day : 10/05/2009 11 results

West Seattle Mother’s Day: Gosling check-in

Alki photographer David Hutchinson has shared several great shots of the Canada goose families many West Seattleites (and visitors) have been watching – and in the final moments of Mother’s Day 2009, he shared this comparison, explaining:

My wife and I have enjoyed following the development of the large family of Canada Geese goslings this past month during our walks along the Harbor Ave waterfront. This large combination of families is being watched over by 2 pairs of adults. Their number seems to have stabilized at 20 down from the 24 we had counted a couple weeks ago. This is a much higher survival rate than another family of 5 goslings, all of which have now disappeared. The photos are of the same group of goslings and were taken about 1 month apart.

Denny/Sealth appeal: The ruling, from the person who appealed

Two weeks ago, we published a short report from the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers in the Municipal Tower, after listening to arguments from both sides in the appeal of the decision granting “departures” crucial to the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School co-located-campus project (rendering above). At the end of that hearing, deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe promised to publish her ruling in two weeks. Though the ruling is not yet available online, we got a call tonight from the person who filed and argued the appeal, West Seattle-based district watchdog Chris Jackins. He has received a copy of the decision and tells WSB that while the ruling upholds the city’s granting of the “departures” – allowing the project more height and less parking than city code otherwise would have required – he says “we did get two of the things we wanted”: One, a stipulation that the two schools’ start/dismissal times must be staggered by at least 30 minutes; two, a stipulation that a certified arborist be present for any future “tree removal activities.” (Jackins had documented the removal of trees on the site while a different appeal was still pending, as we reported last August.) “I’m happy about those two things,” he added. We will check with the Hearing Examiner tomorrow to seek a copy of the full ruling so we can add it here.

End of an era: Longtime West Seattleite talks Tillicum Village sale

May 10, 2009 10:27 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

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By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

If you drive down Avalon Way with any regularity, you may have noticed the office of Tillicum Village is shuttered. It closed after the Hewitt family of West Seattle, which has owned and operated Tillicum Village since 1962, sold the operation recently to Argosy Cruises.

Tillicum Village is a popular tour destination on Blake Island, directly across Puget Sound from West Seattle’s western shores, built in the style of a tribal longhouse, offering Native American entertainment and salmon barbecue to visitors; you can read its history here.

So what does the sale mean to its former owners, and the operation? We sat down to talk with Mark Hewitt, former Tillicum Village owner (and son of its founder Bill Hewitt):

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Want to raise a future guide dog? West Seattle group needs you

Want to raise a puppy to become a guide dog? Tomorrow night is your next chance to meet the folks with West Seattle Guide Dogs for the Blind. They sent the photo at left – that’s Kenneth, 5 months old, now being raised by Cheryl Phelps in West Seattle. The group has a meeting at 7 pm tomorrow (Monday 5/11) at Hiawatha Community Center – or, if you can’t go, get in touch with Sue Bonney, or 206-330-7999. (Want to know more about what it’s like to raise a guide dog? The people you’ll meet tomorrow night will have the best answers, of course, but this webpage offers more info, too.)

Got these on your calendar? Helpline and Kiwanis events ahead

May 10, 2009 5:31 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help

Last month, we took that photo at Hillcrest Presbyterian as West Seattle Helpline volunteers helped executive director Anna Fern (right) prepared for the first visits to the relaunched Clothesline clothing bank (WSB preview here). Clothesline is just one way that Helpline offers a hand to local families who need help – NOW – and this week, you get a chance to in turn help Helpline, NOW, while having a good time: The annual Taste of West Seattle fundraiser is Thursday night, at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 6:30-9 pm, with myriad West Seattle restaurants participating — some offering more than one “taste”! Contact Helpline for tickets – all the info’s online. Two weeks later, quite the fundraising bash in the works as the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle celebrates its 80th anniversary – just yesterday, we caught up with the Kiwanis at their West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day event:

While there, we got a poster for their May 31st “Roaring Twenties to the Twenty-First Century” event at South Seattle Community College, with proceeds benefiting community projects including scholarships, and Kiwanian Warren Lawless e-mailed today to be sure we’d heard about it:

Come celebrate the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle’s 80 years of service to our Community!

