month : 10/2009 405 results

Be on the cutting edge: 2 West Seattle pumpkin spotlights


Among the many Halloween Eve options today/tonight (all here), two pumpkin events of special note: First, noon today is the pumpkin-carving contest and chili cookoff at Keller Williams Realty in The Junction (4452 California SW) at noon (details on the Halloween page); bring chili and/or the pumpkin you already carved – they’ll be displaying entries during tomorrow’s Trick-or-Treat At The Junction. Then tonight, one of the biggest carve-a-ganzas in West Seattle each year – the Pathfinder K-8 pumpkin-carving spectacular (Eric shared the photo above last year, saying those were only about HALF the jack-o-lanterns!). Laura sent us extra details: It’s at Pathfinder (1901 SW Genesee) 5:30-7:30 pm tonight, come in costume, B-Y-O-P, soup and snacks provided, but please bring a pumpkin dessert, bowl and spoon for soup, and carving tools as well as the aforementioned pumpkin. We’ll be scaring up more previews later …

Election 2009: Looks like a big weekend for ballot-marking

October 30, 2009 4:56 am
|    Comments Off on Election 2009: Looks like a big weekend for ballot-marking
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

King County Elections is again keeping a running count of how many ballots have come in – and so many are still out, it looks like a big weekend of last-minute voting is ahead: As of last night, 18.11 percent countywide had been returned; in the jurisdictional breakdown, our County Council district – #8 – has the second-highest percentage of ballot return, but that’s still only 18.97 percent, behind metro-eastside District 6‘s 19.87 percent. If you’re still struggling with who and what to vote for, pretty much all the endorsements are made by now – for example, West Seattle’s biggest political group, the 34th District Democrats, have a paid political ad here on WSB this week to point you to their voting recommendations; you can find endorsement lists on almost every campaign website – the city voters’ guide lists weblinks for each city candidate as well as other information – you can also get a complete voter guide through the county website. Once you’ve made your decision, you can either mail your ballot by Tuesday or take it to a drop box – here’s the full list (including one in Delridge and one in White Center).

Followup: Design Review details on The Kenney, and what’s next

During Wednesday’s celebration of The Kenney‘s grand-opening centennial, attendees also were invited to look to its future as well as its past, with renderings of its latest redevelopment proposal set up on easels around the room. That proposal was presented to the Southwest Design Review Board one week ago, along with the latest layout for the Admiral Safeway project. We reported the meeting’s headlines that night but never the details – several have asked, so for starters, here’s the rest of the story on The Kenney’s review, and what’s next – read on:Read More

Happening now: Nightmare on Morgan Street @ Feedback

October 29, 2009 10:34 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Holidays | West Seattle news

Recognize the West Seattle Helpline luminary who’s among the mystery greeters for the Nightmare on Morgan Street masquerade ball/Helpline fundraiser at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor)? The party continues till closing time tonight, and it’s a great cause, since Helpline just keeps expanding its scope – we reported recently on the Clothesline clothing bank now helping seniors, too. Meantime, some at tonight’s party managed to rustle up costumes that economized on the need for clothing:

From left, Shannon and Andrea ready to shake things up. And there’s even more Halloween partying tomorrow night at Feedback Lounge – the Zombie Dance Party for two roller-derby squads – one of whom is already named on one of the jack-o-lanterns below:

Just added a few more events to the Halloween page, by the way – not too late for us to add anything that you see missing!

West Seattle Weather Watch: Trick-or-treating forecast

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
With trick-or-treating in the Admiral business district tomorrow afternoon, and with Junction and Westwood Village merchants on Saturday (all on the Halloween page), not to mention neighborhood t-or-t Saturday night, we checked the forecast: You might need a little waterproofing. Breezy tomorrow, rainy tomorrow night, showery Saturday.

