UPDATE: West Seattle 5K on Alki and Harbor Avenues

9:35 AM: The race is on! More than 1,500 runners and walkers (plus a few dogs) are on Alki and Harbor Avenues right now for the 2024 West Seattle 5K, coordinated by and benefiting the West Seattle High School PTSA. The streets will reopen to vehicles when the course is cleared.

10:25 AM: Most of the participants have crossed the finish line. Here are the top three male and female finishers, from a printout provided by race organizers:

Male Open Winners

Evan Williams, 37, bib 9142, 16:26
Mason Murison, 16, bib 818, 17:15
Victor Ordaz, 34, bib 5278, 17:28

Female Open Winners

Beau Sitzmann, 11, bib 1114, 18:50
Kristi Williams, 40, bib 9145, 19:16
Ena Sparling, 12, bib 1139, 19:19

More photos, info, and video to come!

Remembering William Ronald Styrk, 1934-2024

Family and friends are remembering Bill Styrk and sharing this remembrance with the community:

Bill Styrk was born on September 23, 1934, on the family farm in Kearsarge, Michigan. The Styrk family later moved to Butte, Montana, where his father worked in the copper mines. Both Kearsarge and Butte were referred to as “Little Finn Towns” due to their high populations of Finnish people. The family finally settled in West Seattle, where Bill and his brother Wally learned to speak English. They attended Cooper Elementary and West Seattle High School. Bill recalled his childhood neighborhood as a tight-knit community where folks had little money, but an abundance of fun, and friendships that lasted a lifetime.

Post High School, Bill joined the Army and served in Germany. After completing his service he returned to West Seattle and became a longshoreman on the Seattle waterfront, often working side-by-side with his brother Wally and his father Karl.

Bill had lifelong fondness for animals. As a boy he routinely saved part of his dinner for the stray dogs in his neighborhood. As an adult Bill rescued a kitten who followed him everywhere for 17 years. He described his beloved St. Bernard dog as a beautiful and faithful companion. Bill was also captivated by Eagles, and collected wood carvings of these majestic birds.

Bill enjoyed retirement, and could often be found at Alki Beach enjoying the sun with a large group of friends. He traveled the US in his motorhome, and spent time in Mexico and Costa Rica. Bill was an avid collector of cars, his favorites being Mercedes and vintage trucks. Bill believed in treating every person he encountered with respect, and helped countless people on their journeys to sobriety.

Bill spent the last 20 years of his life in a beautiful home he built in Laughlin Nevada. He developed strong relationships with his outstanding neighbors. As a lifelong poker player, Bill spent many hours in the casinos of Laughlin and Las Vegas. For 20 years he had a daily routine of getting up at 2 AM and walking 5 miles to avoid the hot desert sun.

In his final weeks Bill experienced the value of good friends, as neighbors provided the help that made it possible for him to remain at home. He also spoke extensively on the importance of family. His brother Wally’s adult children, Pam Crim, Greg Styrk, Lynne Styrk-Crockett, Karen Williams and their families, are his closest relatives. Bill developed a strong bond with his great nieces Mariah and Hannah Crockett. Their visits to Laughlin were spent practicing the Finnish language, organizing the Styrk family genealogy,and putting a smile on Uncle Bill’s face. The VA of Nevada came to the home and had a touching ceremony for Bill, honoring his service to our country. Home Hospice provided outstanding medical care and fellowship.

In his final days Bill reiterated several times that he’d had a wonderful life. He had good friends, and had done everything he wanted to do. He shared many stories and memories. In person and with “Face Time,” Bill was able to see and speak with everyone he wished. During a visit with his nieces and nephew, Bill stopped and said: “In this VERY moment my life is absolutely perfect!”

At the age of 89, Bill died on May 2nd, 2024, just 4 months after the death of his brother Wally. Like Wally, he was surrounded by loving family. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Karl and Ellen Styrk and his brother Wally. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

No services are planned.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to westseattleblog@gmail.com)

West Seattle 5K this morning, Junction FC this afternoon, and more for your Sunday

Biggest event of the day will temporarily take over Alki and Harbor Avenues this morning:

WEST SEATTLE 5K: Organizers say it’s bigger than ever this year – more than 1,300 people signed up – and if you’re not one of them, you can still register starting at 8:30 am near Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki). The course heads east/northeast from there, to Anchor/Luna Park and back, and Harbor/Alki Avenues will be closed to vehicle traffic approximately 8 am-11 am as a result. The WS5K is a fundraiser for the programs supported by the West Seattle High School PTSA, which coordinates the event too; community co-sponsors include WSB.