Sunday, May 31 2009
5 PM – Social Hour . 6 PM Dinner
Brockey Center at SSCC

For tickets contact us at or 206 330-6843

Proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Scholarship Fund for SSCC students and the children of West Seattle through the club’s 21st Century Fund (a 501.c.3 entity)

West Seattle Nazarene homeless shelter’s Ballard move confirmed

It’s been a subject of enough controversy in Ballard that it’s been delayed a few months – but today it’s finally official, according to our fellow community-news-site operators at The SHARE homeless shelter that’s been at West Seattle Church of the Nazarene for more than a year WILL move to Ballard as originally proposed; the move will happen May 30. The move wasn’t certain till the results of a Ballard church vote were announced today. Here’s the full story from

Less than 2 weeks till Alki’s wildlife habitat makes history

Thanks to WSBers’ wonderful photography, we have shown you great Alki-area wildlife photos like that one that Gary J shared recently – but there’s an unseen, vital part of those pictures: If there’s no habitat for the birds (and many other species), wildlife won’t be around to see. So we wanted to remind you about an upcoming event that’s been on the WSB Events calendar a long time but is finally now less than two weeks away: The May 23rd celebration of Alki as the Seattle metro area’s first National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat. Here’s the latest on what’s planned for the big event:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) officially recognizes Alki as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat on Saturday, May 23, 2009 at the Alki Bathhouse.

The celebration is free and runs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Bring the kids. There will be activities for all ages and light refreshments. Bluegrass duo Squirrel Butter will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local dignitaries, including City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, will participate in the 1 p.m. ceremony.

Alki invites all Seattle communities to join the national trend to counter habitat loss. “Once habitat is lost, it is gone forever,” said Nancy Whitlock, Executive Director and Founder of Nature Consortium.

Learn what you can do to create your own, and encourage neighbors to do the same –ultimately expanding wildlife corridors. The NWF will talk about the elements required for wildlife protection. All flying and crawling friends seek, food, water, shelter and nesting places while using sustainable gardening practices like composting, mulching, selecting drought tolerant plants, avoiding pesticides, fertilizers and over watering. Healthier air, water and soil without high maintenance are the result.

A beach naturalist from The Seattle Aquarium will teach us how to better respect Puget Sound and our waterways. You’ll learn what to plant from the Washington Native Plant Society. To make it easy, native plants will be on sale.

Alki is the first in the Seattle metropolitan area to become a Community Wildlife Habitat, the fifth in Washington State, and 31st in the country. “We’re so lucky to have wild places within our city,” said Sean Schmidt, Director of New Initiatives and Acting Executive Director of Sustainable Seattle. Gene Duvernoy, Executive Director of the Cascade Land Conservancy, added this “certification is well deserved. The Alki community is showing us all how we can live side-by-side with nature.” More than 125 Alki businesses, schools, parks and private homes made healthy habitats a priority.

The Alki Wildlife Habitat Project took root in January 2003 as a shared vision of the Alki Community Council. They formed the Alki Wildlife Habitat Project, sponsored an open house at the Bathhouse and rallied the neighbors to seek certification as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat.

Six years later, linking one yard at a time as well as creating a demonstration garden, the collective efforts paid off. Alki now has “less lawn, more berries… birds, bees and butterflies, “said Chairperson Dolly Vinal. Shawn Cantrell, Executive Director of the Seattle Audubon Society, said, “Global warming, polar bears clinging to ice floes, habitat loss to encroaching development and other environmental woes create a picture of doom. It’s easy to feel helpless. But individuals make a difference as one property at a time is dedicated to nurturing and protecting our wildlife.”

The Alki Community Council and The Boeing Company co-sponsor the awards celebration.

Memorial ceremony at West Seattle’s Vietnamese Cultural Center


It’s a familiar sight to those who drive Sylvan Heights/Orchard between Delridge and High Point — the Vietnamese Cultural Center north of Home Depot and next to Tug, a simple structure with a grand statue out back. As noted in the feature story we published last July, that statue pays tribute to 13th century Vietnamese hero Gen. Tran Hung Dao. But on Saturday, those gathered at the center were there to honor other soldiers – the thousands of Americans and Vietnamese who lost their lives in last century’s decades of war:

Chanting honored those soldiers, as did a drum ceremony:

Those in attendance heard from Dr. Dung Nguyen, M.D., who chaired the event.

A moment was offered for veterans to pause and remember:

A wreath was laid, before a moment of silence:

As explained on the event invitation, Vietnamese-American communities take time around the end of April/early May each year for ceremonies like this; as this online timeline reminds us, this is the time of year, 34 years ago, when the war finally ended.

(For the history of Vietnamese immigration to the U.S. in wartime and afterward, here’s a city-hosted website.)

West Seattle Mother’s Day — a few notes

First – looks like the weather will be nice for much of the day.

