HAPPENING NOW: First-ever Alki Community Summer Celebration

Happening until 8 pm on the north end of Alki Playfield, it’s the first-ever Alki Community Summer Celebration, presented by the Alki Community Council, whose vice president Lindsay Pearsall and president Charlotte Starck were on stage between bands when we stopped by.

Community groups and city departments are there with information and more – Seal Sitters provides an opportunity to learn about sea life:

And don’t miss the chance to comment on the design of the play area at the south end of the playground, which will be overhauled with the future school-construction project. We’ll add a few more photos later.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash at Fauntleroy/41st

Just northeast of Morgan Junction, SFD and SPD have responded to a crash reportedly involving two vehicles, with one driver hitting a pole and bringing down wires at Fauntleroy/41st [map]. Seattle City Light is en route too. Avoid the area for a while.

Pride Month events continue in West Seattle, White Center

(WSB file photo)

We’re in the second half of Pride Month, with more special events ahead, announced since our first update just before the start of the month:

JUNE 21 – LOUD N PROUD: The White Center Community Development Association presents this street fair noon-5 pm tomorrow on SW 98th in downtown White Center. Performances, food, resources – info on our partner site White Center Now.

JUNE 22 – RAINBOW FLAGS: The West Seattle Junction Association changed the date it’s displaying rainbow flags (like the one in our photo above) to Saturday (June 22). A few volunteer spots remain to place (9 am) and remove (4 pm) them – you can sign up here.

JUNE 22 – PRIDE PARTY: Also on Saturday, Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) is hosting a Pride Party, 3-7 pm, “a special event to promote diversity, inclusivity and equal rights for LGBTQIA+ persons! Event features fun Pride Beers on tap, Glitter Beer & Pride Flights, FREE Giveaways, Pride Desserts, and a DJ spinning low-key vibes from 4-6 pm. FREE! Family/Dog-Friendly!”

JUNE 22 – PRIDE STORYTIME: 4:30 pm Saturday at West Seattle (Admiral) Library (2306 California SW), Miss Lacey is hosting another Pride Storytime: “All ages & families welcome. There will be reading books, singing songs, and an activity.”

JUNE 22 – DRAG BRUNCH: Looks like a few reservations remain for drag brunch Saturday at Box Bar (5401 California SW, 21+ venue). Seating begins at 10:45 am; $25 admission includes a mimosa.

JUNE 28 – DRAG KINGS: Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm on Friday, June 28, for Emerald City Kings Ball Pride at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW). Advance tickets $20, available online.

Got something to add to our list/calendar for Pride in West Seattle/White Center – or other calendar events? Please email the info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

Today we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, a unique part of the West Seattle wine scene, the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College. New sponsors have the opportunity to tell you about themselves – here’s what the Northwest Wine Academy wants you to know:

The Northwest Wine Academy Tasting Room at South Seattle College offers a serene retreat from city life, nestled beside the college arboretum, a community garden, and the Seattle Chinese Garden. It’s located in the Puget Ridge neighborhood of West Seattle. Step into a lively space where students craft unique wines, providing a tasting experience brimming with Pacific Northwest flavors, from the bold notes of black cherry and blackberries to the subtle nuances of woody oak, vanilla, and more. By supporting the Wine Academy, you are supporting our students’ journey to build their skills and find fulfilling work in Washington’s bustling wine industry.

Whether you prefer the outdoors in summer or the cozy indoors year-round, indulge in our affordable tastings priced at just $8 per person for a flight of four varieties. Join our vibrant community at one of the Northwest Wine Academy‘s regular events, where we not only showcase wines but also engage in activities such as painting, plant potting, cookie decorating, and delightful food pairings.

Elevate your experience by becoming a member of our Wine Club after attending one of our events. Our club offers various membership tiers, ranging in prices, and includes shipments of 4 to 12 bottles twice a year. Members also enjoy exclusive discounts on all other purchases throughout the year. These experiences go to help fund student led projects, new equipment, and support the health of the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College.