Here’s what else you should know about today/tonight, including highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

HIGH POINT LIBRARY CLOSED: The branch at 3411 SW Raymond is closed Sundays through at least early June as part of a schedule shuffle as the system deals with staffing shortages.

MINI-POLAR PLUNGE: 9 am every Sunday, you’re welcome to join a group plunge into Puget Sound off Alki – meet at Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki).

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meets at 9 am Sundays at rotating locations – today it’s Highland Park Corner (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: The market is open today, 10 am-2 pm as usual, on California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon, offering spring vegetables, flowers, fruit, and plants, plus baked goods, cheese, fish, meat, condiments, fresh-cooked food, beverages (from cider to kombucha to beer/wine), nuts, candy, more! Here’s today’s vendor list.

WHILE YOU’RE IN THE JUNCTION: Fashion pop-up by Jayma at Swan Dive (4537 California SW), 10 am-2 pm.

GRIEF WALK: Join Listening to Grief for this free walk at Constellation Park (63rd/Beach Drive) at 10 am – details in our calendar listing.

KINDIE WEST CONCERT SERIES: Next performance in this family-music series at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW), 10:30 today, Paul Chiyokten Wagnerget tickets here.

COMMUNITY ART EVENT: As previewed and explained here, Alki UCC and Kol HaNeshamah invite community participation in an art event responding to repeated vandalism and theft of banners outside their building. All are welcome. If you’re going – or even if you aren’t – consider bringing donations for this month’s Alki UCC collection drive – this story mentions what’s most needed this month. (6115 SW Hinds)

JUNCTION FC’S DEBUT: All supporters are invited to join the 1 pm March to the Match from The Westy (7908 35th SW), for the new club’s debut in a 2 pm match vs. Capital FC at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle). Match tickets still available.

AUTHOR EVENT: Meet Jenny Gwinn McGlothern at Inner Alchemy (3043 California SW), 1-3 pm.

CLASSIC NOVELS (AND MOVIES) BOOK CLUB: Monthly gathering at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 3 pm. This month: “Discussion of Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky, trans. Sandra Smith.”

LIVE MUSIC AT THE ALLEY: Your weekend can conclude with music by the Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8-10 pm.

Are you planning something that should be on our community event calendar – one-time or recurring? Please email us the basics – westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CONGRATULATIONS! Two Madison MS teams win citywide championships

More big school-sports news – two Madison Middle School teams won citywide championships today!

That’s the Madison volleyball team. Jennifer sent the photo with word that they won the Seattle Public Schools championship today to crown an undefeated season. The championship was against Robert Eagle Staff Middle School – and Madison won despite Eagle Staff having home-court advantage, since that’s where they played.

Eagle Staff is also the school that Madison’s boys soccer team beat for their championship win today:

The photo and update are from Amber; as she had mentioned in the preview we published last night, this match was played at Memorial Stadium downtown

YOU CAN HELP: Alki UCC’s monthly clothing-donation drive, concurrent with vandalism-response community art creation

(Photo courtesy Alki UCC)

Alki UCC members have been preparing materials like those for tomorrow’s community art event in response to vandalism and theft of banners outside the building they share with Kol HaNeshamah. The backstory is here, and all are invited to stop by and participate, 11:15 am to 12:30 pm at 6115 SW Hinds. Tomorrow is also the monthly community donation drive hosted by Alki UCC, with the opportunity to drop off items 11 am-3 pm in front of the church (which is where the community art event also is happening). This month, they say: “Men’s work clothes are a continued priority! Our donations drive serves many men participating in day labor who go through a lot of jeans, khakis, sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, work boots, jackets … and lots of NEW socks to keep their feet healthy.”

VIDEO: West Seattle High School earns third consecutive trip to state’s final four after two victories today

7:04 PM: That’s how West Seattle High School‘s baseball team celebrated the win this evening that is sending them back to the state semifinals – third year in a row! We’ve been up at Edmonds-Woodway HS for the past six hours covering WSHS’s first two state tournament games – both one-run victories, 2-1 over Peninsula and 10-9 over Mountlake Terrace. Next they’ll head to Pasco, where the state 3A semifinal and final games will be played this year. We’ll add more about today’s games here later!

