day : 25/08/2008 14 results

Reader report: West Seattle lightning strike


Kate Hawley says she took that photo and the next one around 5 pm, after a lightning strike in the 17th/Myrtle vicinity (map):


As Kate describes it:

Our neighbor’s tree was struck by lightning and split the tree down the middle! The strike blew chunks of cedar all over the next door neighbor’s house and yard and all the way out into the street. The family was at home when it hit but no one was hurt, thankfully. The bedroom window was broken from the impact.

Here’s our earlier storm coverage, with lightning/thunder/downpour video and more.

Pencil Me in For Kids volunteers get ready to deliver

August 25, 2008 9:43 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle people | Westwood


The storm lifted just in time to make sure this group didn’t need boats to navigate West Seattle streets on their way to a get-together tonight in Westwood where they sorted school supplies as part of Pencil Me in For Kids, for delivery later this week – with the start of school just days away! Left to right: In front, Jeanne Arvidson, and Sue Lindblom from Illusions Hair Design [WSB sponsor]; second row, Cathy Rouyer, Josh Sutton from West Seattle Family YMCA [WSB sponsor], Al Rouyer, Guthrie Sutton, Chris Rouyer; according to the PMiFK website, Sue brought the program to the Rotary Club of West Seattle eight years ago, and now it’s one of their major annual beneficiaries.

Bag-fee battle: Referendum drive claims 20,000 signatures

Fifteen days after we showed you the first West Seattle signature-gatherer sighting, the anti-bag-fee campaign reports 20,000 petition signatures, about 33% more than they need to make the ballot, so it looks like we’ll be voting on it next year. As for when — as mentioned here last week, that’s up to the City Council; the first “special election” opportunity isn’t till February, a month after the fee kicks in.

Hollywood at Hiawatha: Movie shoot at community center


The catering truck and tents are the only aspect of the production we can photograph, since they’re publicly visible; the folks shooting a movie inside Hiawatha Community Center wouldn’t let us shoot what they’re doing in there. Just as this afternoon’s storm started to let up, we headed over to check it out, after receiving an e-mail tip from Andrew, who wrote to ask what we knew about the movie, adding, “I was just there working out [at the Hiawatha gym] and there is a large film crew there with a room full of extras.” We did manage to find out the movie’s called “Dear Lemon Lima” and it has a “coming of age” plot, which makes sense considering that its iMDB page points eventually to a message board post from someone listing some reported cast members such as:

Meaghan Jette Martin from the Disney Channel- Camp Rock, The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and the Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream
Elaine Hendrix from The Parent Trap, Joan of Arcadia, ER, Charmed, Crossing Jordan and CSI
Vanessa Marano from The Gilmore Girls, Without a Trace, Malcolm in the Middle and Finding Nemo
Zane Huett from Big Love and Desperate Housewives
Eleanor Hutchins from Law and Order and Half Nelson
Kari Nissena from Nip Tuck and Huff

Here’s a more formal version of the list from iMDB. Now, we can’t say for sure whether any or all of those actors are actually at Hiawatha for the current round of shooting, which is supposed to continue through tomorrow; a cruise through Google Blog Search suggests they’ve been shooting around the metro area for a while – one of those links further elaborates on the plot, describing it as “a hilarious heartbreaking story of a very imaginative half-Eskimo girl trying to find her place at an Alaskan prep school.” TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: A flyer at the Admiral Starbucks says extras are needed TOMORROW (Wednesday), lunch will be provided, call this number for more info: 425-246-2725

HPAC report #1: “Lull” in the jail-site process, but no letting up

August 25, 2008 8:36 pm
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 |   Highland Park | Neighborhoods | West Seattle jail sites | West Seattle news