West Seattle Farmers’ Market? Here’s the fresh sheet; there also are a few special features today – a cooking demonstration featuring mushrooms, courtesy of Foraged and Found, plus soon-to-open Fresh Bistro mentioned via Twitter that they’re offering samples of “market fresh asparagus and lemon thyme soup.” (Asparagus photo at left by Christopher Boffoli)

Third – brunch! And beyond. We published a few notes last Thursday, “from Skillet to Skylark” — including an 11 am early opening today for WSB sponsor Cafe Revo. Also turns out that Skylark Club and Cafe (WSB sponsor) not only has the benefit brunch going on today, 9-3, but also karaoke starting at 7 – with an “auction” – bid on getting a participant to sing a certain song, and then they either can sing “your” song or bid higher and sing “whatever they want”!

Meantime, back to brunch, we also happened onto Circa talking Mom’s Day on FB and invited them to send a note for here – Nicole e-mailed us, “We’re usually not too busy on Mother’s Day, so come on down for a fresh, delicious brunch that won’t break the bank. Remember, though, parties larger than four can be in for a bit of a wait.” And Easy Street Records’ Cafe sent word of a Mother’s Day deal — read about it here.

And a non-food Mother’s Day note: Avalon Glassworks is offering a chance to “design your own float” today – read more about that here.

Any other

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2009, the wrapup

Hours after the selling stopped at the recordsetting 180+ sale sites in the fifth annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, the photos were still rolling in – from Sale #61, Rachel sent that photo of her fiance’ “the human sign” – below, from Sale #88, Janna and Julie‘s sale, we got a photo and the report that “Everyone had so much fun!”

And for some with leftovers, it was off to the Junction dropoff spot for Northwest Center and its “big blue trucks” — we spotted these two, and a third out of view, late in the afternoon:

Another option for leftovers – Nancy Woodland from WestSide Baby sent a request during sale day – which you might be able to help with, even if you were NOT a seller – read it here.

Later, there were the reviews — raves via Facebook and Twitter (see the mentions here). Even people who weren’t planning on being part of West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day found themselves pulled in, like Victoria, who wrote on FB:

I heard about this for weeks, but was not planning on selling or buying, until we started driving through the hood. Three hours later, we had a bunch of new (to us) books, lawn chair and dump truck. A very fun diversion.

Here are the links to WSB as-it-happened WSCGSD coverage:
Update #1 (7:59 am through 9:25 am)
Update #2 (9:26 am through 10:47 am)
Update #3 (10:48 am through 12:41 pm)
Update #4 (12:42 pm through 3 pm)

On the official WSCGSD site,, we featured individual sales, photo by photo, some we took, some sellers sent. Just go to the site and scroll down to see the pix.

And a few people sent us “found item” notes afterward – we’ve posted them in the WSB Forums in their entirety — if you are missing keys, read this; if you are missing a box with money and children’s sunglasses, read this.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, May 9, 2009This was our second year as official coordinators of West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, which was created by Megawatt, a community-connection nonprofit; when Megawatt announced in late 2007 that it was disbanding, we asked its leadership if they would consider turning WSCGSD over to us, and to our surprise and delight, they did. We have made a few logistical tweaks in those two years and are interested in your thoughts about anything more for next year – one thing we realized too late, we need to set up a place for prospective sellers and buyers to communicate before sale day – we did suggest fairly late in the game that sellers could come to the WSB Forums and post extra sale info, but that was sort of a stopgap measure. This year, with Twitter and Facebook in the mainstream, we used both – the former more than the latter – to communicate during-the-day sale info (scroll down to read our during-sale “tweets”); what would be helpful next year?

Last but not least, last call for the contests – Deadline to send in your photos ( is 3 pm Monday – most creative sign, most unusual item bought, most unusual item sold. Each category has a gift certificate prize! Be sure you indicate the sale address, so we know it was related to an official WSCGSD event, and of course include your contact info. We’ll announce winners by Tuesday morning.

Mark your calendar for the 6th annual WSCGSD next year – the second Saturday will be May 8, 2010!

If you happen to see that humpback again … or any whale …

May 10, 2009 1:58 am
|    Comments Off on If you happen to see that humpback again … or any whale …
 |   Seen at sea | Wildlife

After this week’s humpback sightings (here and here), Lori in Arbor Heights wanted to share this:

I’d like to urge anyone who sees the Humpback (or any other whales for that matter) to please, please call Orca Network at 1-866-ORCANET to report the sighting. They will in turn contact researchers who would dearly love to find that whale and try to i.d. it. If anyone gets any pictures, especially of the underside of the tail fluke, they can call the preceeding number and get info on where to send copies of their pics to.

Also, folks can check out for info on guidelines for what to do if they encounter whales while out on their boats. Please give these whales LOTS of room.

With good weather … this weekend, and lots of folks out and about, I’m hoping we’ll see him or her again. I will be out looking myself in earnest.