month : 12/2009 333 results

After New Year’s Eve, bid Camp Long Lodge farewell till summer

December 23, 2009 1:09 pm
|    Comments Off on After New Year’s Eve, bid Camp Long Lodge farewell till summer
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

As first reported in April, Camp Long‘s historic lodge is getting some long-needed renovations in the first wave of Parks and Green Spaces Levy spending. The Parks Department issued a reminder this week that the lodge is about to close for that $1 million project – see the reminder here. We clarified the dates with Parks spokesperson Joelle Hammerstad, who says that January 1 is the first official day of the shutdown, and the closure is scheduled to last into June. The rest of the park, she stresses, remains open, and the announcement on the city website includes info on how to start making 2010 reservations for Camp Long facilities (beginning January 12) – registration is already under way for winter programs at Camp Long and the city’s other Environmental Learning Centers (more on that here).

More from the totem-theft saga: Renton’s restoration plans

December 23, 2009 12:13 pm
|    Comments Off on More from the totem-theft saga: Renton’s restoration plans
 |   Crime | Rotary Club of West Seattle | West Seattle news

Last week, we got word from Alex Pietsch at the City of Renton that their city was the rightful home of the totem pole found in Oregon with the stolen West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park pole (here’s our 12/15 report; photo above was provided by police after the poles were recovered 12/10 – the Renton totem’s on the left). Today, the Renton Reporter has published an update about plans for its restoration. (The plan for ours is still in the works; the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s restoration-fund info is here.) We also have one update on our Tuesday report that the suspected thief was arrested again – he was released from jail last night after seven hours. Still watching for the filing of charges.

West Seattle Preschool Fair: Still a few spots left

It’s almost school-decision time, and for those with little ones going to school for the first time, a West Seattle Preschool Fair is being organized for February 22nd. We first mentioned it here last week; organizer Tana Dorsey says there are a few spots left for any preschools that haven’t yet signed up to be part of it. Here’s all the info.

If you have county business, get it done today – furlough tomorrow

December 23, 2009 10:33 am
|    Comments Off on If you have county business, get it done today – furlough tomorrow
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

King County just sent a reminder that tomorrow’s another “furlough day” – so if you have county business, today’s the day to get it done. Included in the reminder, as noted the other day, Metro Transit has schedule changes most days through New Year’s:

Metro bus Sunday schedules will be used on the following holidays:
* Friday, Dec. 25 – Christmas
* Friday, Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day

The reduced weekday Metro bus schedule will be in effect on:
* Thursday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve
* Monday-Thursday, Dec. 28-31 – winter holiday period
* Monday, Jan. 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Details on other transit and commuter services such as the Water Taxi [editor’s note: that’s the Vashon-Seattle foot ferry; ours is on hiatus] are available here:

West Seattle churches’ Christmas Eve/Christmas Day services

(Rerunning 12/12 photo by Michelle Edwards, our favorite so far this season)
Now that it’s Christmas Eve-Eve, we’re wrapping up our in-advance info lists. 2 already published: Restaurants open Christmas Eve/Day and grocery-store hours for Christmas Eve/Day; this morning, West Seattle churches’ plans for services on Christmas Eve/Day. A few churches are missing because the information was unavailable – we will add to the list today when/if that changes – – thanks! – click ahead for the list (which also is now updated on the West Seattle Holidays page)Read More

Out of last-min gift ideas? Remember “We Are The Junction” CD

Hadn’t seen a video from the all-West Seattle benefit compilation “We Are The Junction” till this link landed in our Facebook box courtesy of the artist, Kirk Dubb, whose trademark phrase is “Chug-A-Lug.” Produced & directed by Dynomite D, this isn’t kid stuff, but hey, it’s late night. And a good cause. Many West Seattle nightlife shoutouts. (Look for the “Happy Festivus” lights’ cameo.” Multiple artists (listed here) on “We Are The Junction” in addition to Kirk Dubb; proceeds benefit the West Seattle Food Bank. You can buy it for just $10 at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), Easy Street Records, West 5 and Shadow Land.

