship medium (LSM) in the Panama Canal, Mississippi River and Florida waters as an engine mechanic until his Honorable Discharge from active duty as Fireman, First Class, in 1946. He remained in the Navy Reserve until 1954.

After his discharge in 1946, Don studied mechanical engineering at Gonzaga and was always proud of his Bulldog connection. He took a job working at remote logging camps and later scavenged cut logs from Puget Sound beaches by tugboat.

His best friend, Fred Bell, introduced Don to Betty Jo Keelen, and they were married in 1951. There followed three sons and a daughter and the family lived in the South Puget Sound area while Don worked for an oil company before he started work in heavy equipment sales, specializing in conveyor systems for aggregate production, leading to his nickname “Rock Crusher” and the subsequent name of his heavy equipment consulting business. Don moved the family as his career evolved, living in Sherwood and Tigard in the Portland area. He later moved the family to Medford in 1975 when Empire Rubber needed him to run a branch office selling heavy conveyor equipment.

Betty and Don went their separate ways in 1979 and Don traveled the country plying his trade, living in places such as Connecticut, Kentucky, Alaska and California before settling in the Portland/ Vancouver area, buying and selling heavy equipment until his retirement in 2014. He moved to a retirement home in Ashland in 2015 to be close to family, and then moved in with his daughter and her husband the following year.

Don was an ebullient salesman and never allowed anyone he met to remain a stranger. He loved the outdoors, especially anywhere near the water, and once waterskied along the Inside Passage on his way back from Alaska. He enjoyed fishing and rafting, including his last trip down the Class IV rapids of the Klamath when he was 80. He relished his role as grandfather and would visit his grandchildren in Ashland often, treating them to annual words of wisdom every Christmas. He also made sure to bring a doggie treat for Jackson every time he visited.

He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and sister. He is survived by his four children, Donnie, Tim (of West Seattle), Lee (of West Seattle) and Joann (Brent); six grandchildren, Jasmine, Bonnie, Zachary, Marcus, Kiley, Adeline; one great-granddaughter, Amelia, and the Wallis clan of Twisp, Washington. A private graveside service will be held on his birthday at the National Cemetery in Eagle Point.

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

SURVEY: Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance has questions, seeks your answers

How much of a problem do alcohol and other drugs pose to youth in our community? A local group asks that question each year, and has just released this year’s survey:

The Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance, a school and community coalition formed to address the high rates of youth substance use in Southwest Seattle, would like your help in learning more about community concerns related to drugs and alcohol. The coalition will use these surveys to guide their work in selecting effective prevention programs and services for youth and the community. Please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous survey.

The survey starts here in English, and here in Spanish. The SWSYA says, “The data from these surveys will be used to implement evidence-based prevention programs in middle and high schools in the community.”

FOLLOWUP: 16-year-old arrested in High Point murder; victim identified

3:31 PM: Police have now confirmed that they’ve arrested a 16-year-old suspect in last Thursday night’s deadly shooting of a 37-year-old man after the two got off a bus on the west side of the 35th and Morgan intersection. He was arrested in High Point – where detectives have been on scene along Lanham north of Graham for a while, though when we asked for comment about an hour ago, after taking the photo above, we were told they had nothing to release yet. SPD’s announcement adds, “Detectives are interviewing the teen and plan to book him into the King County Youth Service Center for investigation of murder. Thank you to everyone who called in with information about this case.” The arrest comes one day after police released Metro surveillance video of a person they described as the murder suspect. This is the fifth murder case of the year in West Seattle and the first with an arrest.

7:52 PM: The victim has been identified as Taylor C. Fehlen; a commenter shared this link to his obituary, which says a memorial gathering is planned tomorrow.