Interested in hosting an event in the tasting room or have questions regarding visiting us for a tasting? Contact: WineInfo@seattlecolleges.edu. We can provide you with room rental fees and our current catering menu! 

The Northwest Wine Academy is in the north lot of the SSC campus at 6000 16th SW. Follow the Northwest Wine Academy on Instagram to learn more about our upcoming events and offerings, including food truck pop-ups ran by our Culinary Arts students.

We thank the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here; email patrick@wsbsales.com for info on joining the team!

FOLLOWUP: Maarten Park to be dedicated Sunday

(WSB photo – part of Maarten Park)

More than a decade after the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene embarked on a project to redevelop part of its property long known as “the park,” what remains as open space is truly becoming one. The church will dedicated what it calls Maarten Park in a community celebration on Sunday. This update is from Marcy Mabry:

This Sunday, June 23, will be the grand opening celebration of Maarten Park! Located next to West Seattle Church of the Nazarene on the 5900 block of 42nd Ave, the church dreamed of this greenspace becoming a park where neighbors and kids can gather, have fun, get to know each other, and build community. Named for our neighbor and congregant Maarten Verburg, who passed away in 2023, Maarten loved anything that brought people together, and he loved a good party – so let’s celebrate!

The day will start with a special church service outside in the park at 10 am. Following, around 11:15, will be the opening ceremony. Then we party! At noon, hamburgers & hot dogs should be ready, feel free to bring a dish to share. West Seattle’s own The Viking Surfers will be playing a set around 1:30. ALL are welcome!

West Seattle Naz is a small church that does so much for so many with so little, and their gift of this greenspace transforming into a park for the community could not have happened without the generosity of friends, neighbors, congregants, and family who have pitched in – whether it be financially, with volunteering, and with cheering on the crew! Very special thanks to John Mullan and his crew at PlayCreation for donating time and materials to make this dream a reality!

There’s still more to do to make this an even more awesome park: Park lighting, more outdoor toys, hillside climb & explore objects, outdoor lighting, and recurring maintenance costs. If you’re able to donate to support the park, you can do so at either link:
westseattlenaz.org/about-us/maarten-park
gofundme.com/f/maarten-park

Alki Community Summer Celebration and more for your West Seattle Thursday

(This morning’s sunrise, photographed by Stewart L.)

A brand-new summer event is part of the highlight list for the rest of your Thursday, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar!

SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE GARDEN CENTER: Need plants? The center is open Thursdays-Saturdays 10 am-3 pm, north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus.

LUNCH AND LEARN ABOUT YOUR HEALTH: 12:30 pm-1 pm online, Neighborhood Naturopathic and Primary Care (WSB sponsor) presents a free online “lunch and learn” event titled “SIBO or IBS: Finding the True Cause of your Gut Symptoms.” Here’s the registration link.

WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email westseattleukuleleplayerswsup@gmail.com for info on where they’re playing today.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room/wine bar now open Thursdays-Saturdays 1 pm-6 pm, north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus. Food too – stop by to sip and nosh!

VILLAGE GREEN STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: Strawberry desserts, tours, a raffle, all part of this event at Village Green West Seattle (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor) at 1:30 pm – call to see if they still have spots open; info is in our calendar listing.

SUMMER SOLSTICE: The solstice moment is at 1:50 pm. Note that Alice Enevoldsen‘s solstice sunset watch is one day delayed this time around – she’ll be at Solstice Park FRIDAY evening.

STRONG BODIES, STRONG BONES: 2:30 pm yoga class at what’s now the Center for Active Living (4217 SW Oregon).

HPCS FOOD-TRUCK VISIT: Every Thursday, 4-8 pm, Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) gets a food-truck visit. Tonight it’s Original Philly’s.