9:58 PM: Here are our highlights of the two games the Wildcats played today – both “loser out” games, so the stakes were high – starting with the game against Peninsula:

WSHS starter #12, senior Miles Chandler, had some control problems right out of the gate. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning but gave up a run in the second. He was pulled in the fourth inning, and #6, senior John Langen, took over mound duties. Later that inning, WSHS got on the board after #2, senior Bobby Trigg, got a leadoff double and was brought in by #24. junior Lukas Cheha.

The Wildcats’ other run was in the 6th, when #11, senior TJ Buehring, got on base, made it to third after a double by #7, senior Caden Fahy, and then scored.

Time ran out for Peninsula, which didn’t manage to muster a late comeback.

That win sent head coach Dylan Mclauchlin and his team up against Mountlake Terrace, also a “loser out” game. This one had plenty of drama, as well as weather challenges (rain, mostly light). A dedicated crowd braved it all.

This time the Wildcats scored right off the top – Buehring drew a walk, Fahy hit another double, Cheha hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI, and WSHS had an early 1-0 lead. Starting pitcher #17, senior Matthew Henning, struck out two of the first three Terrace batters. In the second, he had two outs on two pitches. Things looked good … until the bottom of the third, when Terrace loaded the bases and turned that into two runs, followed by two more before the inning ended. West Seattle got one back shortly thereafter. It was three up, three down, for Henning in the bottom of the fourth, still 4-2 MLT. The Wildcats added another run in the 5th. So did the Hawks.

Then came the dramatic two-out comeback in the top of the 6th. Buehring and Fahy both got hits after two previous batters notched outs. Henning walked. Cheha got an RBI single.

#42, senior Sabin Tomlinson, came up to bat:

With that, WSHS took the lead, 6-5.

And the rally was’t over – one more run followed. Then in the bottom of the 6th, pitcher #9 Sam Waskowitz made 1-2-3 work of the Mountlake Terrace batters, and it was on to the 7th. The Wildcats added three insurance runs, with hits including yet another Fahy double. By inning’s end, they were ahead 10-5.

But as the saying goes, “it’s not over till it’s over.” Mountlake Terrace loaded the bases in the bottom of the 7th and cleared them with a grand slam, That five-run lead was down to one. Fahy concluded his heroics for the day by moving onto the mound and saving the victory.

So, for the third year in a row, the Wildcats have made it into the state tournament semifinals (see the full bracket here). Their next game is in Pasco, vs. Eastside Catholic (20-7), 7:15 pm Friday (May 24). The two teams met on April 3; the Wildcats (20-5) won, 5-4.

REMINDER: West Seattle 5K tomorrow, on Alki and Harbor Avenues

One last reminder that tomorrow (Sunday, May 19) brings more than 1,300 runners and walkers to Alki and Harbor Avenues for the West Seattle 5K. The no-parking signs are out (don’t defy them – you might get towed) and both streets will be closed to vehicle traffic between roughly 8 am and 11 am. It’s not too late to be part of it – you can still register online, or at the starting line – near the Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki) – starting at 8:30 am Sunday. The West Seattle 5K is a fundraiser for programs supported by the West Seattle High School PTSA, which coordinates the event.

HELPING: One Day of Service volunteering in West Seattle

2:45 PM: Next time you travel along Roxbury, you’ll notice a much brighter fence at the Community School of West Seattle, thanks to volunteers working there as one of dozens of places citywide getting people-powered help as part of the One Seattle Day of Service today:

Thanks to CSWS for sharing photos! We also have one from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, whose Adopt-A-Street cleanup was centered on California SW between Admiral and The Junction

The city says thousands of people signed up for more than 130 events involving 100+ organizations.

9:04 PM: We have photos from another of those organization, Kiwanis Club of West Seattle:

Thanks to Denis Sapiro from the Kiwanis Club for sending the photos.