THINK HOLIDAYS! Fauntleroy Fine Art and Gift Show entry deadline approaching

(By Apple Cox, past and future show participant)

Not to rush you out of summer mode too soon – but some holiday planning does happen before summer’s end. So we’re sharing this announcement sent by Judy Pickens:

Aug. 31 is the deadline for artists and artistic crafters to apply to be in the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show Nov. 9-11. The 11th annual event hosted by Fauntleroy Church is open to artists working in any medium (glass, metal, paper, paint, resin, etc.) and crafters should display a high level of creativity and quality.

Show participants must live in or have studio space in West Seattle or on Vashon. For details and the application form, visit www.fauntleroyucc.org, email fauntleroyfineart@gmail.com, or call 206-932-5600.

Why you’ll see a shipping container at Don Armeni Boat Ramp this Friday

That’s a rendering of what you’ll see on the lawn at Don Armeni Boat Ramp this Friday in honor of National Thrift Shop Day, according to an announcement we received today from a public-relations firm on behalf of Value Village. The announcement says the company has partnered “with three Seattle influencers to spark thrift-spiration and celebrate secondhand style. The influencers … have been tasked to style a distinct space in the same reused shipping container – using thrifted items, of course. … The event illustrates how thrift lets any shopper express their unique point of view, stand out from the crowd and celebrate their individuality — no matter their design aesthetic, life stage or price point.” The “influencers” are Joanna Hawley, Emma Cortes, and Charles Koh. No sales/shopping involved, but you’re welcome to visit, 8 am-8 pm Friday (August 17th).

6 for your West Seattle Tuesday

(Pigeon Guillemot, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Half a dozen highlights for the rest of your mid-August Tuesday:

WADING POOLS: Open! West Seattle’s Tuesday pools are Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW), 11 am-8 pm, and Delridge (Genesee/Delridge), noon-6:30 pm.

NURSING PROGRAM INFO: Interested in studying nursing at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)? 11 am info session today! (6000 16th SW)

MOBILE BIKE REPAIRS: Fifth BikeWorks session of the summer! You’ll find free or reduced-price bicycle repairs on the driveway behind Neighborhood House High Point, 2-4:30 pm. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

DELRIDGE GROCERY FARMSTAND, WITH BBQ: The Delridge Grocery Coop adds a community barbecue to its weekly farmstand today, 3-7 pm at the Shell across from DGC’s future store. (5441 Delridge Way SW)

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, SPECIAL LOCATION: 6:30 pm, the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s summer meeting is at the newly complete Aegis Living of West Seattle (WSB sponsor), including a tour. All welcome! (4700 SW Admiral Way)

GEEKS WHO DRINK: Tonight is the weekly trivia night at Whisky West (WSB sponsor), 8 pm. 21+. (6451 California SW)

PEEK INTO THE FUTURE … by checking out our complete calendar, where you’ll find more for today/tonight AND weeks/months beyond!

Last week for all but 1 West Seattle wading pool

(WSB file photo, Delridge wading pool)

If you and your little one(s) have been enjoying the Seattle Parks wading pools this summer – here’s a reminder: Except for Lincoln Park wading pool, open daily (weather permitting) through Labor Day (September 3rd), this is the last week for the city’s wading pools. In our area:

SOUTH PARK’S LAST DAY: Thursday (August 16th)

EC HUGHES’S LAST DAY: Friday (August 17th)

HIAWATHA’S LAST DAY: Saturday (August 18th)

DELRIDGE’S LAST DAY: Sunday (August 19th)

P.S. West Seattle’s only spraypark, Highland Park, will – like the Lincoln Park wading pool – be open daily, 11 am-8 pm, through Labor Day.


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

7:08 AM: So far, no incidents reported in/from West Seattle.

DONE! One last work party completes playground for Roxhill Elementary at EC Hughes

From Friends of Roxhill:

About 25 volunteers finished leveling the wood chips Monday night at the new playground for Roxhill Elementary at E.C. Hughes. The new playground must be inspected by Seattle Public Schools before it will be open. The district hopes to conduct orientation and safety training during our back-to-school barbecue on Aug. 30. More information on when it will be open to the public will be available soon.