Meet West Seattle’s “Psychic Barber”: He KNOWS you need a cut

Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Rick Cook, owner of Rick’s Barber Shop at 5251 California SW, has inherited both a sign and a claim to fame: “Psychic Barber.”

You’ve probably laughed, driving along California SW, when out of the corner of your eye you caught a glimpse of two white neon signs next to each other: “Psychic” “Barber.” That reaction was partly by design; after a psychic moved in next door to Rick’s Barber Shop, Rick had a matching white neon “Barber” sign made by the same person who created the “Psychic” sign.

Now, Rick owns the “Psychic” portion of the signage as well, and his front window proudly announces “Psychic Barber.”

The Psychic Barber attention came after Rick had already been in his current space for 15 years.

Read More

West Seattle grocery stores’ hours for Christmas Day (and Eve)

December 22, 2009 6:13 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle grocery stores’ hours for Christmas Day (and Eve)
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news | West Seattle restaurants

We’re continuing to wrap up our Christmas info lists (here’s the updated Christmas Eve/Day restaurant list) – tonight, local grocery stores’ plans:

Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor)
Closing 6 pm Christmas Eve
Closed Christmas Day

PCC Natural Markets/West Seattle (WSB sponsor)
Closing 7 pm Christmas Eve
Closed Christmas Day

West Seattle QFC stores:
Both close 6 pm Christmas Eve
Junction store closed Christmas Day
Westwood Village store open 8 am-3 pm Christmas Day

All 3 West Seattle Safeway stores
Closing 7 pm Christmas Eve
Open 9 am-3 pm Christmas Day

West Seattle Thriftway
Closing 9 pm Christmas Eve
Closed Christmas Day

The in-progress list of Christmas Eve/Day church services is on the West Seattle Holidays page; and we’ll have the Christmas Day coffee map done soon.

WestSide Baby donations update: You’re answering the call

Two notes following up on the article published here last night saying WestSide Baby – which helps thousands of families, not just in West Seattle and White Center, but beyond – needs car seats and diapers: First, Nancy Woodland from WestSide Baby says the donations (including car seats like the ones shown above) have been flowing in all day. Second, please note a change to the dropoff site list in the story – Square 1 Books (WSB sponsor) is *not* a dropoff location – they are collecting board books that you can buy and donate on the spot, but otherwise, much as they’d like to take other donations, there’s no room. The updated list is in the story.

White Center/West Seattle fave Full Tilt Ice Cream expands again

It’s been hinted at for a while but today, the formal announcement – Full Tilt Ice Cream is adding a third location, this time in the University District. The news release from proprietor Justin Cline is headed, “Full Tilt Set to Take Over the World. ” They opened in White Center in summer 2008, then in Columbia City earlier this year. Their new location will be at 4759 Brooklyn Avenue NE (map), with January 5th set as opening day. They also are announcing a new partnership with Cafe Vita for not just coffee, but also a special ice-cream flavor for all stores, and they’re adding “more vegan treats” – four vegan flavors and “a variety of vegan baked goods.”

West Seattle totem theft: Suspect arrested again, home searched

(1 of 2 police cars that were still in the neighborhood when we arrived)
Here’s why police converged on Palm Avenue in North Admiral earlier this morning: They had a search warrant for the home of the suspect in the Nov. 30 theft of West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park‘s 18-foot totem pole (inset Rotary photo). The search was wrapping up when we arrived, and we didn’t see anything being brought out while we were there, but Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen tells us officers have arrested the 69-year-old man again – this time in connection with the theft of the totem pole found on a trailer in Oregon along with the West Seattle totem (as we reported last week, that second pole turned out to have been stolen from outside the Renton Fred Meyer store). As with the first arrest, he was not at his home when police arrived, but was taken into custody elsewhere in West Seattle, and has been booked into King County Jail. We are not identifying the suspect until he is officially charged; we are checking frequently with King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, who just told us the case has yet to be referred (with ongoing investigations, that’s not unusual). We’ll update the latest developments if/when more information is available. Meantime, if you’re catching up on the backstory, here are links to some of our previous coverage:

Original story on then-suspected theft (published Dec. 3)
Theft suspect arrested (Dec. 9)
Stolen pole found in Oregon with (then-) mystery pole (Dec. 10)
Stolen poles brought back from Oregon (Dec. 14)
Second pole identified as having been stolen from Renton (Dec. 15)
Stolen West Seattle pole won’t be re-installed immediately (Dec. 17)

1:17 PM UPDATE: Lt. Paulsen says additional search warrants have been served in connection with the case – two in Black Diamond. No word yet if anything was found.

Update: West Seattle Nursery “shop cat” Seth is back

From the “happy ending” department — this is just out of the inbox from Galen at West Seattle Nursery, following up on yesterday’s report:

Our cat Seth came back. I just posted on the blog but I wanted to e-mail as well. He was stuck next door in our boss’s basement all day and all night. Mark heard meowing and let him out. We had him chipped this morning. … So happy and glad.

Side reminder: Hope it’s is a service you don’t ever have to use, but anyone who loses or finds a pet is welcome to e-mail so we can help get word out via the Pets page … it’s been of assistance in dozens of happy reunions over the past year-plus. (For other types of lost/found reports, you are welcome to post directly to the WSB Forums.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Grinches on the rampage?

This morning, e-mail came in from Lee:

If someone wakes up and is missing lit-up Xmas animals from the front of their house, I just walked by a seal and another thing (didn’t look too closely as I was rushing to catch a ferry) at the bottom of the Thistle stairs on the side of the street.

Just went down to check – what Lee reported is still there, along Thistle at 46th (map):

Whether related or not, that sighting comes hours after a report of stolen decorations in North Admiral – witnessed by “octoberjem,” who posted the report in the WSB Forums, including a description of and partial plate from the pickup truck seen making a getaway. Read that report here.

Today/tonight: Orca watch, 787, concert, last-minute giving

ORCA WATCH: Howard Garrett from the Orca Network – which tracks whale sightings all over Northwest waters (and often beyond) – sent this word last night, suggesting whales might pass us today:

There are a lot of orcas in the south sound tonight, and they may be there tomorrow as well. The last report, from Steve Rees, was in the final glimmer of winter solstice light, at 4:25 pm from Richmond Beach (Gig Harbor), describing 30+ orcas heading north up Colvos Passage. 30+! If anyone sees them, please call Orca Network at 866-ORCANET (672-2638) and call the West Seattle Blog so everyone will know where to look.

(We’re at 206-293-6302 round the clock.) Colvos Passage, by the way, is the channel that runs west of Vashon.

787: One week after the much-cheered first flight of Boeing‘s new Dreamliner, the second one goes up this morning – again planned to leave from Snohomish County’s Paine Field and to arrive just east of West Seattle, at Boeing Field.

BENEFIT CONCERT: 7 pm tonight at Mars Hill/West Seattle, violinist Angela Fuller performs to raise money for the medical expenses of bicyclist Angela Sweet (story here).

LAST-MINUTE HOLIDAY GIVING: As reported here last night, WestSide Baby needs car seats and diapers by tomorrow to meet its holiday goals – details here. And Jill at CAPERS in The Junction shares a photo of their Giving Tree, which is there through Christmas Eve:

Jill explained:

CAPERS is accepting gifts for the Hickman House, transitional housing for women and children surviving domestic violence, until December 24th. Pick up a gift card while you are out shopping and drop it off if you are too busy to pick up a star.

Other donation drives are listed on the West Seattle Holidays page – along with other Christmas-week info and an ever-growing list of New Year’s Eve/Day events – plus look for a couple more lists later today to join the updated holiday restaurant list.

West Seattle scenes: Christmas party on the run; solstice sunshine

WSB contributing reporter Keri DeTore tells the story behind that photo:

I was driving home along Fauntleroy at about 9:15 (last night) and saw, going north, two groups of runners–one group per side of Fauntleroy, tricked out with Christmas hats and blinking blue lights. I managed to catch up with one group and ask them about it.