Annual Seattle Police awards: 7 from SW Precinct to be honored

Tomorrow night, the Seattle Police Foundation hosts its annual awards banquet downtown, honoring SPD personnel from around the city who’ve made an extra-big difference in their communities over the past year. When the SPD Media Relations team downtown sent out the event announcement, we asked for an advance copy of the Southwest Precinct award-recipients list; the precinct subsequently granted our request for photos of the honorees. The West Seattle-based honorees are one sergeant, four detectives and two officers, starting with, at left, the department-wide Community Ambassador Award recipient, Community Police Team Officer Kevin McDaniel, and at right, the Southwest Precinct Officer of the Year, John Kiehn. The event program describes Officer McDaniel’s work in the High Point area: “He is assigned to High Point as a full time liaison to ensure that emerging problems are quickly identified and dealt with. … Perhaps his most important role has been working with those young residents who are involved in at-risk activities. He freely gives of his time, responding to issues that many would not see as ‘police’ problems, but with his unique abilities he often manages to resolve them before they do become criminal in nature.” (This WSB story includes one example.) Officer Kiehn (involved in this recent quick-arrest case) is a former U.S. Marine lauded as “very energetic and has volunteered for virtually all available training, becoming in a few short years a Field Training Officer, Crisis Intervention trained and qualified as a Long Rifle Officer. … There are those ‘great officers’ who always seem to find the bad guy by being in the right place at the right time. Officer Kiehn isn’t one of those officers. His success comes from good, old fashioned police work combined with a high degree of competency, especially around computers. A self admitted ‘computer geek,’ he quickly mastered the new Records Management System and has been a key resource to others who struggle with the system. He routinely uses Law Enforcement databases to assist in locating suspects and readily shares this knowledge with others. …” Then there’s the Impact Award, going to several teams around the city including the Southwest Precinct Detectives:

From left, meet Southwest Precinct Detectives Brian Ballew and Shayne St. John, ­Sergeant Jeff Durden, and Detectives Ed Garcia and Nick Bauer. As prolific as property crime has been in our area, these guys have broken some big cases, and the info about their award explains:

The role of the Precinct Detectives is to provide follow up resources to the Precinct in terms of investigating property related crimes. The detectives that are assigned to the Southwest Precinct have taken this role to an entirely new level. In addition to developing an aggressive investigative stance they have, through their leadership and commitment, brought a renewed sense of team to the Precinct. They regularly attend roll calls in order to share information with fellow officers about crime patterns and potential suspects. This has created momentum and valuable information to all three patrol watches, Community Police and Anti-Crime Teams to achieve precinct goals, but more importantly, to make neighborhoods safe from predatory criminals. On more than one occasion the Detectives have self-deployed into the field in uniform because they felt their fellow officers needed additional staffing due to training and/or sick leave absences. On another occasion they responded to the scene of a major fire and assisted in directing traffic. Both their Captain and Lieutenant have noted the extraordinary impact this has had on all aspects of the Precinct.

The Seattle Police Foundation, by the way, is not part of the police department; it’s an independent, nonprofit foundation (as described here).

Q&A with Highland Park Action Cmte.’s surprise Station 11 guests

(Our camera’s flash helps prove how well those reflective strips work!)
Usually toward the end of Highland Park Action Committee meetings, there’s a “Local Business Spotlight” organized by HPAC vice chair Nicole Mazza, with information about an area business and maybe even a raffle. Last night, she threw a changeup, inviting Seattle Fire Department personnel from nearby Station 11, led by Lt. Russell Wiseman (second from left). They answered questions and shared details about how they work, including:

*They work in 24-hour shifts that change at 7:30 am, four people in the station per day. When they arrive for the day, they have to check all their gear, make sure everything works, from the vehicle to the “shocker” that might be needed to revive someone in cardiac arrest. Inbetween emergency calls, their day will include everything from cooking to housekeeping to exercise to training.

*Their training doesn’t just involve fighting fires – since they are first responders to many medically related calls, that requires a lot of training, not just CPR – earlier on Wednesday, they’d spent four hours in “street medicine” training, for example, and they’ve also recently received training regarding the flu and how to deal with patients without bringing it home to their families or spreading it between calls. And they are trained in counseling people in difficult situations, such as deaths that happen before or during the incident – “we see more dead people than most.”

