year : 2009 4580 results

Seen along Seattle streets: Procession for Deputy Kent Mundell

Several WSB’ers have asked us about an unusual police/fire presence along I-5 this afternoon – this is what it was all about. The Seattle Fire Department tweeted that photo of some of its crews paying tribute to Pierce County Deputy Kent Mundell, as his body was transported this afternoon from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which is near Harborview Medical Center, where he died yesterday. Deputy Mundell is the sixth law-enforcement officer in the Puget Sound area to have been murdered in the past two months; his memorial service is set for next Tuesday at the Tacoma Dome.

New online: Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership website

December 29, 2009 1:56 pm
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 |   Health | West Seattle news | West Seattle online

Another community group finally has an online home: Renae Gaines shares the news that Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership has a website – see it here. (You’ll also see that page has a left-side column with information on upcoming parent-education events; elsewhere on the site, the calendar page shows that the next SWHYP coalition meeting is January 26, all welcome.)

West Seattle scene: Sea lion wins food fight with eagle

That photo is courtesy of Alki wildlife-watcher (and raft-keeper) Guy Smith, who tells the pre-photo tale:

Alki Point residents saw an eagle swooping down to the water this AM during a sea lion’s breakfast. It actually tried to get the salmon out of the sea lion’s mouth on several passes when the sea lion was slapping the fish around on the surface to kill it; similar to a dog shaking a snake. Eagles sometimes sit in a tall tree on a hill across the street and have a good view of the water, but they’re usually not this aggressive. Didn’t get a shot of the eagle, but the attached photo shows the sea lion downing the salmon.

(No proof one of them was involved, but this is still a good excuse to point you to David Hutchinson‘s fabulous Christmas photo of 2 Alki eagles, if you haven’t seen it already.)

See who’s on the new Seattle Police Chief search committee

December 29, 2009 11:45 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

A followup today to Mayor-elect Mike McGinn‘s decision to restart the search for a new Seattle Police Chief – he’s announced the members of the new search committee. We recognize at least one West Seattle name: former deputy mayor and Seattle Storm co-owner Anne Levinson. Here’s the full list; the McGinn team says the group’s first meeting is set for January 13.

New location for WS Kiwanis Club’s free Seattle Symphony concert

It’s an annual tradition — the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle is again hosting a free community concert with the Seattle Symphony, but this year, it’s in a new venue at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor). The concert is set for 8 pm January 15, featuring conductor Thomas Hong and violist Amber Archibald. On the program:

Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (“Fingal’s Cave”), Op. 26
Jones: Benediction
Stamitz: Viola Concerto in D major, Op. 1
Tchaikovsky: Selections from Symphony No. 2 in C minor, “Little Russian”

The orchestra’s free concert will be in SSCC’s Brockey Center.; here’s the official flyer. As Kiwanian Shari Sewell tells WSB, “It is a great opportunity to hear the symphony and introduce kids to this genre of music. The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle is proud to host this annual concert!”

Followup: Water Taxi dock work starts next week at Seacrest

As reported here last weekend, the construction permit’s been issued for the new King County Water Taxi dock at Seacrest, and this morning we have more information from the King County Department of Transportation on when the work starts and what effects it will have on people who use Seacrest:

The project begins the week of Jan. 4, when Manson Construction Company will move barges and containment booms into the area between the fixed fishing pier and the shoreline. In the first stage of the project, the aging gangway, floating dock and pilings will be removed.

By mid-January, installation of new pilings will begin, which requires using a large vibratory hammer to rattle the pilings into the ground. The pile installation has the potential for increased noise especially underwater. Residents around Seacrest Park may also notice increased noise levels during working hours Monday through Friday.

The fixed fishing pier is expected to remain open to the public throughout construction, but fishermen will experience increased noise and in-water disruptions. Also, recreational diving will be interrupted at and around Seacrest Dock between mid-January and mid-February of 2010.

The pile installation is scheduled to take two to three weeks. Once it’s completed, a new dock and gangway will be installed. No increase in noise levels is expected during this construction phase; however, the work could continue to be disruptive to divers in the area.

The current construction schedule shows the project being completed by late-February, 2010.