ALKI COMMUNITY SUMMER CELEBRATION: Music, activities, fun at Whale Tail Park/Alki Playfield (58th/Lander), 5-8 pm, a first-ever event presented by the Alki Community Council, free (with food for sale). Our most-recent preview has an updated list of who and what you’ll find – and don’t miss the chance for feedback on the play-area redesign just north of the past-and-future school site.

VISCON CELLARS: The West Seattle winery’s tasting room/wine bar is open 5-9 pm (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) for wine by the glass or bottle.

WALKING FOR WELL-BEING: Meet at 6 pm to walk in Lincoln Park – details in our calendar listing.

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meet at Good Society (California/Lander) at 6 pm for a 3-mile run.

HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: 6:30 pm, meet at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) for a 3-mile run through the neighborhood. (Walking option, too!)

BLUES NIGHT: 6:30-9 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), every Thursday you can listen to the blues.

BONA FIDE BAND AT EASY STREET RECORDS: Krist Novoselic and friends perform live, 7 pm, all ages, no cover.

LIVE AT THE SKYLARK: Clementine Was Right, Farseek, Claire Conway, Slipping, doors at 6 pm, music at 7 pm, $10 cover. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

TRIVIA: 7 pm at Burger Planet (9614 14th SW).

‘CLYDE’S’ AT ARTSWEST: 7:30 pm performance at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) – “In this 2022 Tony Award®-Nominated Best Play, creating the perfect sandwich is the shared quest of the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff of Clyde’s, a truck-stop cafe.” Find the ticket link and more info in our calendar listing.

Planning an event that should be on our calendar and in our daily preview lists? Please email info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

COUNTDOWN: 2 weeks to West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade! Here’s the route

Before we get to today’s what’s-happening list, a quick reminder that we are now two weeks away from the big, free, fun event that starts Independence Day celebrations on the peninsula, the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade. It’s now presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, and organizer Megan Erb sent this reminder of the route:

The parade officially starts at 10 am from Sunset and 44th, where you can start gathering at 9:30 am. The parade will be preceded by the National Anthem, with a singer from Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor), and a brief welcome from City Councilmember Rob Saka. Then everyone heads west/southwest on the route shown above, which loops back to cross California Avenue SW on the way to end at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where you’ll find games and food trucks, highlighted by the traditional sack races. This is a non-motorized parade except for the Seattle Fire engine and classic pickup truck at the start – human-powered wheels are welcome. The parade is in its second quarter-century!

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER, ROAD WORK: Final hours of spring

6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, June 20. The summer-solstice moment is just hours away, 1:50 pm.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

Summer weather is here, too. Sunny, high in the upper 70s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:11 am again – earliest of the year, not changing until Saturday – while sunset will be at 9:10 pm.

LAST DAYS OF SCHOOL

-Friday is the last day of classes at Seattle Public Schools.

ONGOING ROAD WORK

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

*Beach Drive: Gas-pipeline work.

TRANSIT NOTES

Metro today – Regular schedule; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. 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.

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

Low bridge: Here’s the main view:

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:

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.

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!

UPDATE: Car-on-side crash in Fauntleroy

11:53 PM: SFD and SPD are headed to 47th/Wildwood, just southeast of the Fauntleroy ferry dock, for a report of a flipped-car crash. Everyone in the vehicle is reported to have already gotten out, so no “rescue” response is expected. At least one other vehicle is reported to have been involved.

12:07 AM: Actually a car-on-side crash, per the reader who sent that photo. The other car may have been parked, officer/dispatch communication indicates. No serious injuries reported so far.

12:16 AM: They’re arresting the driver, a woman in her 20s.