Just back from the Highland Park Action Committee meeting, which for the first time in months spent less time on the jail-sites fight than on other matters – not because they’re letting up, but because, as HPAC chair Dorsol Plants noted, the city’s part of the process is in a sort of lull: Now that the city is exploring a partnership with north-/east-side cities to find a site for a regional jail (as first reported here in early July), instead of simply pursuing its own site, Seattle has to wait for those cities to “catch up” and propose potential misdemeanor-jail sites to add to the list (if you’re just catching up with this, in early May Seattle identified four “finalists,” including two in southeast West Seattle). But HPAC leaders and members have kept the pressure on – meeting with all but one City Council member, for example; Plants says some council members are talking about possible “mid-rise” jail options rather than the “low-rise” that had the city focused on 7-acre sites including the ones in this area. HPAC vice chair Rory Denovan urged concerned citizens to keep sending letters and e-mail to city leaders, saying “that’s made a big impact.” Plants also revealed that 11th District State Rep. Zack Hudgins is donating about 200 signs to the jail-sites fight: “The bulk of what it will say is, ‘We need jobs, not jails’ – sticking with our main argument right now, that the land-use codes (for the potential sites) are there for a reason – we need to protect industrial and commercial areas, so the community can grow with good job opportunities.” After the brief jail-fight update, HPAC moved on to a briefing/discussion of a road project that will affect everyone on the peninsula, the Spokane Street Viaduct work – city project manager Stuart Goldsmith had some new info, including an update on when the eastbound lower roadway will close – first significant part of the work – and we’ll be posting that separately a little later.

West Seattle Weather Watch updates: Complete cloudburst

(adding info, pix, video as we get it, scroll down and/or refresh)


(Photo from Alia – thank you! – added 5:16 pm; next, video from outside WSB HQ)

(video added 5 pm, lightning and thunder a few seconds in, amid ferocious rain)
Poured so hard here a few minutes ago, it took down one of our downspouts. If you’re still at work, check everything closely when you get home – haven’t seen rain that hard in a VERY long time. The street outside our house suddenly looks as flooded as if it had been raining for hours. 5:05 PM UPDATE: All the TV stations seem to have sent reporters out this way, although most are reporting by phone because it’s not safe to put up the live trucks’ antennas in thunderstorm weather. Someone on the Eastside on Channel 7 reports a funnel cloud over there. We’re monitoring scanner/online 911 too, so far no serious problems reported. If you have any photos, or reports of any problems, please let us know ( 5:30 PM UPDATE: The skies are lightening now (as opposed to “lightning”), though TV radar suggests there’s more nastiness heading this way. Here’s another photo from Alia (we added her first photo at the top of this post, taken as this all was revving up):


ADDED 5:49 PM UPDATE: Here’s another clip from WSB HQ during the height of the storm – the water came down with such force (see the clip above) that it broke our downspout wide open:

5:53 PM UPDATE: To quote Junior Member of the Team, “Hey look, it stopped raining!”

6:58 PM UPDATE: Here, belatedly, is the photo to support the above statement.


Just as we were in the process of trying to add that photo about an hour ago, the site went down – please forgive us; as it so happens, we have outgrown our current host and we will be moving to a new one shortly anyway – last time that happened, the 12/3/07 deluge hit, coincidentally. We are also setting up a backup site that we will announce when it’s ready, so that if (heaven forbid) this one ever goes down again, you can find us somewhere else till the problem’s fixed.

7:17 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Lissa in Arbor Heights for this rainbow photo:


Proposed Metro bus-fare increase: Quarter now, quarter in 2010

August 25, 2008 4:25 pm
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 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Not sure if this has gone wide yet, since County Executive Ron Sims announced via Twitter (where we are one of only 45 “followers”) that he had posted it on his blog (not sure if that’s hit critical mass yet either): He’s recommending that bus fares go up a quarter this year, another quarter in 2010. ADDED LATER: West Seattle’s County Councilmember Dow Constantine chairs the council’s Transportation Committee; here’s his official comment:Read More

Commute alert: Thunderstorm rolling through

We’ve seen the flashes and heard the thunder — watch out for another bout of nasty weather on your drive home — though we can see a bit of sun over Vashon, it’s solid ominous gray looking toward Bainbridge and points northwest. Here’s the latest forecast; remember you can check out all the area traffic cameras here. (And here’s the radar link; thanks to Amy for that.) 4:41 PM UPDATE: OK, *that* flash was RIGHT HERE – the thunder followed almost immediately.