Cathleen Knutson
(center, with Macbeth Watson at left and Lori McConnell at right) came up with the idea of an “Alternative Christmas Party.” The group of nine friends ran from Knutson’s home on Avalon, to see the Christmas lights on Charlestown, then to Celtic Swell for “beverages,” and then back to Knutson’s home. A total of eight miles!!

They are calling it the “1st Annual Holidazzle Run.”

Keri caught up with that group on the longest night of the year – which began shortly after this photo shared by Diane:

She took it a short time before sunset, from the 37th/Hinds vicinity, other side of the peninsula from where Alice Enevoldsen and fellow sky-watchers gathered at Solstice Park (photo here).

Regional news: 2 Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies shot

Just a few weeks ago, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the deadly shooting of four Lakewood Police officers. Tonight, they are dealing with an attack on two of their own: 2 Pierce County deputies shot after answering a domestic-violence call in the Eatonville area. According to what Pierce County spokesperson Det. Ed Troyer just said in a live interview on Channel 7, both are in critical condition, and the person who opened fire on them was killed. For information directly from Pierce County, watch the red-bordered emergency-info box on its website, here. KIRO’s developing story is here; developing coverage from our partners at the Seattle Times is here; ongoing Twitter updates related to the story are here (tagged #eatonville). With the four Lakewood officers killed the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton – a former West Seattleite – killed on Halloween night, this makes seven eight law-enforcement officers shot in the Puget Sound area in the past seven weeks. 11:52 PM: Tacoma’s News-Tribune is also posting updates – here’s their story, updated a few minutes ago. We’ll be monitoring Web/Twitter over the next few hours and will note any major developments here.

12:08 AM UPDATE: Seattle Times photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux is at Harborview Medical Center, where one of the deputies were airlifted, and reports via Twitter that Seattle PD Deputy Chief Nick Metz reports that deputy “is still fighting.”

12:58 AM UPDATE: The Times has reported that the other deputy, at Madigan Army Medical Center, has spoken with investigators. And Pierce County has identified the suspect who was shot and killed as David Crable. And Cliff DesPeaux has uploaded this video (first streamed live a short while ago) of Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor at Harborview, asking people to keep the deputies in their prayers.

1:21 AM: According to’s Casey McNerthney, the deputy who’s at Madigan is doing better and is now listed in serious condition instead of critical.

40 car seats + 3,000 diapers needed by WestSide Baby, ASAP

We’ve been checking in with major nonprofits – the people whose business is helping people — over the past week, to see what they need by Christmas. Our previous stories: West Seattle Food Bank here, White Center Food Bank here, West Seattle Helpline here. Tonight; WestSide Baby, which helps families in need not just throughout West Seattle/White Center, but beyond – and they have a very specific wish list.

By Lauri Hennessey
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Have time with the kids in the next two days? Take the chance to show them the true meaning of Christmas, and in the process, help WestSide Baby meets its holiday collection goal. The nonprofit is still short of its goal, and only has until Wednesday to make the target.

Nancy Woodland, executive director of WestSide Baby, says she set her goal for the December collection drive at 25,000 diapers, 100 coats, and 50 car seats. As of this afternoon, the community had collected enough coats to meet the goal, but WestSide Baby was still 3,000 diapers short of the goal. And, WestSide Baby is far behind on collecting the car seats.

“We’ve noticed a 13% increase in the number of children served this year compared to last,” she says. Woodland says WestSide Baby has served the needs of 400 children in the last ten days, an unheard of number for the organization. Woodland says that is roughly double the usual number for this time of year. In fact, she says, since October 1, WestSide Baby has seen unprecedented need. She says they have served more than $33,000 worth of supplies through White Center’s Neighborhood House alone. Diapers are not covered by food stamps or other government programs and cost approximately 23 cents each.

