West Seattle, Washington
We’re featuring another home from the inland side of the south end of Beach Drive, where we found our last featured display – because we’re just not seeing many light-draped homes around West Seattle, yet. (What is it about Beach Drive, anyway? Perhaps inspired by the Menashe family – whose legendary display isn’t done yet, but the cherry-picker’s parked across the street …) When you do see — or create — someplace particularly bright and festive, let us know — meantime we’ll be wandering around, watchfully.
We were on our way to a behind-the-scenes view of the Westlake tree-lighting downtown tonight … when downtown gridlock caught us in its clutches (we should have heeded the SDOT warning we published). We did make it to the edge of the crowd in time for that video clip of the lighting itself (note the many people in front of us also capturing the scene, on their phones); no fireworks – too windy. West Seattleites participating in the ceremony were to include Alki’s Shauna Causey, on behalf of sponsor Comcast (and reminding us all to support nonprofits, especially this holiday season), and Mayor Nickels, though an audio glitch apparently truncated the speeches before we got there. Earlier, we photographed the mayor in the downtown parade this morning as he walked with wife Sharon and fire chief Gregory Dean (dignitaries walked this year instead of riding in cars – Seattle Climate Action Now, perhaps?):
Back to the topic of tree lightings – hope you will join us in The Junction (your WSB co-publishers will be helping with the event) next Saturday night (12/6), 5 pm, Farmers’ Market parking lot behind Key Bank, for the West Seattle Community Tree Lighting – one jampacked hour of fun, including free entertainment, and the first drawing for some of the $5,000 worth of gift certificates that West Seattle Junction Association (WSB sponsor) merchants are giving away as part of Hometown Holidays (enter for free at any participating store). Also coming up – Our Lady of Guadalupe lights its Christmas tree (the highest-elevation one in Seattle!) at 7 pm December 12th (see the event flyer here).
It’s the city’s best-known holiday show – and Lynn Ogdon just e-mailed WSB this photo to let us know about four West Seattle girls featured in the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of “The Nutcracker” (which opened tonight and is celebrating its 25th anniversary): Left to right, as Lynn lists them: Katie (“Chinese”), Flynn (“Small Servant”), Jelly (“Tall Servant”), and Lisel (“Prologue Nutcracker”).
While checking out a major fire-unit call that didn’t pan out, WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli happened onto a sizable police search nearby. A neighbor told him someone spotted a man looking into windows of homes; no word yet of any arrests (or any actual burglaries). Christopher took the photo on SW Nevada between 26th and 30th (map).
Got word from Southwest Youth and Family Services that they’re open till 7 pm tonight and 9 to 1 tomorrow for their holiday plant sale, with poinsettias, wreaths, rosemary trees, and more. 4555 Delridge (map). SWYFS has a big new job ahead, in addition to what it already does – it’s this area’s lead agency for the city’s new youth-violence-prevention plan, so helping SWYFS can ultimately help make this a safer place to be.
Returning home from the downtown parade, we spotted the Walking on Logs sculptures decked in Arbor Heights Elementary School T-shirts, with signs like the one you see above (a bit soggy in the rain). Handmade signs are nearby (with identical ones across the northeastbound Fauntleroy Way end of The Bridge):
As evidenced by those displays – and other less-public actions — many members of the AH Elementary community are working frenetically through this “holiday” weekend, days after hearing Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson propose to end their school’s existence so the building could be given to the Pathfinder K-8 program (which has been stuck for years in the subpar ex-Genesee Hill Elementary building). The Arbor Heights troops are researching facts, crafting a battle strategy, planning a community meeting (date/time TBA), and preparing for the public-comment period at next Wednesday’s School Board meeting. They also are updating the Save Arbor Heights blog that was created even before the official announcement (as we reported Wednesday afternoon), with entries including this customized timeline of key dates/events between now and the final School Board vote in late January. From what we’ve monitored so far, it is clear they are taking to heart the advice offered by West Seattle board rep Steve Sundquist at his standing-room-only coffee hour on Wednesday – don’t bring the board raw emotion, bring research, ideas, alternative proposals – with the focus less on “don’t do that” than on “do this, instead of that.” Meantime, the holidays wait for no one, and the Arbor Heights Elementary community also is preparing for its long-planned holiday bazaar Thursday night, 4-8 pm — now juxtaposed with one of the school district’s “community workshops” (6:30 pm that night at district HQ in Sodo) on the citywide closure plan.
(photo by Matt Durham of MattDurhamPhotography.com)
Time for tidings of great … plaid … as in “Plaid Tidings,” opening tonight at ArtsWest; that, along with the Admiral Theater “Grease” sing-along, plus your chance to help deck the halls of the Log House Museum, as well as Santa’s arrival at Westwood Village and new hours for the White Center Swap Meet (WSB sponsor) — all part of the 36 West Seattle-and-vicinity events on our handy list ahead:Read More
The Times reports today on the passing of West Seattle musician John Spalding, taken by cancer at just 33. Seattle Weekly told even more of his story in this report just a few weeks ago. There are tributes in the comments on his MySpace page, including one that says a series of benefit shows is being planned to raise money to help his family pay for his medical expenses, starting with one January 3 at Comet Tavern on Capitol Hill. Meantime, the Times says a Sunday night vigil and Monday morning memorial service are planned, both at Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Since nobody opens in West Seattle till 6 am, we decided to go see what the pre-dawn doorbuster rush was like in the Southcenter vicinity — one member of the family actually tried to shop that way a couple years ago, not realizing people line up hours in advance; said family member eventually straggled home, wild-eyed, muttering unspeakable stories of crazed crowds. Kinda quiet here, actually, but busy — here’s what we’ve seen so far: We drove by JC Penney just as the doors were about to open at 4; a line snaked around two sides of the building. (Added later – here’s our video – note the line-cutters running out of nowhere, about 25 seconds in)
Now we’re by Best Buy a mile or so south; what you see above is the end of the line as of 4:30, half an hour before BB opens – that’s the BB sign way off in the distance to the left. Police are even here just in case $400-laptop-hunting gets unruly:
Next stop, 6 am West Seattle shopping — we’ll see if anyone’s camped outside any of the Westwood Village stores scheduled to open early. 5:34 AM UPDATE: We’re here at WV. Nothing like Southcenter. About a dozen people each outside Target and Staples (both of which open at 6 am, along with some other stores which seem to be line-free):
5:42 AM UPDATE: Must be something good on sale at Target – we just went back around to the south side of WV and the line’s grown dramatically, more like 40 people now.
Funny thing is that the doorbusters seem to bring spectators as well as shoppers. At Southcenter, just before Best Buy opened the doors at 5, about half a dozen people suddenly showed up near the head of the line – to aim their cell-phone cameras at the doors as they opened, fishing for YouTube fodder, we suppose. Here in the WV parking lot, there’s a carload of teenage girls next to us just sitting there giggling at the goings-on.