Thank you to everyone who came out in support of Friends of Roxhill Elementary’s efforts to bring a new playground to our school. Without community pledges and hard work, none of this would have been possible. Also, take a look at the corner of 32nd and Kenyon, where the mural (also designed through a community process) is taking shape.

If you have questions or want to get involved, contact friendsofroxhill@gmail.com.

Memorial next Sunday for Jim Theuer, 1957-2017

One year after Jim Theuer‘s death, family and friends plan to gather to celebrate his life next Sunday. Here’s the announcement:

JIM (James) THEUER Memorial
Sun, Aug 19, 2018 2-3:30 pm
(lived Aug 4, 1957-Aug 17, 2017)

Jim Theuer died last year – Aug 17, 2017 – in Virginia, his home for 25+ years. Yes, the Jim with the unpronounceable last name who went to Alki Elem, Madison & West Seattle High. In Seattle, Jim worked at Quesnel’s (yes, on Beach Drive) and at UPS.

At some time in Virginia, Jim went by JT (no time wasted on his last name). In Virginia, Jim worked and did voiceovers at firm whose customer of note was Domino’s Pizza. Jim also did Rodney Dangerfield bits until you laughed/cried. In Virginia, Jim got married and had a son, John. Sadly, the marriage did not last, but Jim’s love for his son did, and Jim had primary custody of John, when John was 13.

Jim/JT is survived by his son, John, of Winchester, VA, and Jim’s mother and sisters, all in the Puget Sound area, and a host of nephews and nieces. Jim was a pro bowler for a short time, so come and remember him in his element. Mom Suzanne, sisters Diane, Sally & Janice and Jim’s son John will be there, set up on 4 lanes.

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

Pearl & Jam appear on West Seattle shore as Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network recruits for final 2018 training

Meet Pearl and Jam. David Hutchinson – who photographed them Sunday – reports that Jam was Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s “first new harbor seal pup of the 2018 season,” resting with mom Pearl “on a rock just offshore from one of our local beaches. … If you see them at any of our West Seattle beaches, please keep back, keep people and pets away, and call the Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-SEAL (7325).” Meantime, he shared this announcement:


Seal Sitters is a member of NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network. We are responsible for responding to any marine mammal on West Seattle beaches from Brace Point through the Duwamish River including Harbor Island.

All new volunteers are required to take a 2-hour training session. Our last training of 2018 will be held in the front meeting room at the Alki UCC, 6115 SW Hinds (MAP), on Saturday, August 25th from 10 AM – Noon. This will be followed by a short Q&A opportunity. Topics covered will include: The Marine Mammal Protection Act, life in a harbor seal rookery, what is Seal Sitters’ role in NOAA’s network, information on the most common marine mammals in our local waters, your role as a volunteer in a challenging urban environment. Also discussed will be volunteer opportunities as a hotline operator, first responder, and scheduler.

IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN WEST SEATTLE – While all the different groups operating in Puget Sound are part of NOAA’s Network, each group functions separately and provides its own training. Our training would only qualify you to volunteer within the area mentioned above.

If you plan on attending, an RSVP is required. Please include in your email the full names of everyone who will be attending. If any of these are minors, include their ages. A parent or guardian must accompany all minors to the training and when they are on the beach. Seating is limited, so be sure to register early to reserve your place.

To RSVP: SealSitters.Outreach@msn.com

West Seattle scene: Hate-Free Delridge’s show of support for immigrants and refugees

Almost exactly a year after “standing for peace” on the Delridge/Oregon overpass, Hate-Free Delridge members and friends returned there this evening. This time, the goal was to show support for immigrants and refugees.

It’s now been two years since the group formed in response to a racist, threatening note left at the home of a local family.

Here are some fast facts about Seattle’s immigrant/refugee population.

AIR-QUALITY ALERT: Wildfire smoke brings regional health warning

(Added: WSB photo, looking toward Vashon from Lowman Beach)

As this increasingly smoky day moves into late afternoon, an air-quality alert just arrived by e-mail, from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and health agencies around the metro area:

Air pollution is increasing due to wildfire smoke and may cause health problems.

