month : 07/2009 431 results

Details: Shellfish diggers confronted at Weather Watch Park

(photo by Brenda Peterson)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Digging for shellfish at most – if not all – West Seattle beaches is unsafe and unlawful.

Not everyone knows that. It seemed to be news to three men confronted this morning while digging along Beach Drive, before they agreed to put the clams – a cooler full of them, as you see in the photo above — back.

This all began when Brenda Peterson, a West Seattle author and wildlife advocate, was out walking on the beach this morning, as she does most mornings as the founder of Seal Sitters, the local group that watches for baby seals this time of year, and, when one is found, assigns volunteers to guard it from human/animal disturbance till its mom comes back for it.

Peterson spotted three men going back and forth along a sizable stretch of Beach Drive shore, where the tide was somewhat out this morning, digging big holes, and filling a blue and white cooler.

She tried calling wildlife agents and got only voice mail. She also called WSB.

Read More

Door-to-door alert: Crew says they’re here for a month

Matt sent in the latest door-to-door alert – don’t know if they’re legitimate or bogus but there’s been some power in people discussing solicitor sightings so we’re sharing them. (Also note this online article from the Better Business Bureau.) Read on for Matt’s report:Read More

Local food bank needs help, and not in the usual way

We mentioned this earlier on partner site White Center Now – but as we frequently note, White Center Food Bank serves a significant part of southern West Seattle as well, so we all have a stake in the WC and West Seattle Food Banks. Next Saturday and Wednesday, August 8 and 12, WCFB needs help emptying and refilling the warehouse so floor work can be done. This item on the WCFB website gives you multiple ways to volunteer.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Edible Garden Tour, lots more

Tomorrow’s the day for a new West Seattle tradition, in its second year – the Edible Garden Tour (free!) presented by wswllicon3.pngCommunity Harvest of Southwest Seattle. And of course it’s Seafair weekend, which means Blue Angels sightings, bridge closures, etc. … West Seattle Outdoor Movies on the Wall gets “Footloose” on Saturday night … help clear off a park-like section of land on Saturday morning with St. John’s Episcopal Church (one of several work parties you can join that day) … And on street-food watch, note that Skillet is NOT scheduled for The Junction this Sunday, but Marination Mobile will be back at High Point on Saturday … more than four dozen events, ahead in this edition of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club … here goes!Read More

Heat wave casualty: West Seattle’s most famous crow


Just yesterday, we mentioned that unusually colored crow – “leucistic” is the term – in our story about Gatewood author Lyanda Lynn Haupt‘s new book (from which she is reading at Elliott Bay Books, 7:30 tonight). This morning, on our way out to cover a story, we saw one of our neighbors here in the Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy area where “Leucy” has hung out for years – and she told us she found “Leucy,” aka the “brown crow,” dead in Wednesday’s historic heat. No sign of blood or injury – just dead. Neighbor Jane thinks “Leucy” was female, and had noticed her “showing off her babies” this past season. No way to tell how old “Leucy” was; Lyanda told us crows can live longer than a decade in optimum conditions.

Quick alert if you’re near the beach

Full story on this coming up later but wanted to post a quick alert now. We were just out covering three men digging clams up along Beach Drive, which is (a) illegal and (b) dangerous – the beaches are closed to shellfish harvesting for health reasons, explained here (and most of it wouldn’t be open anyway – either parkland or private property). Confronted by a local wildlife advocate, they claimed it was for personal use, claimed they had no idea about the health risks etc., and returned the 100-plus clams to the beach. But in case they just packed up and moved somewhere else, be on the lookout – copper/gold Suburban-type SUV with plate starting with 861, blue and white cooler. More later!