County Council hits a home run with today’s highlight


The only West Seattle connection here is County Councilmember Dow Constantine, but “Voice of the Mariners” Dave Niehaus (at the center of the photo, next to DC) is beloved here as well as elsewhere in M’s-land, so we wanted to show you this county-provided photo. Constantine and fellow councilmembers paid tribute to Niehaus at their meeting today; from the news release:

“Dave Niehaus loves the players and he loves the game, but he has never forgotten that his first duty is to the fan sitting at home,” said Constantine. “To the radio listener, this excitement and wonder for our national pastime is what makes Dave Niehaus special.”

Also per the news release, Niehaus had this to say: “Those magic moments of 1995 will return to Safeco Field. I promise you, they will return.” Sure hope so. (Semi-pertinent side note: When we got here in ’91, and went to our first M’s game in the Kingdome, its interior signage carried the name “King County Stadium.”)

1 more West Seattle link to the Democrats’ get-together

August 25, 2008 3:56 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

daschle.jpgIn addition to the local delegates we mentioned earlier, here’s another WS link as the Democratic National Convention gets under way today: Cara Kroenke at Southwest Youth and Family Services points out that former Senator Tom Daschle addresses the convention Wednesday. This is relevant because the former Senate Majority Leader, one of three brothers of SWYFS executive director Steve Daschle, will be in West Seattle on September 16th, headlining the SWYFS fundraising breakfast and silent auction at Salty’s — still time to get tickets (go here to see how).

Alki Car-Free Day: Door-hangers on the way this week


As promised, we checked with SDOT this morning to inquire about plans for further advance warning of residents in the September 7th (noon-6 pm) Alki Car-Free Day closure zone (here’s the city info page, with map – as shown atop this post), given the Capitol Hill uproarlet over towing before yesterday’s rain-shortened Car-Free Day up there. SDOT communications boss Rick Sheridan quickly sent this reply — bottom line, Alki Ave residents, watch your doorknobs:

The city will follow the same procedures that typically occur for all street closures. “No Parking” signs, with the day and times noted, will be put out on the Friday before the event. SDOT will also distribute door hangers in the neighborhood this week that will warn of the impending event and highlight the parking restrictions. Those restrictions will cover the entire stretch of the road.

Let us know when you see one of those doorhangers, k? (

Another playground proposal: Arbor Heights site


We met Jan Seidel (left) and Loretta Kimball on Saturday, when we stopped by Saturday’s Arbor Heights Block Party to find out more about a new “community playground proposal” mentioned on the party-promoting flyer. They are the force behind a proposal to create a playground on a plot of Arbor Heights Community Church land just west of the church (map). It’s not just a church project; they’re pursuing a community partnership – read on for more of what we found out:Read More

Democratic Convention: At least 3 West Seattleites are there

donkey5.jpgAs the Democratic National Convention starts today in Denver, here’s the West Seattle lineup as we know it: For one, we know Mayor Nickels is there, because County Executive Ron Sims tweeted (posted to his Twitter feed) about it. Also, the 34th District Democrats had previously mentioned Chris Porter and Kimber McCreery were going (more on the 34th DDs’ home page), as well as a 34th DD’er who’s from Vashon, 18-year-old Nick Bordner. This is the culmination of a long process that started way back with those well-attended caucuses on February 9 and then the 34th District caucuses on April 5 (our in-person coverage stopped there); we’ll let you know if we find online diaries or blogs from any of the local attendees.