SUMMER: Four unique free (or almost) camp opportunities, from fish to football

(Tonight’s sunset, photographed by Carol Ann Joyce)

Summer officially arrives tomorrow afternoon. By Friday night, everybody’s out of school. But if you haven’t totally scheduled the entire summer yet, these four free/low-cost possibilities might be of interest:

FREE ONE-DAY ENVIRONMENTAL CAMP FOR ALL AGES: Puget Soundkeeper sends word of an intergenerational day camp as part of its Salmon and Legacy Debris Project (individual youth or adults, parents with kids, or grandparents with grandkids are all welcome!). This is happening in West Seattle, at Heron’s Nest Outdoor Education Center (4818 Puget Way SW):

Join Puget Soundkeeper for a free, one-day-only intergenerational summer camp on Saturday, July 13th from 10 AM to 4 PM! Come explore the connections between salmon, stormwater, and tires with Puget Soundkeeper and Heron’s Nest!

Some things to look forward to include exploring examples of green stormwater infrastructure; experimenting with DIY stormwater filters; learning about the natural and industrial history of the Duwamish River; and learning to navigate by scent, just like a migrating salmon! Rumor has it we may be making edible Grattix boxes as an afternoon snack! If you are interested, signup will be on a first come, first serve basis. Here is the registration link

WEST SEATTLE HS YOUTH FOOTBALL CAMP: This is also on July 13, 10 am-noon at Hiawatha Playfield (2700 California SW), free to the first 100 kids to register, open to students who will be in K-8 as of this fall.

“Non-contact skills and drills” are promised, with West Seattle HS coaches and players. Here’s the registration form.

SOCCER CAMP: Also at Hiawatha, 10 am-noon this Saturday and Sunday (June 22-23), Dream Wings Youth Soccer Foundation is offering a two-day soccer camp for $10, ages 7-10. Here’s the registration form.

CRIME SOLVERS CAMP: SPD is offering a one-week camp for middle schoolers, July 22-26, noon-5 pm each day, in SODO:

The Relational Policing Innovation Team at the Seattle Police Department, in partnership with the City of Seattle Attorney’s Office and Target, are thrilled to announce our Crime Solvers Youth Camp this summer! Our aim is to educate and inform the campers about the criminal justice system from start to finish through a multitude of different topics and diverse presenters. Throughout the week of programming, we will be walking our campers through an entire case, starting with CSI evidence gathering, teaching about witness/suspect interviewing, trial prep and a mock trial jury, alongside presentations on other safety topics and specialty units.

This unique experience, tailored specifically for Seattle Public Middle School students, aspires to bridge an educational gap between students and the court system to explore a better understanding of our judicial system together! Here is the link to the application.

Here’s the flyer. Registration is open through the end of this month.

DEVELOPMENT: West Seattle Junction site work begins, with a change in plan

That’s the construction site at 4515 44th SW in The Junction, formerly home to CDE Software. Now that site work is under way, a nearby resident suggested an update on the project, which was in city files as a microapartment building when we last mentioned it in fall 2022, planned for more than 40 units. Big change since then, according to what we’ve found in the files now: Construction permits were issued recently for three buildings holding a total of six townhouses (with five offstreet-parking spaces shown on the site plan; the microapartment project was to have none). The site is zoned for development up to five stories. Property records show the company that’s building the townhouses bought the site this past February for $1.65 million.

FOLLOWUP: Lincoln Park South Play Area completion timeline extended

When last we asked Seattle Parks about the Lincoln Park South Play Area timeline – with construction finally under way, seven years after it was closed for wood damage – they told us it was expected to be complete this month. We went over the other day for a look, and noticed that despite June having less than two weeks left, the play area did not appear anywhere near complete. As the top photo shows, the new play structure is in place, but otherwise, the site still looks fairly raw:

The project webpage hadn’t been updated since January when we looked on Monday before sending Parks’ media team an inquiry. They have yet to reply, but we noticed that our inquiry has led to a small update on the website, where the anticipated completion date has changed from June to July.

UPDATE: Fauntleroy incident leads to Arbor Heights arrest

(Texted photo)

3:52 PM: Lots of questions about this. Police have converged on a car in Arbor Heights, near 35th/Ocean View, to investigate whether it’s linked to an incident in Fauntleroy involving someone in a car with a gun. They’re questioning two people. So far as we’ve heard in monitoring, they’re still trying to sort it all out; the resident who sent the photo says officers told him it started as a domestic-violence incident. The car that was stopped was reported to have two children in it.