We expect air quality to reach levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS overnight and into tomorrow in many areas. A high pressure system is pushing upper-level wildfire smoke down. Smoke from British Columbia and the Cascades is continuing to build in the Puget Sound region today. Winds tomorrow afternoon could help clean the air. Thankfully, we don’t expect this to last as long as it did last summer. We are forecasting for GOOD to MODERATE air quality Wednesday and beyond.

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health problems:

Chest pain
Fast heartbeat
Stinging eyes
Irritated sinuses
Asthma attack
Trouble breathing

Sensitive groups should take precautions, including: children, older adults, and people that are pregnant, have heart or lung issues (such as asthma and COPD), or that have had a stroke.

Stay indoors when possible.

Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports.

Close windows in your home, if possible, and keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air conditioner, use the “recirculation” switch. Use an indoor air filter if available.

If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, air-conditioned indoor air like a public library or a community center.

Avoid driving, when possible. If you must drive, keep the windows closed. If you use the car’s fan or air conditioning, make sure the system recirculates air from inside the car; don’t pull air from outside.
Schools and daycare providers should consider postponing outdoor activities or moving them indoors.

N95 or N100 rated masks can help protect some people from air pollution. These masks are usually available at hardware and home repair stores. Please check with your doctor to see if this appropriate for you. More information here.

For more information on ways to reduce your exposure, see the Washington Department of Health’s Smoke From Fire tips.

Air quality conditions may change quickly. Check the air quality forecast regularly at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website.

As always, check with your health care provider for more specific questions and concerns.

About the wrong-way truck on SW Morgan

After questions about that white truck facing uphill in the downhill lanes of SW Morgan near 40th SW, we went over to check. Police say the driver lost control of the truck’s forward gears several blocks east – the first report was from 31st/Sylvan – and tried traveling in reverse gear for a while, but that didn’t work out too well, as some trees and other vehicles were hit along the way, including the purple-and-gold van in the photo. No injuries reported; police were directing traffic until the truck could be moved.

Two for tonight: Demonstration, dinner

The day got busy early, so no highlight list, but if you haven’t checked our calendar, two events of note are still to come:

DEMONSTRATIONHate-Free Delridge plans a show of support for immigrants and refugees by sign-waving on the Delridge/Oregon overpass, 5:30-7 pm, and all are welcome to join. Details in our calendar listing.

DINNER: No need to cook tonight – you can support the West Seattle High School football program at a barbecue dinner that starts at 6 pm at the West Seattle Eagles (4425 California SW). Entertainment and silent auction too. Cost and menu are in our calendar listing.

West Seattle Water Taxi alert: Smaller backup vessel now in use

An alert just in for West Seattle Water Taxi riders:

The Water Taxi will be using the Spirit of Kingston, its smaller back-up vessel, on the West Seattle route through Wednesday. The Doc Maynard has been removed from service for vessel repairs. Riders are strongly encouraged to arrive early for their evening commute.

FOLLOWUP: Police release bus-camera video of High Point murder suspect

First – as reported here Saturday morning – police released still images of a person they say is the suspect they’re seeking in Thursday night’s High Point bus-stop murder. This morning, they have released video from Metro bus security cameras. Police said Friday that they believe the 37-year-old victim (who has not yet been publicly identified) and his killer were involved in a “disturbance” on board before exiting the bus on the west side of the 35th and Morgan intersection, where the shooting happened. Here’s the description of the suspect: “16-21 years old, 5’7” to 5’9”, has a thin build, and was last seen wearing a dark gray hoody & jeans.” If you have any info on his identity, the SPD tipline is 206-233-5000, or call 911.

Person found dead on Alki Beach

Thanks for the texts about the Medical Examiner and police near 55th/Alki earlier this morning, after someone was found dead on the beach. The scene was cleared by the time we got there but we’ve since been able to confirm with police that they believe this was a death by suicide. No other details except that there was an initial medical call to the area at 6:25 am.