Ahead – What’s the difference between a fire engine and fire truck? Is there a “fire station dog”? and more:Read More

Photos: Toddler Pumpkinpalooza at High Point Community Center

As mentioned earlier, the Halloween/Harvest festivities are gearing up bigtime as of today. Many family activities are at your friendly neighborhood city-operated community centers, like High Point CC, where we dropped in on Toddler Pumpkinpalooza this morning. Above, some of the young artists, ready for their close-up(s) – and here are some of the finished creations:

Tomorrow night, High Point and several other community centers have carnival-style events – all listed on the WSB Halloween page, where you’ll get the full rundown, from trick-or-treating to trunk-or-treating to 21+-only revelry. (And if you have a jack-o-lantern or decorations pic you’d love to share with thousands of your neighbors, send it this way or add to the WSB Flickr group!)

West Seattle Crime Watch: The box-of-beans candy caper

Belvidere resident Jocie P says a package was stolen from her front door, and the thief won’t need to go trick-or-treating:

FedEx delivered a large box to my home last week when I was away. If you noticed anybody with a large, white box with red Jelly Belly lettering on or near 35th Avenue SW sometime last week, please let me know. The thief would have a huge stash of free candy – more than one thief can eat. Hey candy thief – thanks for ruining Halloween, now I have to hand out substandard candy.

There will be a reward if the candy thief is caught. Yes, you guessed it – CANDY! Lots and lots of candy.

Hey, WSBers brought home a stolen bike – so maybe someone’s seen the beans.

Also tonight: County budget hearing; WSHS play’s opening night

Two more events of note tonight: We’ve talked more about the city budget here than the county budget, but the latter is in the works too and tonight there’s one last public hearing before the King County Council Budget Committee– 7 pm in their chambers on the 10th floor of the King County Courthouse downtown – more here. (If you can’t be there, you’ll be able to watch live video on cable channel 22 or online here.) And tonight here in West Seattle, it’s the first performance for West Seattle High School‘s fall play “Invasion from Mars,” a recreation of the radio play that seemed too real to be a play when broadcast decades ago: 7:30 pm, WSHS Theater. Yet more of today/tonight’s events are on the WSB Events calendar.

West Seattle Halloween: Help Helpline tonight; movie tomorrow

October 29, 2009 7:06 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Halloween: Help Helpline tonight; movie tomorrow
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle Outdoor Movies

Tonight, things start getting so wildly Halloweenish, it’s scary. In a good way. From the WSB Halloween page (laden with pre-Halloween events too), the highlight of the night, Nightmare on Morgan Street, benefiting West Seattle Helpline, at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor). Costume contest – and more. Then Friday night, a different “Nightmare”:

“Nightmare Before Christmas” is the special Indoor Movies on the Wall, Halloween edition, presentation – 7 pm tomorrow at West Seattle Christian Church Activity Center (42nd south of Genesee), bring a food donation to get in on the raffle, bring your own chair/blanket, FREE! (Lots of room, so if you’re checking out other Friday afternoon/evening activities first – like Admiral Treats ‘n’ Treasures [map here!] – you should still be able to get a spot even if you show up at the last minute.)

West Seattle sea scene: Fishing with an audience

More photos from Alki’s Guy Smith, watching the purse seiner Quandary fishing off Alki Point Wednesday morning: First, the seal nicknamed “Squint” keeps an eye out from atop the Joy D. Smith Wildlife Raft – Guy says, “A fair amount of chum were caught as a sea lion patrolled just outside the net.” Next, you have to look really closely, but two Western grebes had a close call with the Quandary’s net when it came up apparently empty:

But Guy reports they managed to make a getaway, “awkwardly clambering over the floats at the last second”:

He adds, “A short while later the Quandary was seen miles north, looking for better fishing. In the afternoon, it returned to Alki Point. The Renaissance made a pass by, but didn’t stay.The seiners seldom stay more than 3 days at Alki Point, so the chum run might be about to end for this year.”