(WSB photo)

4:19 PM: One man has been arrested, police tell us at the arrest scene. The original incident, in which a gun was brandished, happened near 45th/Wildwood in Fauntleroy. We don’t know whether a gun was found but officers were bagging various items as apparent evidence. The aforementioned children’s mom was brought to the scene earlier so they are OK.

ADDED THURSDAY 11:18 AM: Here’s the brief initial SPD summary of the incident:

Multiple bystanders in the 9200 block of 46 AV SW attempted to intervene in an in-progress assault. The suspect assaulted the bystanders, then produced a handgun, pointed it at multiple people, and fled in a vehicle with the original victim. Officers located the vehicle and detained all occupants. The suspect was arrested and booked …

The suspect is 21 years old and remains in jail this morning, under investigation for assault and unlawful gun possession, the latter because of an assault conviction – we’re still looking into court records but the docket says he was charged in 2021 and resolved the case with a guilty plea in 2022. As for Wednesday’s arrest, there will likely be a probable-cause hearing this afternoon that would determine whether he remains in custody (an initial decision on charges would be later this week); we’ll be checking with prosecutors on what happens next.

ADDED 11:38 AM: The suspect has an extensive record going back to juvenile cases when he was 15 years old. The 2022 conviction involved a gunfire case in Kent, but he has other gun-related convictions, leading to this passage in the charging documents from that case, in a passage arguing for bail (which at one point in that case was set at $1 million):

The Superior Courts of King and Pierce County have repeatedly ordered the Defendant not to possess firearms and he has violated that order with impunity. There is no expectation that he would follow such an order if released. He not only possesses firearms, he endangers the public by his wanton use of them.

He was sentenced in January 2023 to almost five years in state prison for the Kent case, but that included credit for time already served in county jail. We’ll be checking with the Department of Corrections to see when he was released.

ADDED 12:56 PM: DOC says he was released from prison six weeks ago (and is on “community custody” aka parole currently).

SUMMER: Colman Pool’s 7-days-a-week season starts Saturday

This is the third-to-last day you’ll find Colman Pool covered in early afternoon, for a while – the historic heated-salt-water pool on the Lincoln Park shore goes 7 days a week starting Saturday (June 22), just in time for possible mid-80s temperatures! The season schedule is now online – noon-7 pm daily, broken into lap swim, rec swim, and swim lesson sessions. Also remember that the pool will be closed to the public five days for swim meets, June 27-29 and July 12-13. Fees are listed here; if you’re planning on going often, you might consider getting a pass. Colman Pool is scheduled to close for the season after Labor Day.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white F-150 pickup truck (update: found!)

The report and photo are from Kristin:

Sometime between 8 PM Tuesday, June 18, and 8 AM Wednesday the 19th, my truck, a 1995 white Ford F-150, license plate B65426X, was stolen from the parking lot at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge Way SW – I live in the Cooper apartments above the Arts Center. I would sure appreciate if the West Seattle community would keep their eyes out for it.

If you find Kristin’s truck, call it in to 911 – you can refer to SPD incident # 24-166604.

9 PM UPDATE: Found, thanks to tip from Spooled in comments – see below.

Brown water in Arbor Heights

Reported by AKM: “My neighbors and I are seeing brown water. We live in Arbor Heights on/near SW 106th and 40th Ave SW. My neighbor reported seeing the fire department at the fire hydrant on 106th, so this is likely fire hydrant testing. I saw no outages on the SPU map. I am running the tap, still seeing brown water. Hopefully, this will dissipate soon, but glad the fire hydrants are being tested.”

If you notice discolored water, it’s not always hydrant testing – it can also be the result of a pipe break or other system problem, reported or unreported, so it’s important to notify Seattle Public Utilities (the 24/7 number is 206-386-1800).

