West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Jimmy Wong visited his dad’s cafe in West Seattle tonight.
He taped a new note to the door of the Jade West Cafe, which has held update notes and get-well cards since Jimmy’s dad Wah, brother Jason and mom Salina were hit by a drunk driver outside their Beacon Hill home:
Jimmy’s note bears a simple request: The Wong family wants to hear from anyone who can write a note of support before the driver who hit the Wongs is sentenced on February 12th.
As reported here Friday, 50-year-old Rodney James has pleaded guilty to vehicular assault. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is recommending 2 1/2 years in prison; when the crash happened Dec. 12, James was on a suspended sentence from a prior case that started with a DUI arrest. Jimmy Wong – who is visiting from California, to help out at home – isn’t sure yet about the proper protocol for making sure the notes get full consideration. That’s why they’ve set up their own e-mail address – asking you just to send a quick note now if you are willing to write a message, and then they will let you know when they get official instructions – case number, address, etc.
Jimmy tells us his family is relieved that the driver pleaded guilty: “It helps us to move closer to closure – if he had pleaded not guilty, this might have gone on for months.”
But there’s no quick resolution for his dad and brother. Jason Wong lost a leg after the crash; his intact leg was injured as well, and Jimmy says it’ll be months before he can put weight on it, so he’s currently “immobilized,” though he’s home from the hospital now.
His dad? “Wah will be OK,” Jimmy smiles. He’s out of a skilled-nursing-care facility. But the restaurant’s future is far from settled.
Right now, it holds a note, and a request. Jimmy wants to get this word to all his dad’s customers, so please share this news: The address is email@example.com. Don’t send them the support statement yet- just write and say you’d like to. Do send that 1st e-mail fast – Jimmy says there’s not much time to get the messages to the right people, before James’s sentencing (1 pm 2/12, before King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector).
And in the meantime, he says the family is heartened and encouraged by all the support expressed in comments here, signatures on the get-well cards placed on the door, and in many other ways. “I’ve been away,” he says, for eight years, living in California, “I didn’t really realize” just how many lives his dad’s one-man labor of culinary love has touched.
Wells Fargo is accepting donations for the Save the Jade West Cafe Fund to help the family pay medical bills.
(Photo by Cliff DesPeaux, used by permission of our partners at the Seattle Times)
Ready to roar onto the floor at KeyArena – those are the Throttle Rockets – one of the four Rat City Rollergirls teams who skated into 2010 with their first 2010 bout today (along with Grave Danger, Derby Liberation Front, and Sockit Wenches). Though their name hails from White Center (“Rat City”) and their home rink is downtown (KeyArena), there’s so much West Seattle presence on the RCRG, they’re practically a peninsula story. The teams battled each other to raise money for charities today – Lambert House for SW, Pinup Girls for DLF, Old Dog Haven for GD, Fisher House for TR. Next home appearance: March 6; info and ticket links for that date and the rest of the season are here. (Awaiting today’s bout stats, which should appear here.)
You may remember the request we published from Cathy on Wednesday – a call for crutches that will be shipped to Haiti when two physician friends head there this week. As of late today, not onliy did her driveway had the stack of crutches you see above; we talked to her by phone, and that was just the start of the second round: Cathy and her husband already had taken their friends a pickup jammed with dozens of donated crutches, and after we stopped for the photo, someone else supposedly was on the way with 16 more. Tonight’s the cutoff – if you have crutches to donate, you can drop them off in the driveway; the address is in our original story.
Yet another story of weekend giving: This group gathered at a West Seattle home on Saturday morning:
Those volunteers are from the Young Professionals Society of Rebuilding Together Seattle. Via Twitter, we happened onto word they were going to a West Seattle home on Saturday, helping its resident do some cleaning she can’t handle since she’s been diagnosed with cancer – outdoor work as well as indoors:
(We got to the worksite just as they were packing up, but they kindly shared photos they’d taken earlier.) You can find out more about RTS by going here (they have a “wish list” too).
First – for the second time in nine days, there’s a report of suspected stolen mail found in the Arbor Heights area. Last one was discussed here on January 22nd; the e-mail we received today says:
I was walking my dog in Arbor Heights a short time ago when I noticed a pile of soggy mail behind some shrubs on SW 102nd St. at 38th Ave SW [map]. The mail was unopened, but all of it was financially related: Social Security, tax forms, credit cards. The addresses were all on a single block of 39th Ave SW between 102nd & 104th. I’m speculating that the thief was interrupted somehow and either dumped the evidence, or stashed it for later. This would be prime time for mail theft, with all of the tax forms going out. I re-delivered all of the mail, not thinking until later that perhaps I should have notified police instead.