Reservoir park project: Highland Park Action Committee briefing

October 29, 2009 1:28 am
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

(Photo from reservoir-covering project site tour last week – looking from the site toward existing park)
The first of four planned public meetings on designing the new park land atop and around West Seattle Reservoir, adjacent to the existing Westcrest Park, is set for December 3rd at High Point Community Center. That’s the biggest news Parks Department manager Susanne Friedman brought to the Highland Park Action Committee on Wednesday night. She answered questions about the status of and timeline for the $3 million (from the Parks and Green Spaces Levy) project to create 20 new acres of parkland once the reservoir-covering work is done. She fielded repeated questions about the extent of the fencing that will remain once the site is done – only around a couple Seattle Public Utilities “outbuildings,” she promised. What will be on the lid itself? She noted some “limitations,” like a load limit, no tree roots that might break through the “lid,” no plants that would require herbicide or pesticide. But the rest of the 20 acres, she said, should have a “fabulous design” that will integrate well with the existing park and off-leash area. And she promised that the many comments already received from Highland Park – particularly during HPAC’s June “mini-summit” on the park – will be considered. What’s next? Read on:Read More

West Seattle Helicopter Watch: What the chopper’s doing now

October 29, 2009 12:38 am
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 |   Helicopter | West Seattle news

helicopterwatch.pngMentioned it on Twitter but just got a phone call so better put a line here too: Guardian One – the King County helicopter that assists Seattle Police and other agencies when needed – is over Harbor Ave checking out a report of possible suspicious activity at a “boat yard,” per the original dispatch we heard on the scanner a little while ago.

Election 2009: One more Mike McGinn “town hall” in West Seattle

Seattle mayoral candidate Mike McGinn has already had two “town hall” meetings in West Seattle – the photo above is from October 4th at Hiawatha; here’s our story about his first one at High Point Library in September. Today he announced a final round of meetings, including one in West Seattle – 10:15 Saturday morning at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library, 2306 42nd SW. Opponent Joe Mallahan has not had a comparable series of public chats; his last West Seattle public appearance that we know of was the October 8th housing-issues forum at Youngstown Arts Center.

Division championship for West Seattle HS girls’ varsity soccer

That’s our video of the postgame celebration at Southwest Athletic Complex tonight after the West Seattle High School girls’ varsity soccer team won the division title by beating Nathan Hale, 2-1. As Sandy noted in comments on our preview story, they’ll play again Tuesday at Memorial Stadium.

Ready to think New Year’s Eve? Highland Park plans a parade

October 28, 2009 9:51 pm
|    Comments Off on Ready to think New Year’s Eve? Highland Park plans a parade
 |   Highland Park | Holidays | West Seattle news

1st short update from tonight’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting: Never too soon to think New Year’s Eve, even with Halloween yet to come. This year, there’s talk of a parade to precede the annual New Year’s Eve party at the Highland Park Improvement Club building (site of tonight’s HPAC meeting) – walking through area neighborhoods (on the sidewalks), with drums and noisemakers, along a pre-mapped route, inviting neighbors to join in along the way, then returning to HPIC for the party, potentially with Cirque de Flambe‘ performing in the HPIC parking lot. HPAC chair Dan Mullins says the idea came from ex-HPAC officer Rory Denovan, inspired by New Year’s Eve revelry seen in Spain. The plan’s still taking shape but sounds like HP might be the fun place to be December 31st. Also discussed at tonight’s meeting, the impending start of design work for the West Seattle (Westcrest) Reservoir park project, with design consultants to be chosen soon (now that the application window is closed; first public meeting is set for Dec. 3), area crime trends and a semi-surprise appearance by one of the crews from Fire Station 11 – more later.

West Seattle scenes: Kenney centennial; P-Patch kid gardeners

At The Kenney‘s celebration this afternoon of the 100th anniversary of its grand opening, Kaia Hlavacek portrayed the senior-living center’s co-founder Jessie Kenney, in turn-of-the-20th-century garb. Meantime, just blocks away, the Solstice Park P-Patch hosted young gardeners and their adult assistants:

A group of students from the Fauntleroy Children’s Center before-and-after-school-care program – headquartered at the old schoolhouse – have a plot at the P-Patch where they are growing produce to donate to food-bank clients. Today, they were “winterizing” the plot, as FCC’s Kim Sheridan put it – with the help of a generous donation of soil-amending material from Burien Bark.