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Want to be part of this year’s Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show?

(WSB file photo)

On this almost-summer holiday, some planning is under way for almost-winter holiday events. The Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Show, set for November 1-3 this year, has issued its annual Call for Artists. Applications will be welcome through August 31. The three-day show and sale is held at Fauntleroy UCC‘s Fellowship Hall, usually over the course of a Friday evening session, all day Saturday, and midday Sunday. Show and application information is on the church website.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Juneteenth Wednesday

6:01 AM: Good morning! It’s Wednesday, June 19 – Juneteenth.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

Last full day of spring. Sunny, breezy, high in the mid-70s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:11 am again – earliest of the year, not changing until Saturday – while sunset will again be at 9:10 pm.

JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY

-No school today, for those whose school year doesn’t end until later this week (Seattle Public Schools, for one).

Metro todayNo holiday changes; check for advisories here.

Water Taxi today – No holiday changes. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

Washington State Ferries today – No holiday changes on the Triangle Route; check WSF alerts for last-minute changes. Use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.

Sound TransitNo holiday changes.

Parking holiday – Parking is free of charge today in neighborhoods with city-operated pay-station street parking.

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

Low bridge: Here’s the main view:

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 (sorry if it’s still malfunctioning – out of our control):

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.

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!

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle High School Class of 2024 graduates

By the time West Seattle High School‘s Class of 2024 tossed their caps in the air, the sun had set and the moon shone over Memorial Stadium downtown, following an hour-and-a-half ceremony launching more than 300 grads into the rest of their lives. ASB president Ruby Athan was the first of four student speakers; she spoke of learning to let things go, even as she also urged her classmates to take a moment to pause and appreciate who was surrounding them, one last time. Staff speaker Paul Savino provided comic relief, explaining, “If you can make somebody laugh, you got ’em … it’s a mutually disarming technique.” He and others made mention of the Class of 2024 entering high school in mid-pandemic. The first of two “Lessons of Life” student speakers, Ryan Whitney, talked about “the power of focus” and urged classmates to congratulate themselves because they “crushed high school.” Co-speaker Abdi Abdirahman declared, “We came as kittens and left as Wildcats!” Here’s our video of those first four speakers:

The class had nine valedictorians, and one spoke, Andy Hoff, also giving a nod to “the importance of focus,” specifically finding the “one thing that brings you fulfillment.”

The other eight valedictorians are Payson Gutt, Kamil Ignacio, Clay Kuran, Benjamin Lewis, Nina Lovre, Jackie Martin, Leah Morgan, and Sonya Purcell. After the speakers and a musical performance, WSHS principal Brian Vance presented the class to School Board director Gina Topp, who had joined him in the ceremony-opening processional:

The principal observed, “What a ride this has been,” and assured the new grads, “You’re ready for whatever lies ahead.”

We’ll add the district’s video of the entire ceremony when it’s available.

CONGRATULATIONS! Chief Sealth International High School Class of 2024 graduates

Chief Sealth International High School‘s Class of 2024 is celebrating their graduation after this evening’s ceremony at Memorial Stadium downtown – with abundant exuberance, including the grad shown above, carthwheeling from stage to seat after diploma acceptance.

And of course, the nearly 300 grads had their cap-toss moments later:

After Emma Charles – a fifth-great-granddaughter of the school’s namesake Chief Sealth – presented the land acknowledgment, principal Ray Morales told the grads he is looking forward to “being witness to all of your greatness.” Student speaker Jerome Quiambao noted that the class began their high-school years in the heart of the pandemic, and for a while only knew each other as initials on a screen. His speech captured the unique ambience of this moment in young adults’ lives: “The future beckons while the past lingers in our minds.”
Staff speaker Maha Giundi, who teaches Culinary Arts, urged the grads to “carry forth the spirit of pride” and to stay hopeful. (added) Our video of the speakers begins with the principal:

And tonight brought a first for one of the district reps present at the ceremony: The Chief Sealth Class of ’24 was the first class that Seattle Public Schools Board director Gina Topp of West Seattle formally accepted on the district’s behalf, since she took office less than a year ago.