VIDEO: Opening day for Delridge Farmers’ Market, after mayoral visit

15 vendors offering fruit, vegetables, flowers, fresh-cooked food, and condiments and spices are awaiting you right now at opening day for the (corrected) fourth year of the Delridge Farmers’ Market. The day began with a ribboncutting ceremony featuring Mayor Bruce Harrell, visiting as part of his tour for One Seattle Day of Service, which also includes dozens of volunteering events around the city:

As you can see in our photo, District 1 Councilmember Rob Saka was there too. He and Harrell spoke briefly before the ribboncutting, as did Bilan Aden of ACHD, the nonprofit that operates the market, with a focus on economic development for BIPOC-led businesses:

Vendors will be there until 2 pm, including both growers like Aash Farms

.. and Afella Jollof Catering:

We also saw Ma and Pops‘ frozen-treat stand, Wendi Farms, Guerra’s, BDE dumplings, Queen Sugar Baking Company, Bajan Station, and more. They’re in the courtyard at Hope Academy (9421 18th SW), and you’ll find the market there every Saturday, 10 am-2 pm, through October, with resources for community members as well as food for all (including free bags for those who need them).

PHOTOS: West Seattle Bee Festival draws swarms of visitors

(Thanks to Lora for the photos)

10:58 AM: If ever you’ve wanted to find out more about the West Seattle Bee Garden, today is THE day. The West Seattle Bee Festival is under way all day in and around High Point Commons Park (Lanham/Graham). The morning is devoted to walking and running activities, with the help of Emerald City Wanderers:

Then from noon to 4 pm, booths will be set up along Lanham Place, with a variety of organizations and vendors to visit, and you can check out activities and demonstrations – to learn about the bees, be at the Bee Garden at 1 pm for a hive demonstration. The full schedule of events is in this preview.

12:26 PM: Thanks to Lora for more photos – you can meet beekeepers and buy honey, of course, at the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association booth:

The Seattle Public Library hopes you’ll be abuzz about reading:

Seattle Police sent four-legged ambassadors from the Mounted Patrol:

The festival is on until 4 pm!


(‘Sundog’ photographed Friday night by Don Brubeck)

Here are notes for today/tonight, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

LIBRARY CLOSURE: The Southwest Library is closed Saturdays through June 4.

WATER TAXI’S LATER-EVENING RUNS: Spring/summer season for the West Seattle Water Taxi continues, so it’s making later-evening runs tonight.

WEST SEATTLE RUNNER GROUP RUN: The store is where to meet for the weekly free group run at 8 am. (2743 California SW)

SAUNA AT THE BEACH: Portable sauna at Alki Beach, 8 am-3 pm, with some openings remaining as of early today – the reservation link is in our calendar listing.

FREE! HEAVILY MEDITATED: Arrive by 8:50 am for community meditation at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska). Free event every Saturday but please register.

WEST SEATTLE BEE FESTIVAL: 9 am-4 pm at High Point Commons Park and in the street on Lanham Place. See our preview for the full schedule, from morning 5K/10K walks to the afternoon booths, demonstrations, and music.

WEST DUWAMISH GREENBELT GUIDED HIKE: Free! Meet up at 9:30 am at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee) – details in our calendar listing.

DELRIDGE FARMERS’ MARKET, SEASON OPENER: 10 am-2 pm, as previewed here. Mayor Harrell is scheduled to visit toward the start of today’s market, as part of the One Seattle Day of Service. (9421 18th SW)

SPEAKING OF ONE DAY OF SERVICE: Last-minute volunteers still welcome at Webster Pond (greenspace on SW Webster south of Home Depot), 10 am-1 pm – here’s the RSVP form.

SSC GARDEN CENTER: Plants await you at the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus, 10 am-3 pm.

MIDDLE-SCHOOL SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP: As previewed here, Madison MS boys play Eagle Staff MS for the district championship, 10 am at Memorial Stadium downtown.

MORNING MUSIC: 10:30 am-noon at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), Marco de Carvalho and Friends perform. Info about Marco’s music is here.

FAMILY STORY TIME: 10:30 am-11 am at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond).

FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – see full details in our calendar listing.

BEGINNER’S FORAGING WALK: 11 am in West Seattle – organizer will send location after registration.

FAMILY READING TIME: Every Saturday at 11 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).

POP-UP: 11 am-6 pm, fashion pop-up by Jayma at Swan Dive (4537 California SW).

POGGIE TAVERN TURNS 90: The dive bar at 4717 California SW plans festivities all weekend – that includes NWTXBBQ visiting 3-7 pm today. Open noon-2 am.

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN: The home of West Seattle history is open for your visit, noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens)

VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: The center is open to visitors noon-3 pm, as explained here. (2236 SW Orchard)

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room open – wine by the glass or bottle – 1-6 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor).