Mail theft is a federal crime. The US Postal Service has links for reporting it as well as tampering and fraud – go here. Ahead – two break-in reports in other neighborhoods:Read More
That’s Neal Chism, whose story we told here last October — the self-described “semi-retired engineer” who is working to help local wildlife by intercepting trash and debris on a stretch of the Duwamish around the West Seattle Bridge. He sent an update this week on how it’s going, and a few new photos, like this one:
That’s a small picture frame full of fishing tackle floats known as “Corkies” that Neal says he recovered from the river over a period of about three days. When we met him in October, he talked about the great “Pacific Garbage Patch” of plastic debris. (Here are photos you may not have seen before.) But the water can contain potentially lethal metals too:
Neal explains that’s a lead-covered water sampler recovered from the river. He says it’s “used by a local university … we are trying to get them to ‘get the lead out’.” So what about the big picture? Here’s the status update he included in his note:
To date, I am up to about 900 e-mails on this single topic since your writeup in the blog. I have several grant proposals in work to transform the small collection experiment started, into a formal program via NOAA and Port of Seattle funds. The actual experiment is going very well, the trash levels are down to very low levels on the river and visibility of the water is very good. The bird population seems to be increasing and it is great to see. So your efforts and attention to this issue are helping to solve the problems we have.
It is a continual challenge to keep the areas clean as you can imagine, and the first month of the year had been very busy, just see my latest reports to the Soundkeepers. [Here’s the direct link.] The warm weather has been helping greatly.
One more photo of what Neal has found along the way – “just one of three large plastic dock lines recovered from the river, each about 50 pounds in weight”:
(2:53 pm note: Neal just sent word the Seattle Channel will feature his work on Feb. 18; it’ll eventually be available for online stream here He added, “If people can, get down to the small pocket parks of T105 and Diagonal Way. They are great for lunchtime sunning and relaxing, and the river is always a busy place with the maritime traffic.”)
Side note: Though this is not officially related to Neal’s efforts, there’s a boat tour of the Duwamish coming up this Wednesday, noon-2 pm, guided by Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, ARCADE Journal, and what the invite describes as “members of Seattle’s design community.” Tickets are available online, here. And watch for details on how to join Duwamish Alive! cleanups with DRCC and others on April 17, marking the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. But in the short run, every day you can take action – by doing everything you can to keep trash and debris out of our waters – that includes taking care about what you flush or put in other drains at your home/workplace.
Starting one week from today, there’s a new chance to get together and play games – the old-fashioned analog kind – with friends and neighbors. Darlene, a supervisor at Morgan Junction Starbucks (California/Fauntleroy), e-mailed today to say that as of February 7, they’re starting a weekly “game afternoon,” 3 pm Sundays. She adds, “We will have a few games to choose from, but are encouraging people to bring in their favorites to share and play.” In case you lose track – we’re adding this to the WSB West Seattle Events calendar. (Any other regular game afternoons/evenings we should have on the list? firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!)
With the weather so relatively warm this month, many are already in the gardening mood. Here are 2 more reasons to start thinking ahead:
SEED SWAP: Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle‘s Seed Swap ‘n’ Sale is now less than three weeks away — Saturday, February 20, 1-4 pm at South Seattle Community College, near the north entrance. Aviva from Community Harvest says they’ll be selling seed mini-packets for 75 cents each, and there’ll be a table for free seeds, plus “lots of varieties of beans, peas, lettuce, beets, corn, etc. from Territorial, Seed Savers and Fedco.” The full seed list is here; Community Harvest members can pre-order with this form. The college’s Garden Center will be open that day too, Aviva adds, “with Green starts in Jumbo 6 packs: Arugula, Parsley, Red Velvet Lettuce, Mizuma, Kale and more.” E-mail email@example.com with questions.
GARDEN TOUR SPONSOR SEARCH: The West Seattle Garden Tour is looking for 2010 sponsors. Here’s the announcement:
The West Seattle Garden Tour is celebrating its 16th year on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The gardens have been chosen and now it’s time for our annual sponsorship drive. The WSGT is a non-profit organized under section 501 (c) (3) and each year the WSGT donates all net proceeds from the Tour to local educational and horticultural projects and community gardens. We hope to make the 2010 Tour our most successful yet and this success relies heavily upon sponsorship of the Tour and continued community support. Over the next few months our dedicated volunteers will be contacting West Seattle and surrounding community businesses for sponsorship opportunities. There are a variety of sponsorship levels available to choose from, each with its own benefit package. If your business is interested in becoming a 2010 WSGT sponsor, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to send you a sponsorship packet.
THREE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSES: It’s Catholic Schools Week, and West Seattle’s two Catholic schools both have open houses today: Our Lady of Guadalupe, 9 am-1 pm, and Holy Rosary, 10 am-1 pm. Also having an open house today, West Seattle Christian Preschool, 1-3 pm.