The Water Taxi’s next season between West Seattle and downtown is scheduled to start in April. Whether it continues year-round thereafter, as has been proposed, depends on funding issues. Since the service is no longer being contracted out to Argosy Cruises, next season will bring a dock change (Pier 50 downtown, where the county’s Seattle-Vashon foot ferry now lands) and vessel change (the county’s leasing one – no final decision yet on a specific vessel).

Happy Tuesday! Third-to-last day of 2009

December 29, 2009 6:34 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

A few notes: No major community meetings this week, all the better to get ready for New Year’s Eve – check the West Seattle Holidays page for an updated list of ideas for Thursday night (eclectic list this year, including the West Side Story singalong at Admiral Theater, the ArtsWest Concert with the Stars, the Highland Park parade/party …). If you’re coming off a long holiday weekend/vacation, reminder that Metro has changes all week (explained here).

Behind the scenes at West Seattle’s Bakery Nouveau

Story, photos and video by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Three years after Bakery Nouveau opened in The Junction, its ovens continue to churn out the products that have made the bakery both a local favorite and a foodie mecca. While some other West Seattle restaurants and businesses have come and gone in the same time, William and Heather Leaman’s bakery has thrived.

The secrets of their success? Surely decades of baking experience, quality ingredients, attention to detail and a focus on the customer have something to do with it. But according to William Leaman, the real key is to have small ovens:

“Back in 1999, I worked in France with (artisan boulanger) Éric Kayser and there was one thing in particular that he did that I thought was fantastic: He chose a retail space where there was nowhere to sit. They had garage doors that rolled up in the front. And they’d literally be shoveling baguettes in and out of the oven all day and night with a line out the door and down the block. The place wasn’t even 40 or 50 square feet and they were producing 5,000 baguettes a day. What that imprinted upon me is the importance of, if you’re going to be a baker and bake for your community, your products need to be warm and right out of the oven.”

Read More

West Seattle door-to-door alert: Meat sellers refusing to show ID

Erin e-mailed to share word of “a very rude door to door meat seller” tonight at her house on Puget Ridge, saying, “After the incident, I searched (WSB) and found this thread referencing the same company. They may be legit, but they were beyond rude.” Read on for her report:Read More

Update: Jade West proprietor out of Harborview; son’s still there

As promised over the weekend, we checked today with Harborview Medical Center regarding the status of Jade West Cafe proprietor Wah Wong and his family, hurt two weeks ago when a suspected drunk driver crashed into them outside the family’s Beacon Hill home. WSB’er “Grr” — who put up a get-well card Saturday on the cafe’ door (photo) — reported the hospital told him Wah Wong was out, and indeed, that’s been confirmed, but 22-year-old son Jason Wong is still in the hospital, now listed in satisfactory condition; court documents filed in the case say his left leg was so badly damaged, it had to be amputated below the knee. Wah Wong’s wife Salina Wong was not admitted to Harborview, according to the media relations department, so we don’t know her status. The driver charged with vehicular assault for hitting them, 50-year-old Rodney James, remains in jail, his bail set at $250,000. From court documents, his history is described as follows:

The defendant is currently on a suspended sentence for an reckless driving (amended from driving under the influence) that was sentenced on 1/21/09 in King County District Court … his other known criminal and moving history includes NVOL (7/3/08), DWLS (5/9/03), and speeding (7/3/08). His currently known out-of-state history includes a Fresno, CA VUCSA (8/2/1990) and a Graterford, PA Escape-county prison (1/28/1981). Graterford is Pennsylvania’s largest maximum security prison.

NVOL is “no valid operator’s license”; DWLS is driving with a suspended license; VUCSA is a “controlled substance” (drugs) charge. Meantime, no new info yet on how long Jade West will stay closed.

From the WSB Pets page: Searching for a deaf Dalmatian

In the past day, we’ve added a few more lost pets to the WSB Pets page (there as a West Seattle-specific resource if you’ve ever lost or found a pet) – and right now there’s a frantic search under way for a deaf Dalmatian, missing in Westwood – photo and contact number here. TUESDAY UPDATE, 2:38 PM: Rupert’s just been found.