HIGH-SCHOOL BASEBALL: West Seattle HS plays its first state-tournament game, vs. Peninsula at Edmonds-Woodway HS (7600 212th SW, Edmonds), 1 pm.

READY FREDDY PREP PARTY: Join preparedness coach Alice Kuder of Just In Case (WSB sponsor) to learn how to build your “flee bag.” At Whisky West (6451 California SW); RSVP, please – email alice@justincaseplans.com to be sure there’s a spot.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Open 1-6 pm at the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus.

SEATTLE BEER WEEK AT OUNCES: Christmas in May, 3-6 pm at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), as Seattle Beer Week festivities continue.

NEPENTHE’S WALK-IN MASSAGE CLINIC: 3-5 pm, show up at Nepenthe (9447 35th SW) with a specific problem to be addressed by massage, and you’ll get a free (gratuities appreciated) trial of their work.

UNMASK THE NIGHT: 5 pm benefit for Chad’s Legacy Project, founded by a West Seattle couple in honor of their son. At Hideaway Cellars in SODO (4130 1st Ave. S.).

ROO FORREST & FRIENDS: Music at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7 pm, no cover.

LARRY MURANTE AT KENYON HALL: With Nati Popova, 7 pm doors. Ticket link’s in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)

THUNDERPUSSY LIVE AT EASY STREET: 7 pm in-store performance. (4559 California SW)

ALL-AGES OPEN MIC: 7-10 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)

RETROMANCERS AT THE SKYLARK: “Power rock with West Seattle band The Retromancers, plus First Track & Project 33, doors 7 pm, music 8 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), $10 cover.

BEATS: Saturday night DJs at Revelry Room – 9 pm. Tonight, DJ Ichy spins. (4547 California SW, alley side)

KARAOKE: Saturday night, sing at Talarico’s Pizzeria (4718 California SW), starting at 10 pm.

Planning a happening? If the community’s welcome, your event belongs on our calendar! Please email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

New summer celebration, beach concerns, CARE’s chief @ Alki Community Council

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Even with one marquee guest (City Attorney Ann Davison) canceling, last night’s Alki Community Council meeting was information-laden.

One headline: The ACC is organizing its first community celebration, with the help of a city grant. Set your calendar for 5-8 pm Thursday, June 20, when music, food, and fun will fill Alki Playfield. ACC vice president Lindsay Pearsall is organizing the event: “The idea is to bring the whole community together … to find opportunities to connect and celebrate.” It’ll also synergize with the quest for public feedback on plans for the playground between the past-and-future Alki Elementary site and the playfield. This will replace the ACC’s usual third-Thursday meeting.

Another headline: Parks still hasn’t formally announced the closing times for Alki beach-fire rings and the rest of the beach park, though ACC president Charlotte Starck received an email from Parks official Markeith Blackshire a week ago saying the superintendent had decided to keep the closure at 10:30 pm, same as the past few years, and same as what Parks said during last November’s meeting covering a variety of West Seattle topics. But this was all before the early-Wednesday gunfire on both ends of the greater Alki area – Beach Drive and Harbor Avenue – so things could change.

With summer-like weather bringing crowds last weekend, the beach park was a major topic. Pearsall said she had seen two newly graduated Park Rangers at the beach over the weekend; Starck said she had noticed more police presence.

Read More

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Junction Wine Walk draws 1,000+ people to sample beverages and businesses

Tonight’s sold-out West Seattle Wine Walk, organized by the WS Junction Association, not only brought out more than a thousand people to taste wine and visit businesses, it also gathered donations for WestSide Baby. More than 50 wineries and businesses participated – we visited three of the WSB sponsors who were participating. Ben from Viscon Cellars was pouring at CAPERS Home:

You can visit his tasting room Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 5910 California SW. To the north, Ava and Jo from Spruce Hill Winery (open Fridays/Saturdays in SODO) were pouring at Kendall Dental:

And Emerald Water Anglers (42nd/Oregon) hosted Momento Cellars:

The Junction Association announces events like these months in advance, so be sure to snap up your ticket(s) next time as soon as you hear about it, so you don’t miss out – you’ll see the news here as well as wsjunction.org.