(More specifics on how to help – and where to take those donations the next 2 days – ahead!)Read More

Appeals Court ruling on Satterlee House: Original decision affirmed


A major ruling late today in the long-running fight over whether William Conner, owner of the landmark Satterlee House – aka Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady” – can build three houses on its expansive lawn. The city Landmarks Board originally declined to approve the specific three-house proposal; Conner challenged the decision before the city Hearing Examiner, who upheld the ruling (here’s our April 2008 report); then he took it to King County Superior Court, where a judge upheld the city decision (here’s our October 2008 report); then he took it to the 1st Division Court of Appeals, which has just upheld the decision. Read their ruling here; our report on the arguments before the state court last June is here. We’ll add more to this report as we seek comment and read the full ruling. (As noted in earlier reports, these decisions have not been rulings against ANY construction on the Satterlee House lawn, but rather against the specific proposal Conner took to the Landmarks Board, which has jurisdiction over changes to landmarked property; here’s our archive of case coverage, newest to oldest.) Summary of the case/decision, from the ruling document:

William and Marilyn Conner purchased a designated historical landmark property in West Seattle known as the Satterlee House. The Landmarks Preservation Board rejected their proposal to develop the site because it did not preserve the protected historic features. The hearing examiner and the superior court upheld the Board’s decision.

The Conners’ principal contention is that the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance is unconstitutionally vague as applied. They also contend the landmark restrictions on the property constitute an unlawful tax, a regulatory taking, and deprived them of due process. We reject their arguments and affirm.

The call went out, and you answered: High Point toy drive success

(All photos by WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
Meet Bishop Deborah Dinkins from Restoration Worship Center, which has services at High Point Community Center noon-2 pm every Sunday. Bishop Dinkins and church volunteers coordinated the HPCC toy distribution that went awry a week ago because a promised delivery didn’t come – then the call went out to see if they could make it happen today – and a few hours ago, they did, with the help of many WSB’ers and generous folks from all over the area. Look at just one table laden with donated toys, in a room that was full of them:

Families went into the room in small groups – and the kids made their choices:

Not only did they serve the dozens of families who crowded into the community center this afternoon, but church volunteer Tina Taylor (at left in the photo below) told us that they shared some of the donations with three other churches (1 of those churches alone, she said, was helping 80 more families) – and gave four bags to kids in the HPCC gym whose parents, the youth told church volunteers, were hesitant to sign up to be on the list for toys.

They repeatedly expressed their gratitude to everyone who reached out to help. One week ago, they weren’t sure they would be able to help hundreds of families have a merry Christmas – then, both Bishop Dinkins and volunteer Taylor said, there was “a miracle.”

(If you’re still looking for places to give to – we know there are Giving Trees still up all around West Seattle – the one for Hickman House at CAPERS in The Junction, for example, will be waiting through Christmas Eve.)

Have you seen Seth? West Seattle Nursery “shop cat” vanishes

(photo courtesy West Seattle Nursery)
That’s one of the photos we featured last March with our first in a series of “West Seattle shop cat” stories – that’s Seth from West Seattle Nursery, and we’re not exaggerating when we speculate that thousands of West Seattleites have met him. Galen Guffy from WSN has just sent word that Seth is missing, and asks folks to be on the lookout for him:

Our beloved nursery cat is missing. His name is Seth and he is a huge black, brown and grey tabby cat about 18 lbs and approximately 7 years old.

The last time we saw him was December 20 at about 6 pm. He didn’t come in when we closed, even though we called and called, and he wasn’t here waiting for us when we opened. This is highly unusual as he is always here in the morning waiting to be let in if he stayed out the night before or begging for his breakfast from the opening staff. In all the years we’ve had him he’s never ventured more than a couple blocks away from the nursery. We spent the morning combing our neighborhood looking for him and calling animal control to see if anyone has brought him in.

We are really worried about him and would appreciate it if you could let your readers know and ask them to contact us if they’ve seen him. We would be so very grateful.

The nursery’s number is 206-935-9276. Seth will also be on the WSB Pets page shortly.