Update: Memorial, fund for West Seattle hero mom Arden Balyeat

July 31, 2009 9:08 am
|    Comments Off on Update: Memorial, fund for West Seattle hero mom Arden Balyeat
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

The time and place of this Sunday’s memorial are now set for Arden Balyeat, the 48-year-old West Seattle mom who died earlier this week after saving her 7-year-old son when they got into trouble in the Skykomish River (here’s our Tuesday night story). It’s at West Seattle Christian Church, 4 pm Saturday, with an “open house wake” at her home afterward, 4008 46th SW. Friend Cori Myka says those who want to bring food/drink to share at the wake are invited to, but perishable leftovers will need to be taken home afterward. They will have a guestbook and video camera for sharing memories. There’s now an online obituary with a comment area and maps to the memorial/wake locations; find it here. And Cori says there’s a benevolent fund in Arden’s name at BECU, with donations to be used for her son; checks designating the fund can be taken to any branch or mailed to BECU, she says (here’s the location-finder). Cori added in an open letter, “Thank you for all the thoughts, condolences and memories that have been given thus far.”

Seafair today: Blue Angels’ practice show, and where to watch

(photo taken from south side of Boeing Field before yesterday afternoon’s practice takeoff)
If you’re not interested in watching those six bright-blue jets tear through the sky, the main effect of today’s practice that you’ll want to know about is the 12:45-2:20 pm I-90 bridge closure (tomorrow and Sunday too). If you are, today’s what we dubbed “Free Day” – you can go to Lake Washington and watch the air show (the Blue Angels are the stars but other acts perform) and hydro time trials without paying admission, unless you want to sit in the grandstands. (We wrote in 2006 about how to get to the lake shore.) For other Blue Angels-watching options, our preferred option remains the Museum of Flight, where you can arrive early for a spot on the fence to watch the “walkdown” (here’s our “on the fence” story from 2007) before the ground-rumbling takeoff; always hard to tell how the fence crowd will be, but we wouldn’t advise getting there later than noon. You can also watch the takeoff from other vantage points around Boeing Field – cars line the frontage road on its east side, and yesterday we wound up on its south side. Our fellow independent-neighborhood-news-site operators at Central District News have published not-so-well-known free viewing options in their “Blue Angels bonus” report. Also part of Seafair: Fleet tours continue today.

Can you be a Homework Helper? Library system puts out the call

July 31, 2009 6:07 am
|    Comments Off on Can you be a Homework Helper? Library system puts out the call
 |   West Seattle news

From the Seattle Public Library – a call for volunteer “Homework Helpers” for the school year that starts in just six weeks:

Homework Helpers assist elementary, middle and high school students with understanding homework assignments, developing study skills and learning approaches for solving math problems. English is a second language for the majority of the students. Homework Helpers are asked to assist students for two hours per week throughout the school year. Please read the attached volunteer service description for more information.

There are volunteer openings at the following branches in central and south Seattle:

Beacon Hill Branch 2821 Beacon Avenue South
Homework Help Hours: Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Columbia Branch 4721 Rainier Avenue South
Homework Help Hours: Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Delridge Branch 5423 Delridge Way SW
Homework Help Hours: Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

International District-Chinatown Branch 713 Eighth Avenue South
Homework Help Hours: Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

NewHolly Branch 7058 – 32nd Avenue South
Homework Help Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Rainier Beach Branch 9125 Rainier Avenue South
Homework Help Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

South Park Branch 8604 Eighth Avenue South
Homework Help Hours: Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Please see for a map of branch locations.

To request volunteer application materials, please contact Anne Vedella, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at by Friday, August 14. Interviews will take place in August. Thank you!

Election 2009 closeup coverage: Council candidate Mike O’Brien

July 31, 2009 1:58 am
|    Comments Off on Election 2009 closeup coverage: Council candidate Mike O’Brien
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

checkbox.jpgKing County has mailed the ballots for the August 18 primary. WSB continues offering close-up looks at — asking the same 3 West Seattle-specific questions — candidates in races including the three Seattle City Council contests you’ll find on the primary ballot. Previous stories are in the WSB Politics archive.

By Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Mike O’Brien’s background is in finance and economics; his passion is the outdoors and protecting the earth.

The 41-year-old Fremont resident is running for Seattle City Council Position 8 with the hope that he can use his experience as the former chief financial officer of a Seattle law firm to help the city create more housing, better transportation, and develop policies that will make Seattle vibrant economically and environmentally.

“I’m a numbers guy, I’m not a political beast by nature,” he said.

That started to change about nine years ago when O’Brien got involved with the Sierra Club.

Read More

“Great season!” West Seattle Little Leaguers out of tourney

The West Seattle Little League‘s 11-12 All-Stars have come to the end of the road at the state tournament, after losing a nailbiter to Richmond last night in Port Orchard, 12-11. “Great season, All-Stars!” cheered the Twitter update at game’s end.

Duwamish Trail closed part of next week for repair work

View Larger Map

From right around that spot (Idaho/West Marginal), southward to SW Brandon, bicyclists, walkers and runners will have to detour off the Duwamish Trail next week – according to this announcement from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation is repairing the Duwamish Trail where sections have been damaged by tree roots and general deterioration.

The trail will be closed between SW Idaho Street and SW Brandon Street from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, August 3 and 4, and may be closed 24 hours a day on Wednesday through Friday, August 5 to 7, if it cannot be made safe for trail users after work hours.

Bicyclists and pedestrians will be detoured onto West Marginal Way SW. Advanced warning signs have been provided along with a notification board at the ends of the trail.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Welcome back to normalcy

(Wednesday sunset photo by Jim Clark)
As of 9 o’clock tonight, the “excessive heat warning” officially expired. Temperatures are into the 70s and said to be heading for the 60s. At tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha show (earlier coverage here), that was a huge topic we heard buzzing through the crowd – so many people had trouble sleeping last night and were looking forward to catching up tonight. As for the official forecast, looks like 80s for the next several days. (Now that we can think clearly again, we can all start polishing up our stories of The Hottest Day In Seattle History for the kids/grandkids/out-of-town relatives – darn, we never did get around to the fry-egg-on-sidewalk experiment – right on the heels of Snowpocalypse ’08.)

From the “tis better to light a single candle …” department

We have before-and-after photos of that bench, but it’s so thoroughly tagged in the “before” photo that a even if we blur the tags, it isn’t very usable. So just imagine what it would look like with crude scrawls in black paint. How did the tags get removed? The anonymous West Seattle parent who shared the photo tells the story:

My daughter and I love to walk through Schmitz Park and have picnic lunches in the middle of the park on one of the two wooden benches. My seven year old daughter, looking at the bench we were sitting on, asked me yesterday why people put graffiti on beautiful things. I was stumped for an answer and decided then we would both do something about it. Today we hiked into Schmitz park with an arsenal of hand tools (no electricity) and scrapped and sanded off all of the graffiti on the two beautiful wooden benches in the middle of Schmitz Park. It made us both feel great!

If you see graffiti vandalism in a Seattle park and it’s not something you can handle this way – the Parks Department has a special hotline you can call: 206-684-7587.

“Nickelsville” may stay at Terminal 107 Park at least 3 more weeks

(July 23 photo by Christopher Boffoli, as the encampment moved to T-107 Park)
Just spotted a newly posted news release from the Port of Seattle, which previously had said that they expected they’d complete legal proceedings by tomorrow to evict the homeless encampment that moved to the park a week ago. Here’s the text of what’s posted on the port’s website, dated today:

Update Regarding Nickelsville Encampment on Port Property

Port of Seattle staff members met with Nickelsville representatives earlier this week to discuss the issues facing the encampment, as well as the camp’s need to seek an alternative site. Under Washington state law, and as directed by the State Auditor’s Office, the port cannot accommodate the group’s request to use the property. The port would also face City of Seattle property code violations if housing is allowed at the property.