Charges filed against one suspect in carjacking/robbery attempt

Charges are now filed against one of two men arrested after the carjacking/knife attack on a family in South Delridge last Friday night. 21-year-old Jose Antonio Castro, Jr., is charged with attempted first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. The other man who was arrested is not being charged “due to insufficient evidence,” King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells WSB. The court documents include details on how the incident unfolded, including how the victims fought back/resisted – read on:Read More

Booted from Lincoln Park, bicycle race moves to White Center

Just announced on Twitter by MFG Cyclocross, promoters of the bicycle race that was expected to bring 1,000 racers and spectators to West Seattle’s Lincoln Park till the Parks Department revoked permission (as first reported here yesterday): MFG says the race is now rescheduled for Lakewood Park in White Center, still happening Saturday. (It’s not on the MFG website yet but it IS reported on the King County Parks news site.)

Park/community center gun ban: City response to lawsuit

As many expected would happen, the city says it’s being sued over the park/community center gun ban that just took effect (with signs like the one above, photographed by Hillary at Lincoln Park and discussed extensively here a week ago). Here’s its statement:

The City of Seattle issued the following statement on today’s lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association and others challenging the City’s recently adopted policy prohibiting the carrying or display of guns in designated areas of parks where children are likely to be present.

The City’s policy was put in place to protect our most vulnerable and defenseless citizens, our children. The City’s most important public duty is to protect its citizens from harm, especially when they are visiting City facilities. The City Attorney has secured the services of the Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. In order to avoid expense to the City, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has agreed to defend the policy on a pro bono basis.

Seattle Times (WSB partner) has more on the lawsuit itself, including a link to the court documents. ADDED 9:30 PM: The news release about the suit itself says that two of the plaintiffs are West Seattle residents, Winnie Chan and Ray Carter.

West Seattle Design Build: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

Today we welcome West Seattle Design Build as a new WSB sponsor – here’s what they’d like you to know about their business: West Seattle Design Build has the experience and attention to detail that we believe sets us apart from the rest. We have worked hard at developing a reputation for exceptional customer service and customer satisfaction. West Seattle Design Build‘s personnel offer more than 25 years of experience in both residential and commercial construction; it is a BBB-accredited company. We manage a wide range of home remodeling and new construction projects, from bathroom additions and remodels to an entire home renovation and new construction. West Seattle Design Build also specializes in tenant improvements, including restaurant, office and specialty store buildouts. West Seattle Design Build believes in partnering with our clients to create special spaces that will accommodate individual needs. West Seattle Design Build understands the construction process can be disruptive to everyday living, and we work with our customers to minimize impact. The majority of our clients are either repeat customers or come from referrals of satisfied clients. We feel that our quality of work, cleanliness and attention to detail is the primary reason we have such a large repeat customer base. West Seattle Design Build and its owners have a strong commitment to the community. The owners of the company were born and raised in West Seattle and have long standing connections to the local community. The company and its owners believe in active involvement in the community to create a healthier, cohesive and more viable community. West Seattle Design Build and its owners actively volunteer time as coaches in the local West Seattle baseball and soccer leagues, as well as volunteering time and services at a local elementary school. West Seattle Design Build is proud of its work and you will be too! West Seattle Design Build is online at; call (206) 938-0174, or e-mail We thank West Seattle Design Build for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; the sponsor team, with info on joining, is all here.

Extra Water Taxi service (and traffic alert) for Sounders tomorrow

From Linda Thielke at King County Department of Transportation:

The Seattle Sounders soccer team will open up the post season with a playoff game against the Houston Dynamo on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Qwest Field.

The game could disrupt traffic as thousands of fans in green-and-blue scarves are expected to descend on Pioneer Square and the Sodo area. Expect traffic congestion during the afternoon and evening commute. Also, bus passengers who are traveling through the downtown area Thursday afternoon may experience some delays in transit service.

For fans wanting to beat the traffic and travel to the game by bus, use Metro Transit’s Trip Planner to plan a route most convenient for you. And, West Seattle Water Taxi passengers should be aware the Water Taxi will operate a Friday night schedule on game night, with the last sailing from Seattle to West Seattle at 10:30 p.m.

And a reminder, Saturday is the last day of the season for the Water Taxi – which is scheduled (pending election and budget variables) to go into year-round operation after Seacrest dock improvements are done early next year.