Updates: SDOT announces director Grace Crunican is resigning

12:42 PM: West Seattleite Grace Crunican, the Seattle Department of Transportation director who came under fire after last year’s snowstorm, will resign and go into business for herself, according to a news release just received from SDOT – read on (added 1:03 pm, mayor’s statement; added 1:14 pm, mayor-elect’s statement; added 2:09 pm, our conversation with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who is taking over the Transportation Committee):Read More

West Seattle Pharmacy to open in ex-Westside space

The era of the small indie pharmacy is apparently not over after all. In our photo above, that’s Kenny Wolfe, hard at work cleaning up and fixing up the former Westside Pharmacy space at California/Brandon (map). We noticed “Coming Soon” painted on the windows, and then got a tip last night from Amy that somebody was hard at work inside, so we went by today to see what we could find out. The new proprietor’s very busy sprucing up the space but told us it’ll be called West Seattle Pharmacy when it reopens – they’re aiming for February. (The previous pharmacy closed in September when its owner moved operations to the new Junction QFC; here’s our original story on that.) ADDED 8:07 PM: The new owner’s added some more info in the comment section:

Thank you all for your comments. We are in the initial stages of opening… We would love feedback/input from all of you as to what products you would like to see in West Seattle Pharmacy. I kind of consider that each customer and patient is ‘part owner’ as the pharmacy, myself and Scarlett are here to serve you! Feel free to stop by…we would love to meet you. Oh, and for Ray: the phone number is 206-453-4388. Bear in mind, it is on FAX on even # days (i.e. 2nd, 4th, etc.) and voice mail on odd # days (1/3/5…) until we open. That way, we can catch most of the influx and still keep renovating :) . I hope all of you had a great holiday. We welcome the new year!!!

More learning in the New Year: Green cleaning; tree pruning

On Sunday, we shared news of two language courses in West Seattle starting early in the New Year – Spanish and Lushootseed. This morning, 2 more announcements of chances to learn something new:

GREEN CLEANING: On January 6, CoolMom invites you to a Green Cleaning Demonstration event at Bridge Park in High Point. From the flyer: “Make, get recipes, and take home a few Green Cleaning products and other tips to use with peace of mind – all while saving money and the planet! Please bring empty glass jars with lids and spray bottles for yourself or to share!” Suggested materials fee is $5; RSVPs are requested – you can do it via Evite.

LEARN BASIC FRUIT TREE PRUNING: City Fruit sends word that John Reardon (left), vice president of the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, will lead a class “at his home orchard in the Delridge neighborhood on Saturday, January 9, 10 am to noon. This is a rare chance to learn pruning techniques on well-maintained fruit trees and (fuzzless) kiwi vines.” In the City Fruit announcement, he is quoted as saying, “My goals are to encourage easy picking and to create productive plants. I encourage lots of questions and believe in learning by doing.” The class is $15 for City Fruit members, $20 for nonmembers. You can register by following this link to Brown Paper Tickets.

Today: Bus changes, treecycling opportunities, pool reopens

METRO TRANSIT SERVICE THIS WEEK: That swing week between Christmas and New Year’s can be confusing. Metro wants everybody to know it’s on “reduced weekday service” through Thursday – see what that means, here – then on Friday, not only will Metro run a Sunday schedule, fares also go up.

CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING, AKA TREECYCLING: This week and next, the city has two ways for you to recycle your tree – one via curbside pickup, one via dropping it off at a transfer station. The latter requires a little less pre-processing. Here are all the specifics; the nearest transfer station is just east of West Seattle in South Park – here’s a map.

SOUTHWEST POOL SCHEDULED TO REOPEN … after a weeklong shutdown while the SW Community Center gym floor was being repaired. (Extra public swims are scheduled for the next three days – details here.)

And there’s more on the calendar today – check out the WSB West Seattle Events page.

West Seattle Crime Watch: St. John’s luminarias vandalized

(photo courtesy St. John the Baptist Church, taken Dec. 24)
West Seattle’s St. John the Baptist Church has just sent in a Crime Watch report, hoping you might know who damaged its luminarias, which were meant to light the way from Christmas to New Year’s. From St. John’s rector, Rev. Peter DeVeau:

We were saddened to discover that our Christmas luminarias had been vandalized between 1-6 p.m. on Sunday, December 27, 2009. All but one light bulb were removed and several light bulbs had been smashed on the walkway outside the main entrance to the church. A couple of the luminarias had also been damaged.