This year’s valedictorian was Dan Nguyen; salutatorian was Joy Ohta.

ADDED 11:14 PM: We’ve added our video of the speakers above. And here’s the district video of the entire ceremony:

The just-over-an-hour graduation begins just before 4 minutes in, with student musicians playing “Pomp and Circumstance” for the processional entrance.

VIDEO: Belated groundbreaking celebration for South Delridge mixed-use project Keystone

Two years after having West Seattle’s first ceremonial apartment-development groundbreaking in eight years, the partnership of STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) and Housing Diversity Corporation had another one today. This time, the project is already under way, but they decided to take a few minutes to celebrate anyway. The project they heralded in 2022, at 3405 Harbor Avenue SW, is almost complete; this one is at 9201 Delridge Way SW, and its foundation is taking shape.

The five-story building is going up on a former auto-shop site on the south side of Delridge/20th/Barton; on the north side, STS already has two properties, Blue Stone and Livingstone, both mixed use – the early-learning facility Bella Mente is in Blue Stone, while STS’s company headquarters are in Livingstone. The new project, Keystone, will have 4,000 square feet of commercial space as well as 74 apartments. All speakers at today’s ceremony talked about the challenges of getting a project going amid a difficult financing environment; STS Construction’s Craig Haveson said he and his wife Mara Haveson first invested in the area 17 years ago, and he’s always believed in its potential.

His parents Rena and Paul, wife Mara, and kids Scarlett and Colton were there to join in the celebration, including the ceremonial shovel-turning:

Speakers also included Housing Diversity CEO Brad Paddon, who has built more than 2,800 apartments in the Northwest and Southern California; he said the intent of this project, and the heart of his business, is to provide more middle-income housing.

Architect Michelle Linden of Atelier Drome echoed the dedication to affordability, saying that people who grew up in this area deserve to be able to stay in this area:

Too soon to say what the rents will be, as completion is more than a year away, but the goal is for the apartments to be affordable to people making 80 percent of the Area Median Income or less; 15 of the units will be rent-restricted via the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption program. Linden noted that the site on which attendees gathered for this afternoon’s ceremony will be a mini-plaza when Keystone is done. The site had proposals under earlier ownership, including a storage facility, but this is the one that finally went through. Meantime, STS and HDC are partners in other future West Seattle developments, including 4448 California SW in The Junction and 17th/Roxbury (which underwent some demolition recently, but that was for safety reasons, not because construction was imminent).

FINANCIAL PARTNERS: Since much was made of the challenges of securing financing for projects right now, here’s who is involved in this project, according to a project-overview infosheet – senior lender First Fed, with a $5 million loan; Nuveen Green Capital as Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACER) lender, loaning $9.74 million; and Citizen Mint, raising $5.18 million of equity.

City Attorney proposes new fine for street racing, ‘takeovers’

Would a new city-imposed $500 fine discourage street racing and “takeovers” like the one caught on video in The Junction earlier this month? This announcement is from City Attorney Ann Davison‘s office:

Today, Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison introduced legislation to the Seattle City Council to address the growing incidence of illegal street racing and “street takeover” events in Seattle.

The legislation, which would adopt new state law expanding the definition of street racing to include drifting and street takeover events, also establishes a $500 civil infraction against the registered owner of a vehicle participating in these activities.

“This legislation responds to the recent rise in large street racing takeover events that pose a safety hazard to the public — pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers,” said City Attorney Davison. “The new civil infraction will give police a tool to hold vehicle owners accountable when their cars are used at these events.”