UPDATE: Big callout, small-but-smoky fire in 2100 block California SW

(Added: Reader photo, sent by Patrick Brown)

8:17 PM: The first units arriving at a fire-in-building callout in the 2100 block of California SW [vicinity map] say it’s a kitchen fire.

8:20 PM: This is on the first floor of a four-story apartment building. Firefighters just told dispatch the fire is under control but very smoky.

8:24 PM: They’ve declared the fire “tapped” (out). … No injuries reported.

8:55 PM: They’re calling for Red Cross help for one woman and two pets.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation

6:51 PM: After 911 calls reporting apparent gunfire near 30th SW and SW Morgan [map], police have arrived in the area and confirmed it. They have found at least three casings in an alley near that intersection. They also have found a vehicle with “two bullet holes in the windshield,” officers told dispatch. No report of any injuries so far; there are reports the gunfire may have involved multiple groups of people on foot and in vehicles.

6:54 PM: Now they’ve reported to dispatch that they’re up to 15 casings.

7:14 PM: Officers have also told dispatch about “possible gunfire damage” to the 2nd floor of a home in the area.

SPORTS: Madison MS boys’ soccer team to play for district championship

The photo is from Amber, one of two Madison Middle School parents who sent word that the boys’ soccer team plays for the district championship Saturday morning at Memorial Stadium downtown. The other parent notes, “They are led by the amazing and caring Coach Zanna Peterson, who is also an Instructional Assistant at Madison. Congrats to Coach, these players, and their families!” The game at 10 am tomorrow, Amber says, is vs. North Seattle’s Robert Eagle Staff Middle School.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: West Seattle Bee Festival tomorrow!

First big event of a lively West Seattle weekend starts at 9 am tomorrow – the West Seattle Bee Festival! Here’s how the day will unfold:

Commons Park runs north behind Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW; map) and the West Seattle Bee Garden is at its north end (corner of Lanham and Graham); Lanham is where you’ll find most of the booths during the community activities between noon and 4 pm (that street will be closed to traffic much of the day). It’s all free! The first Bee Festival was back in 2013, celebrating the launch of the Bee Garden itself.

BIZNOTE: U-Frame-It proprietor gets ready to hang it up after almost half a century of framing

(WSB photos)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

In two weeks, Tom Sweeney will end a 48-year career, closing one of West Seattle’s last two framing shops.

It’s not because of lack of business, or increased rent, or any of the frequently cited business-closure reasons. The proprietor of U-Frame-It says simply, “I’m tired.”

We talked to Tom in his shop at Jefferson Square, where he’s been for 10 years, after 20 years on California SW, in a storefront lost to redevelopment. We found out about his retirement plan from readers who heard it from him face-to-face; he hasn’t made an announcement via email, or social media, as he says he doesn’t use a computer or cell phone – “I’m an old Luddite,” he laughs, displaying a sheaf of handwritten business records when we ask how many customers he’s served over the decades.

How did he happen into framing as a career? Tom says he was a cross-country driver, just back from eight months on the road, when he walked into a shop to see about framing some photos he had taken. They happened to be hiring, no experience required. Tom said he’d “had enough” of life on the road – so he decided to give it a try, and started November 1, 1975. “They were having so much fun.”

And so was he, until a few years ago. Until the pandemic, Tom says, “this wasn’t work” – and then business intensified, with so many more people spending so much more time at home. He was overwhelmed; his turnaround time increased, from one week to two months. (The shop name U-Frame-It might imply self-serve, but Tom says that business line ended a while back. He doesn’t have employees, either, though he says he did until The Great Recession in the ’00s.)

Even with the steady business, Tom says, “Nobody wants to buy stores.” Nobody much wants to buy his equipment, even; he’s sold one item to a downtown business, but the rest, he expects, will end up “in my garage.” He realizes that “being a shopkeeper is an old-fashioned thing.” And he’s an old-fashioned framer, “doing it the same way I have since I started.”

Not that long ago, he says, West Seattle had seven framing shops. After U-Frame-It closes, only Northwest Art and Frame will remain. He’s already sending people there; though May 31st is his planned last day, he’s already turning away new business (someone opened the door while we were in the shop talking with him, and he offered regrets and redirection).

Since he isn’t making a formal announcement, we asked if he has parting words: “West Seattle’s been incredibly kind to me … I’ve met people (and am) doing their children’s framing now. The clients have been nothing but gracious and kind to me. I’m going to miss them … I’m very grateful.”