The necessary legal proceedings that began on July 24th are continuing and documents have been filed with King County Superior Court. These proceedings are expected to conclude by Friday, August 21st.

Port commissioners and staff recognize the serious challenges posed by homelessness to all involved. Staff members will continue to work in good faith with Nickelsville residents as the court process continues.

Given the port’s legal constraints, staff members hope that the Seattle community and Nickelsville advocates will assist the group in finding a new, appropriate location for the encampment.

Video: Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, show #2

Young concertgoers are getting free treat samples at the PCC Kid Picks van, here on the east lawn of Hiawatha, where the second show in the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series is about to get under way. We’re tabling tonight along next to the ANA’s team, steps away from Kid Picks (PCC is a co-sponsor of the series, as is WSB), and the temperature is INCREDIBLY pleasant. All caps because it is such a relief after all that heat. It’s probably in the 70s back here. Tom Colwell and the Southbound Odyssey are playing tonight (folk classics and more) – he was just introduced as “having first picked up a guitar in 1957” and still going strong. Here’s ANA president Mark Wainwright saying a few words to the crowd (that’s Colwell in the background at right):

Admission’s free – bring your own chair, blanket, food and beverages, this’ll be continuing till 8 or so. 6:51 PM NOTE: Adding a few more photos, a couple songs into the show – after a couple folk classics, they’re playing an Eagles song. Tonight’s theme: “Songs for the Journey.” We’d estimate at least 150 people here. Still lots of room on the grass – it’s a big lawn! 7:46 PM UPDATE: The band just resumed after a short break – they are likely to be playing till 8:30 if you’re still thinking about coming down:

By the mid-show break, the crowd had grown to about 200. Wide-ranging music selection – including “Circle of Life” from “Lion King,” the folk classic “Guantanamera,” and now “Ramblin’ Man.” We’ll add some video later. Four more concerts in the series, and next week, there are two groups – Swamp Soul, with Cajun/Zydeco music, and Ragged Glory, a Neil Young tribute band. The full schedule, and more information about Admiral Neighborhood Association, is all here. ADDED 11:44 PM: Video of one of the band’s songs from tonight’s show – shot wide so you can see the family fun in front of the stage:

West Seattle Weather Watch: Afternoon heat-related updates

(TV covers the heat by putting up a tent at the beach – Alki photo courtesy Chas Redmond)
Just got word from Seattle Public Library HQ that the libraries around the city without a/c are closing at 4 pm. In West Seattle, that means the branch in the Admiral District. (The Southwest branch “does not have air conditioning on the main level,” according to the SPL news release, but will remain open till 8 pm. The Delridge and High Point branches DO have a/c.) ADDED 3:06 PM: King County Public Health is reporting what’s described as the county’s first heat-related death – according to the news release, “a man in his 60s from Seattle , had heart disease with heat as a contributing factor to his cause of death.” ADDED 3:31 PM: Diane reminds us that the Senior Center of West Seattle, in The Junction, has A/C and is open till 8 pm. Meantime, good news – the “excessive heat warning” is now scheduled to end at 9 tonight, rather than 6 pm tomorrow (though the air-stagnation advisory continues till tomorrow night).

World-renowned African Children’s Choir returning to West Seattle

July 30, 2009 2:43 pm
|    Comments Off on World-renowned African Children’s Choir returning to West Seattle
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Last time that world-renowned group performed at West Seattle Christian Church, they drew a capacity crowd, and Pastor Dan Jacobs says some would-be concertgoers even had to be turned away. So we’re giving you advance notice – mark your calendar for the African Children’s Choir‘s return to West Seattle, 7 pm August 25 in the new WSCC Activity Center (4400 42nd SW; map). Free admission, but an offering will be taken to support the group. According to the ACC’s website, the children who will be touring next month are from Kenya and Uganda. Questions? Pastor Jacobs can be reached at 932-2098, extension 102.