The luminaria display was put in place to brighten the entrance to the church during the twelve days of Christmas through the Epiphany on January 6, and would be a beacon of light for the Emerald City Wanderers’ New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day walks which begin and end at the church. The display is especially meaningful to many members in the congregation, as it surrounds the Churchyard where many loved ones are buried.

If anyone has information about this senseless vandalism, please contact the church at 206-937-4545 or

Followup: Satterlee House ruling draws national attention


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This week’s state Appeals Court ruling does not necessarily end the two-year fight over a three-house development proposal for the lawn of the city-landmark Satterlee House at 4866 Beach Drive (map). Owner William Conner can request a discretionary review by the state Supreme Court. His lawyer, Richard Hill, told WSB after the decision was announced (WSB coverage here), “We will be studying the Court’s ruling, and Mr. Conner will then decide whether or not to appeal.” In the meantime, the ruling (read it here) has drawn national attention: It could have nationwide significance, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Pacific Legal Foundation, which both had filed “friend of the court” briefs in the case, NTHP supporting the city, PLF supporting the property owner. More ahead:Read More

West Seattle scenes: Parade lanterns; waterscape wonders

A table full of lantern-makers worked busily at Highland Park Improvement Club when we visited to see how the New Year’s Eve parade-prep project was going. The lanterns are papier-mache over balloons, to be carried during the “Not-So-Silent Night” neighborhood parade Thursday night:

Everyone’s welcome during the parade; meet at HPIC (11th/Holden) at 6:30 pm Thursday – it’ll be followed by a parking-lot performance around 7:30 and the HPIC New Year’s Eve house party indoors. (More West Seattle New Year’s Eve options here.) Meantime, nature put on its own beautiful show one more time today:

Chas Redmond shared that iPhone photo from along Beach Drive; David Rosen shared the view from West Seattle’s downtown-facing waterfront:

Looks like the clouds will hold centerstage for the next few days, though.

Learn a language in the New Year: Spanish, Lushootseed classes

December 27, 2009 12:50 pm
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 |   West Seattle news

If your New Year’s resolutions include learning something new, here are two series of language classes in West Seattle – both starting soon – that might help you meet that goal:

“LEARN TO SPEAK OUR COUNTRY’S UNOFFICIAL SECOND LANGUAGE”: That’s how instructor Brenda Howald describes the Spanish classes she’ll be teaching starting January 4 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Her series runs Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30-8 pm, through March 10. Depending on the sign-ups, she’s tentatively planning to offer beginning and “low intermediate” level classes, with both conversation and grammar. She’s taught Spanish privately in West Seattle and on Vashon, and to employees of the King County Library System; she also notes she has “taught English as a Second Language to students from all over the world.” Pre-registration is required, so if you’re interested, call her at 206-501-1971.

“THE LANGUAGE SPOKEN BY CHIEF SEATTLE”: That’s the phrase the Duwamish Longhouse uses in its class announcement to describe Lushootseed, which will be taught in a series of six Saturday sessions, every other week, 1-3 pm, starting January 9. The announcement explains, “Language is the gateway to the culture. Learn some of the sounds, words, simple sentences & phrases. The instructor is Michael C. Evans (didahalqid), and the class is limited to the first 20 who register. Lots more info here, along with the e-mail and phone contact information for registration.

Congratulations to 3 West Seattleites: Honors from Grammy, NASA

ol’ time banjo – colabs – David Miles Huber / Allen Hart from 51bpm on Vimeo.

AWAITING GRAMMY NEWS, #1: Thanks to Mercedes for e-mailing WSB a to share the news that West Seattleite David Miles Huber received a Grammy Award nomination this month – the announcement happened in early December, but it’s news to us, so maybe it is to you too. His collaborative project Colabs is nominated for Best Surround Sound Album. See the nomination on the official Grammy Awards site (including a list of his collaborators, and the competition); You can find out more about his work at

AWAITING GRAMMY NEWS, #2: Looking for related links, we also learned (via Gene Stout‘s report from earlier this month) that another West Seattle-based musician is nominated too – one who happens to be among Huber’s collaborators on Colabs – Henta. Her “Laserium for the Soul” is up for the Best New Age Album Grammy. The awards are to be announced January 31st; along with Huber and Henta, one more West Seattle musician is in the mix as well, Eddie VedderPearl Jam‘s “The Fixer” is nominated for Best Rock Song.