So what’s Tom planning to do in retirement? “Sleep, and work in my yard. I’ve been ignoring my yard for 30 years.”

Thinking about this year’s Loop the ‘Lupe obstacle-course 5K (or other options)? Here’s a deal if you sign up today

Just three weeks until this year’s Loop the ‘Lupe, featuring our area’s only obstacle-course 5K. Here’s one reason to register today instead of waiting until the last minute:

Loop the ‘Lupe director Brian Callanan tells us that he’s putting in the orders for T-shirts today. So to guarantee you get the T-shirt size you’re looking for, sign up before midnight – and if you do, here’s a special one-day-only deal: Use the coupon code SHIRT5 to get a $5 discount on registration! Go here ASAP and use that code. As that page explains, you have five options for the big day – Saturday, June 8, at Walt Hundley Playfield – (34th/Myrtle) with starts between 11 am and 1 pm: Obstacle-course Elite Wave, obstacle-course Family Wave, 5K Fun Run, Senior Saunter, Youth Dash. It’s one big party, with music and food/drink. (WSB is Loop the ‘Lupe’s media sponsor – here’s our coverage from last year.)

Laugh, dance, skate, sip, and other West Seattle Friday options

(Hoverfly – aka flower fly – Genus Eumerus on lavender leaf. Photo by Rosalie Miller)

Mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s what’s up for the rest of your Friday:

WATER TAXI EXTENDED HOURS: The Water Taxi’s spring/summer hours add Friday and Saturday later-evening service each week.

SSC GARDEN CENTER: Plants await you at the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus, until 3 pm.

LIBRARY CLOSURE: The Seattle Public Library‘s temporary closure days continue; the West Seattle (Admiral) branch will not be open, but it’s regular hours today for our area’s other libraries.

MASCOT MAYHEM: Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) kicks off Seattle Beer Week 5-9 pm by hosting two Seattle sports mascots – Blitz and the Moose – details in our calendar listing.

WEST SEATTLE WINE WALK, SOLD OUT: If you have your ticket, tonight’s the night in The Junction, 5-9 pm. If not – sorry, sold out!

VISCON CELLARS: In addition to participating in the Junction Wine Walk, the tasting room/wine bar is open tonight for wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm – at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor).

OPEN MIC AT KENYON HALL: Signups start at 6, music at 6:30. (7904 35th SW)

LAUGH AND PLAY: Murder mystery meets comedy in this version of Mafia at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 7 pm – check fast to see if tickets remain.

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRAS: First of two free May concerts by WSCO, 7 pm at Chief Sealth IHS (2600 SW Thistle).

PARENTS’ NIGHT OFF: For ages 6-12, 7-10 pm at Wicked Rae’s Art Studio, with a “Moana” theme – check to see if openings remain. (3220 California SW)

AT THE SKYLARK: Publique Official DJ night, featuring featuring Suede Rango, Travieso, Kevibe, Richard Mixon. Doors at 7 pm, music at 8. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

SHOWCASE AT THE SPOT: Fridays are Live Artist Showcase nights at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), 7-10 pm.

DJ AT REVELRY ROOM: DJ Topspin, 9 pm-1 am! (4547 California SW)

MAKE IT LOUD! Skate to live music at Southgate Roller Rink (9646 17th SW), 9 pm-midnight, this week featuring Tacos!, Noise-A-Tron, Klesa. $18 cover + $5 skate rental.

LATE-NIGHT SINGING: 10 pm karaoke at Talarico’s Pizzeria (4718 California SW).

Something to add to our calendar? westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Bail set at $500,000 for suspect in hit-run death of Tommy Joe Garrett

(Victim’s photo, as displayed at April 27 vigil)

9:15 AM: Three and a half weeks after a hit-run driver killed 81-year-old Tommy Joe Garrett at 15th/Roxbury, the King County Sheriff’s Office has announced an arrest. Here’s the news release:

King County Sheriff’s Office Detectives have made an arrest in fatal pedestrian hit and run that occurred
in White Center on April 22, 2024. On April 22, 2024, just after 10 PM, an 81-year-old man was crossing SW Roxbury Street at 15th Ave SW when he was fatally struck by a vehicle in the hours of darkness. The vehicle did not stop and fled the scene. Detectives were able to identify the fleeing vehicle as a silver- colored Jeep Compass. Over the next few weeks KCSO Detectives continued checking the area

businesses and residences to trace the vehicle’s route pre and post collision. This eventually led them to identifying a vehicle license plate with a view of the driver, a lone 37-year-old male driver. With the help of the King County Metro Transit PD Street Crimes Detectives, the driver was arrested yesterday without incident on a traffic stop as he was leaving a home in the Puyallup area. He was eventually booked for investigation of the fatal hit and run into the King County Jail. The driver subsequently admitted that he moved the Jeep to Port Orchard, where he had it parked under a tarp at a family member’s residence. King County Sheriff’s Office Detectives have recovered the vehicle, and it was brought back to King County as evidence and for processing.

This case is still an active and open investigation. We are not naming the suspect as he has not been charged yet by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. We hope to have more information to release whenthe case has concluded.

We’re working to find out more and will update this story with additional details when we do.

4:20 PM: The suspect’s bail was set this afternoon at $500,000, as requested by prosecutors. He is being held for investigation of hit-run death. We checked his record; he was arrested for domestic violence 10 years ago, and the case was dismissed, but the charging documents noted he had numerous driving violations. The document from today’s hearing says the suspect lives in Puyallup and that the car belongs to his mother. The plate was traced through an image from the Westwood Village McDonald’s, recorded minutes before the crash.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER, ROAD WORK: Friday + weekend info, including Bike Everywhere Day, Bee Festival, West Seattle 5K

6:00 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, May 17.


As previewed here, West Seattle Bike Connections is hosting a “Celebration Station” 6-9 am today, along the path at the west end of the low bridge. Here’s the map of all stations around the region.


Increasing clouds, high in the low 60s.. Today’s sunrise was at 5:28 am; sunset will be at 8:43 pm.

(Thursday sunset, photographed by James Bratsanos)


*SDOT work at Highland Park Way/Holden – repairing the sidewalk at the intersection’s northwest corner, restriping the road, and rebuilding the curb ramps to fix accessibility issues.

*SDOT’s Delridge pedestrian-bridge earthquake-safety project continues, with narrowing at Delridge/Oregon:


*Lanham Place north of Sylvan/Morgan in High Point will be closed for much of Saturday for the West Seattle Bee Festival.

*SPU may again close Sylvan Way SW between SW Orchard St and Delridge Way SW on Saturday, 7 am-7 pm, for pavement restoration.

*Harbor and Alki Avenues will be closed to traffic approximately 8-11 am Sunday morning for the West Seattle 5K.


Metro today – Regular schedule; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule, with Friday late-night runs. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – The usual 2 boats on the Triangle Route. Check WSF alerts for last-minute changes. Use the real-time map to see where your ferry is. … Monday note: Work at the Southworth terminal will close lanes there for about 3 weeks.


Low bridge: Open.

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, Delridge/Oregon, and video-only (so you have to go to the map), Delridge/Holden and Delridge/Thistle.

High Bridge – Here’s the main camera:

High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):

1st Ave. S. Bridge:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are open for vessel traffic. (Except the low bridge, for now; SDOT says it’s working on that.)

If you see a problem on the bridges/streets/paths/water, please text or call our hotline (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene) – 206-293-6302. Thank you!

COUNTDOWN: Three days until season-opening soccer match for West Seattle Junction FC

A victory for West Seattle Junction FC days before the new soccer team takes the field at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle). You might recall the club owners had some challenges with the stadium’s owner, Seattle Public Schools, not giving permission for some things Junction FC considers critical to success – like scoreboard use. They’ve now secured permission for that – paying an SPS employee to operate it – so the scoreboard will be in operation when Junction FC plays Capital at 2 pm Sunday (May 19). Tickets are still available – go here to get yours. Also, the club says, “We’re lining up street-side food vendors and pop-ups. Interested vendors can contact info@wsjunctionfc.club” If you can’t make it to opening day, the next two home matches after that are Friday, May 24, 7 pm vs. Lane United, and Sunday, May 26, 2 pm vs. United PDX. Same link for tickets. Junction FC players and coaches also have the team’s first two youth-soccer clinics on the schedule, June 21 and 22 at local fields – go here for info and registration.

ADDED FRIDAY: Junction FC supporters are planning a March to the Match after a pre-game gathering at The Westy (7908 35th SW) – gathering at 11:30 am, march at 1 pm.