As always, when we report a case of suicide, we include a reminder that the Crisis Clinic has a 24-hour hotline, 206-461-3222.

UPDATE: Water rescue off Harbor Island

(Added: Seattle Fire Department photo)

8:52 AM: You might have noticed the big Seattle Fire response headed for Harbor Island. Two people were reported to have fallen off a boat, per SFD radio, and were picked up by a Global Diving and Salvage boat. One person is reported to be conscious, one unconscious. No other word on the circumstances nor on what boat they fell from. Rescue crews are staging at Terminal 18 on the east side of Harbor Island.

9:15 AM: SFD says one of the two rescued people has gone to Harborview “in critical condition.”

9:50 AM: A commenter says one of the people had actually gone into the water to rescue the other one.

4:16 PM: SFD has more details – including confirmation of the heroic rescue by a T-18 worker – here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch; 35th/Avalon crash

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

7:06 AM: No incidents reported so far in/from West Seattle.

8:05 AM: Crash reported at 35th/Avalon. SDOT says all SB lanes of 35th are blocked and one NB lane.

8:10 AM: Here’s a screengrab from the SDOT traffic cam, looking south on 35th from Fauntleroy:

8:20 AM: SFD has left and one southbound lane of 35th is now open, as shown on the SDOT live-video camera (accessible via the traffic map).

8:36 AM: All lanes of 35th/Avalon are now clear.

FOLLOWUP: Record turnout for Delridge Triangle cleanup

From Friends of the Delridge Triangle and the South Delridge Community Group:

Saturday, 8/11 marked another successful cleanup at the Delridge Triangle! We hit an all-time record of volunteers coming as far as Admiral to show their community spirit by pitching in at Delridge Way SW/18th Ave SW/SW Barton St, as well as surrounding blocks.

The cleanup was a joint effort between the South Delridge Community Group (SDCG) and Friends Of The Delridge Triangle (FDT). Burger Boss Drive In kindly sponsored the event with free meal vouchers for all participants.

This is one step of a greater project in the works to redevelop the Triangle into a safe and usable community space where the neighborhood can socialize and play. The Friends of the Delridge Triangle was recently awarded $41k through the Neighborhood Matching Fund to start a community engagement process for a Phase 1 redesign of the space. The redesign phase will run start September and run through Spring 2019. The community is invited to have their voices heard and participate in the project.

To learn more about the ongoing community work and receive notifications for upcoming clean ups in South Delridge, contact the South Delridge Community Group @:
sdelridgecommunitygroup@gmail.com or visit our website.

To receive project updates and information how get involved with the Delridge Triangle redesign project contact Friends Of The Delridge Triangle @: delridgetriangle@gmail.com or visit our website.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Two thefts – aluminum crab boat, white Honda scooter

Two thefts in West Seattle Crime Watch:

STOLEN BOAT: From Christina & Tom:

Late last night someone stole our small crab vessel belonging to the Alki Crab Club from the 2200 block of Alki Ave SW. A small trolling motor and two life vests along with paddles were taken as well. The boat was a Sears 12 foot aluminum boat named “the Sea Beach” painted blue and white with green lettering. Reward for its return to the Alki Crab Club. Thanks! Our neighbor also reports that his paddle board was stolen from his yard last week as well.

STOLEN SCOOTER: Joseph reports this happened Friday night:

1985 Honda Elite 80 scooter taken from the parking strip across from Holy Rosary office. It had been parked in front of Holy Rosary since Tuesday until my mechanic could come out to replace the wheel. He moved it across the street to the parking strip, took the wheel off, and when he went to get a part, it was taken. Steering was locked and the rear wheel was gone.

It’s an old white scooter, missing one of the side mirrors, has collector’s plates. If you see anything, please let me know ASAP – lots more sentimental value than anything else.

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