OUT OF THIS WORLD: West Seattle astro-expert Alice Enevoldsen announced it on Twitter late last night – she just got word she’s been chosen as a NASA Solar System Ambassador for the coming year. This webpage from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which sponsors the program, describes the ambassadors as “space enthusiasts from various walks of life who are interested in providing greater service and inspiration to the community at large” – that’s what Alice has been doing already (with events like the winter solstice and autumn equinox sunset watches/stargazes). And we have to mention it again before the snowiversary is completely past – Alice was a star volunteer during Snowmare ’08, taking WSBers’ road reports and mashing them up with official accounts to create invaluable maps during our coverage (then offering a Google Map-making seminar after the Big Melt – that’s where the photo you see above was from).

Today: West Seattle Farmers’ Market, cancer-fighting fundraiser…

December 27, 2009 6:21 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | Highland Park | How to help | West Seattle Farmers' Market | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: No holiday break for West Seattle’s favorite outdoor buy-local eat-local weekly adventure. 10 am-2 pm as always, 44th/Alaska. Here’s what’s on the fresh sheet; one more market note, the Thanksgiving dinner-cooking contest winners have been announced (a vegetarian feast for 7 took top honors).

“TEAM TRACY” FUNDRAISER @ SKYLARK: West Seattle’s most-famous Breast Cancer 3-Day team, Tracy Dart’s Team Tracy, gets 20% of the proceeds from food sales during brunch today at Skylark Cafe (WSB sponsor), from 10 am to 1 pm – chow down and help save lives. (The next Seattle 3-Day is set for Sept. 24-26.)

LANTERN WORKSHOP TO PREP FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE PARADE: Help put together lanterns for the Highland Park Improvement Club-led neighborhood parade on New Year’s Eve – drop by HPIC (1116 SW Holden) between noon-6 pm today for artist-coached lantern-making. Full details are here, including the materials you need to bring, to supplement what’ll be provided.

“PLAID TIDINGS” FINALE: Today, the (plaid) curtain falls on the holiday extravaganza at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) – as of late Saturday night, a couple dozen tickets remained (according to this AW tweet) – buy yours ASAP here; showtime’s 3 pm.

Pictures worth more than 1,000 words: 2 Seattle Times links

December 27, 2009 2:32 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

From our citywide-media partner, the Seattle Times: Its editors’ choices for “Pictures of the Year” have just been published – this gallery has 70 images, three with clear West Seattle ties (#26, Mayor Greg Nickels; #28, ex-King County Assessor Scott Noble; #29, Seacrest). Also, if you haven’t already heard/seen this, a West Seattle photo was chosen as the Times’ Reader Photo of the YearJanna Templin took this amazing ski-jump shot 12/23/08.

Followup: Get-well card for Jade West proprietor Wah Wong

That card expressing get-well wishes for Jade West proprietor Wah Wong is now posted on the door of his cafe’, thanks to WSB’er “Grrr,” who says Harborview Medical Center told him the restaurateur is no longer in the hospital. We will work with Harborview media relations Monday to verify that. As reported here a week ago, Wah Wong was injured along with his wife and son when a suspected drunk driver hit them outside their Beacon Hill home two weeks ago. We don’t have new reports on the status of the rest of the family, but we do know the driver, 50-year-old Rodney D. James, is still in jail, in lieu of $250,000 bail. Meantime, if you want to sign the get-well card, you will find it taped to the cafe door at 6032 California SW (with a pouch of pens alongside). MONDAY AFTERNOON: As promised, we’ve checked with Harborview, whose media-relations department confirms that Wah Wong is out of the hospital; son Jason Wong is still there, and listed in satisfactory condition; Salina Wong, while reported to have been injured in the crash, was not admitted to Harborview, according to the spokesperson.