Over the past several years, Seattle has seen an increase in street racing events comprised of large numbers of vehicles and observers. The participants and spectators literally take over city intersections for drifting, “donuts,” and other dangerous driving techniques. In July 2023, a woman was shot at one of these events, and in May 2024, dozens of drivers continued to participate in a takeover, despite police presence and repeated warnings from officers.

In 2023, state legislators adopted a new state law expanding the definition of street racing. That law went into effect on January 1, 2024.

The $500 infraction proposed by City Attorney Davison is an additional measure which is not in state law.

The proposal will first go to the council’s Public Safety Committee for consideration.

P.S. Police said today that the crash on Alki Avenue early Saturday was preceded by this type of driving – donuts and high speed.

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Businesses’ new campaign for better relocation help – and more clarity

As the Sound Transit Board‘s decision on a West Seattle light-rail route draws closer, residents and businesses in its potential path continue looking ahead to what will happen when – and before – construction begins. The official Sound Transit timeline says that’s expected in 2027 – but even before the final route vote, it’s already been talking to some of those potentially affected. And some of the businesses in that category say that the relocation assistance for which they’re likely eligible is not nearly enough to cover the costs of finding and moving to a new site. So they just launched a new awareness and public-support-seeking campaign to ask Sound Transit for more, with an online petition drive and website.

We got first word of this from one of the businesses on the site that’s expected to hold the Delridge station, Ounces, the taproom/beer garden/community-events hub which has been at 3809 Delridge Way SW for almost eight years. We talked with co-proprietor Laurel Trujillo via email; she explains, “Relocation assistance in the financial form and transparency to the community is the big push here. Businesses don’t feel like the community is fully informed of which businesses will be forced to relocate and also on the details around the relocation assistance that is and isn’t provided.” They’ve already talked repeatedly with decisionmakers, she adds: “The sentiment from many of the businesses is that we’ve all had many meetings and discussions with the Sound Transit team, the Mayor, City Council, King County Council and so far nothing has resulted in any hint of a different outcome beyond the $50k max, plus moving costs in Relocation Assistance, nor has any consideration been given to our modification requests for shifts in route design. Because of this, our hope is that the collective voices of businesses and community members can help to ensure that the West Seattle businesses the community knows and loves are able to continue to thrive alongside light rail.”

The website has a rough list of potentially affected businesses, from the north end of Delridge to the proposed Avalon station site in the 35th/Fauntleroy vicinity to the proposed Junction station site at and around Jefferson Square. There’s also an extensive FAQ page which addresses these questions:

Do you support Light Rail to West Seattle?

Where can I see the route and businesses impacted?

Can’t these businesses and light rail exist together?

Don’t you get money to move?

How much do you get to relocate?

Is your relocation guaranteed?

Haven’t you known this was coming?

Can’t light rail just fly over you? Or go under you?

Do you have a choice?

Does Sound Transit cover 100% of your relocation costs?

When does this happen?

So you are just stuck waiting until Sound Transit buys your property?

Is the plan final yet?

Are you provided access to funding via grants or loans to help subsidize costs not provided?

Are you paid for your time/effort to relocate?

Have you started a go fund me?

Have you started to look for a new location yet?

Who makes the final decision to displace businesses?

How can I help?

What are the personal costs for business owners?

Many business owners invested life savings to start their business? Are you reimbursed for this?

Why might some businesses not survive?

On the FAQ page, you can click on any of those questions to see how it is answered. The campaign insists it’s not anti-light rail – the answer to the first FAQ is: “Yes! We support the value and access light rail will bring to our community. We just want to exist with it!”

WHAT’S NEXT: Sometime this summer, Sound Transit says, it will publish the Final Environmental Impact Statement; at some point at least one month (a mandatory period) later, the board will make final routing decisions. And for the businesses, they say they’re waiting in the dark. Trujillo says, “The outstanding question for all of us, is how much EXACTLY will ST cover. This is part of the issue –– many of us can only estimate, because we have to wait until our property is acquired before we can start working with an ST Relocation Agent and go through the exercise to actually know.”