What’s ahead in The Junction: “Big Bonanza”; car show update

July 30, 2009 1:01 pm
|    Comments Off on What’s ahead in The Junction: “Big Bonanza”; car show update
 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

Hard to believe three weeks have passed since West Seattle Summer Fest. But the West Seattle Junction Association’s not letting any moss grow under its feet. (Not that this is moss-growing weather anyway.) Executive director Susan Melrose says local merchants are making plans for the “Big Bonanza” Junction-wide sale on Saturday, August 22nd, with special sales and events to entice you to spend the day in the heart of West Seattle – more details to come. That’s less than a month before a big event already announced for The Junction – the second annual West Seattle Junction Car Show (with co-sponsors including WSB). Michael Hoffman from Liberty Bell Printing, who’s organizing the show again this year, just sent around a sneak peek at its hot-off-the-drawing-board official poster (shown at left). As reported here earlier this year, the car show will have “the same footprint as Summer Fest” this year, in terms of street closure – so September 20, 8 am-4 pm, will be one big day of closed-road, wander-around fun in The Junction. Want to register a car to be part of the show? Go here to get the scoop – note the first prerequisite is “pre-1975 cars and trucks.” More info at the official website,

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglars chased away, and more

Three items to share this afternoon, from three West Seattle neighborhoods – but first, another reminder that tomorrow is your deadline to sign up your block to close the street for a Night Out block party next Tuesday night; here’s how to do it online. (UPDATE: The deadline’s just been extended to Monday.) Now, the Crime Watch reports; in fact, the first item is a reminder of how much “neighbor power” can do to fight crime – read on:Read More

West Seattle Weather Watch: Temporary burn ban at Alki

Via Facebook, we were asked yesterday about “red signs” at Alki. Went looking for them – didn’t see them – then checked with the Parks Department; spokesperson Joelle Ligon tells us signs are posted for a temporary ban on non-cooking fires, while “small gas-powered equipment” is off-limits too:

We have imposed a temporary burn restriction at Golden Gardens and Alki beaches. Signs have been posted on site at Golden Gardens Park and at Alki Beach. We have notified the Seattle Police Department of the temporary beach fire restriction so that they may help us enforce it. The gas-powered equipment means Grounds Maintenance and Natural Resources Unit crews will cease using gas powered blowers,weed trimmers, hedgers, hand pushed mowers, etc. until Monday August 3, when the ban is lifted.

On a weather-related note: What little wind there is, is now coming from a different direction, possibly the signal that the worst truly is over. Temperatures are about 10 degrees cooler than this time yesterday, so that’s a good sign too.

Police issue citywide alert for burglar targeting senior citizens

While working on the next West Seattle Crime Watch roundup, we just got this, and Seattle Police say it’s a citywide alert, so it goes out first:

Seattle Police burglary detectives are attempting to identify a suspect believed to be responsible for a series of burglaries targeting victims ranging from 75 years to 94-years-old. In each incident, the suspect used a ruse to gain entry inside the victims’ home. Once inside, the suspect would distract the victim and steal from the residence. These burglaries have been citywide.

The suspect is described as an Asian or Hispanic male
30-49 years old
5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall
140-160 pounds
Black hair

The suspect vehicle is described as a newer blue or black, medium sized car in good condition.

Anyone with information about these burglaries or possible suspect/vehicle information is asked to call Seattle Police Burglary Unit at 684-5735. Those wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or text CRIMES (274637) and preface your text information with TIP486.

Citywide traffic-alert roundup for the next four days

July 30, 2009 10:34 am
|    Comments Off on Citywide traffic-alert roundup for the next four days
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | Transportation

The SDOT pre-weekend roundups of where you’ll run into road closures etc. around the city have proven to be a popular feature, even if there’s nothing West Seattle-specific; just got the latest one this morning, so read on to see where to find the fun and/or where to avoid:Read More