West Seattle’s stolen totem pole: Meet the man who carved it

(Photo provided by carver Robin Young(third from left) ‘s daughter Tracy Zimmerman)
No major new developments in the saga of the West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole – stolen three weeks ago tonight, then recovered a week and a half later, after a suspect was arrested. But we do have a new story to tell today – what we’ve learned about the man who carved it: Robin Young, a Native American carver (born in South Dakota at the Cheyenne River Indian Agency, he told us in the course of our interview).

We tracked him down after reading a comment on one of our original reports, in which his daughter Tracy Zimmerman wrote:

I would like to say thank you for all the effort put into finding the totem pole. My father Robin Young is the one that carved it. There is such pride and heart that goes into the craftmanship and our family is very thankful.

We followed up with her to find out more. She replied that he’s still alive and well and living in Federal Way; he taught woodcarving at Highline Community College during the time he created the Rotary pole, which the club donated to the city, along with the park, in 1976 (she also shared the historic photo above). The Rotarians have been in contact with him too and are hopeful that he will be able to participate when the pole is reinstalled; there are still decisions to be made about how and when that will happen, and whether it needs restoration work first.

So how did the family find out about what happened to the totem pole? Tracy explained, “I heard about the pole being missing on the news … I saw the picture they showed and said to myself that looks like the pole my dad carved. I found an old picture and sure enough it was the pole he carved, so I called my mother and let her know. She was funny and said I remember that pole well. It was in our front yard for ever while he worked on it.”

Her dad is battling some health problems but agreed to answer some questions via e-mail – read on:Read More

Yet more holiday help: 2 West Seattle blood drives

December 21, 2009 2:45 pm
|    Comments Off on Yet more holiday help: 2 West Seattle blood drives
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Just out of the WSB inbox:

The Puget Sound Blood Center is giving West Seattle two opportunities to save lives before the New Year. With a decrease in donations and an increase in accidents, we could use help maintaining a stable blood supply over the holidays.

As we exchange gifts during the holidays, please remember that you have the most precious gift inside you to give.

Please give others a chance at a better life:

– Saturday December 26th

* Holy Family Parish- Tice Hall 9516 20th Ave SW
* 10:00AM- 4:00PM (closed 12-1pm)

– Monday December 28th

* Safeway- 2622 California Ave SW
* 9:00AM- 3:00PM (closed 11:30-12:30)

The Puget Sound Blood Center is a non-profit, community and volunteer based
organization. For more than 60 years, the PSBC has been improving the quality of
life for sick patients in the Puget Sound area. This is all thanks to the generous
donors who are saving lives in Western Washington every day. Your volunteered blood
is distributed to 70 local hospitals and clinics in the Puget Sound area. For more
information, please contact 1-800-DONATE-1.

Fauntleroy Church fire followup: Christmas Eve is ON

December 21, 2009 12:29 pm
|    Comments Off on Fauntleroy Church fire followup: Christmas Eve is ON
 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news | West Seattle religion

As reported here yesterday afternoon, a small fire in the Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) sanctuary was extinguished quickly – but forced the church to move last night’s holiday concert into the Fellowship Hall (photo here) and is leading to some extra work this week getting ready for Thursday night’s Christmas Eve services. Church (among many other Fauntleroy endeavors) volunteer Judy Pickens shares the photo above – explaining that it’s a Christmas ornament stuck to the charred edge of the altar cloth, which was among the “smoldering materials involved in the fire.” She adds:

Christmas Eve services are on at Fauntleroy Church United Church of Christ, despite a small fire on Sunday afternoon. It appears to have started from am ember left behind when candles were extinguished after the morning service. By mid afternoon, smoldering fabrics atop the altar had filled the sanctuary with smoke and activated the smoke alarm. Firefighters arrived en masse and broke a pane of the big window to get at the fire. No cost estimate of the damage is yet available.

The three services on Christmas Eve will be at 4:00, 7:00, and 11:00 PM.

We checked today with Seattle Fire spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen, who says the investigation closed with firefighters’ conclusion that the fire was indeed accidental.