HELP FOR HAITI: On the heels of the West Seattle Eagles‘ big fundraising concert last night (here’s our report), the White Center Eagles are donating all proceeds from Sunday breakfast, 9 am-noon (more info here)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska. Here’s what’s new:
Wild Mushrooms – Yellow Foot Chanterelles, Hedgehog, Black Trumpet
Frozen Strawberries – Organic from Nash’s. 2 lb bag for $7.50
Organic Chicken Sausage – Sage & Garlic, Maple, Sweet and Hot Italian ground chicken
Rapini, Baby Arugula, Bok Choy, Mache -from Full Circle and Willie Green’s
Mixed Kale Braising Mix
Fresh Duck and Chicken – pasture raised, organically fed. Sea Breeze Farm and Stokesberry Sustainable Farm
First of Season Tulips – Deep Red, Pink, Dark Pink, Yellow, Ivory, Orange, Red with Yellow Tips, Peony Tipped (ruffled with fragrance)
CHILI TO FIGHT CANCER: 11 am today, you’re invited to the chili feed at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) to raise money for Leukemia/Lymphoma Society (details here)
BEAR SILVERSTEIN MEMORIAL: 2 pm at St. John the Baptist Church (3150 California SW), family and friends will say goodbye to Bear Silverstein, the West Seattle Cellars co-owner who died two weeks ago.
CITIZENS’ BUDGET CONFERENCE: Join the mayor and neighbors/community leaders from all over the city, noon-5 pm at Center House @ Seattle Center, to pipe up about how you’d like to see city money spent – BEFORE a budget is drawn up – (full details here)
RAT CITY ROLLERGIRLS: West Seattleites on wheels are part of the team, and RCRG opens its 2010 season at 3:30 pm at KeyArena. Tickets here.
ALL-AGES MUSIC: Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor) not only is a Sunday brunch hotspot (9 am-3 pm) but on the other side of the clock (starting at 7), Sunday is the night all ages are welcome to enjoy free live music. Tonight’s slate includes Willow, Vanessa Small and Way South.
(3:49 am update: Early estimates – more than $3,400 raised! More numbers later today)
From WSB contributing reporter Jonathan Stumpf: That’s Beth Wood, the first of five acts on the night at the West Seattle Eagles‘ Junction HQ on Saturday night, as the Eagles rocked to raise money for relief work in Haiti. In the kitchen, volunteers worked to keep the crowd refreshed:
Five local beers — including brews from West Seattle’s Elliott Bay and White Center’s Big Al — were served for $4 alongside pulled pork sandwiches for the same price. Also donated, silent-auction items including tickets to the Rat City Rollergirls (whose season opens today at KeyArena), artwork from West Seattle resident Steve Klinkel, and a three-hour sailboat ride for four. Organizer Amy McGrath anticipated 350 people by the night’s end.
Even if you didn’t make it to the show, you can still help the Eagles reach out to help Haiti in these two ways: Contribute to Mercy Corps (here’s the link) – and/or bring new or gently used shoes to Eagles’ HQ at 4456 California SW (map) – they’re collecting through February 13th. 1:08 PM: Thanks to Colby for sharing a few more photos, spotlighting other acts at last night’s show – from Sledgeback:
And from Tacoma Finish:
Also on the bill: Hartwood and Midnight Idöls.
At South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) Saturday night, hundreds of people savored a full night of delights from appetizers and wine to chef-prepared culinary treats, during the annual “Gifts from the Earth” gala benefiting the SSCC Foundation. The all-star chef lineup included Dalis Chea from Fresh Bistro in The Junction and Jeremy McLachlan from Salty’s on Alki – each chef prepared dinner for two 10-person tables. Proceeds go to SSCC programs such as scholarships and tutoring. Meantime, West Seattle Bowl was also the scene of a fun benefit Saturday afternoon/evening:
That’s Judy Vann and Jason Vann – whose WS basketball roots go deep — at the sign-up table for the West Seattle Pride AAU Basketball fundraising bowl-a-thon. WS Pride is a new youth-athletics organization planning to start play in March, with basketball for ages 10-17, and supporters bowled today to help build up the coffers for teams to travel to tournaments. Lots more details about West Seattle Pride, including what AAU Basketball is about, can be found on the group’s official website – you can find them on Facebook too.
Once again this weekend, work that was supposed to last till early Monday has instead ended Saturday night: The city has just sent word that the West Seattle Bridge ramp from northbound I-5 is open again. (The note didn’t mention the Columbian Way westbound-to-WS-Bridge ramp status, so we’re checking on that. 7:37 pm update – city spokesperson Alex Fryer says it’s open too.)
At the city Parks Board meeting on Thursday night, there was a quick update about Camp Long‘s lodge renovations – with department management saying the lodge is still on target to reopen “by June.” In the meantime, though, the park itself remains open, with lots of programs on tap – like the ones on this list Sheila Brown sent around tonight for February – read on:Read More
Late last night, we published a note from the Alki woman attacked while driving a Metro bus last weekend in Tukwila, saying King County Executive Dow Constantine would meet with her this afternoon, and asking for community support. 2 TV crews went to Alki to see if anyone showed up; we spotted them interviewing Constantine afterward, and went over to ask him how the conversation went: He said it went as well as it could, considering the circumstances:
You heard him talk about the strength of the driver and her family; her daughter is the one who first wrote publicly about the attack, in a post one week ago in the WSB Forums. As for what steps Constantine might seek to improve driver safety, he said it just might be time to revisit the idea of some physical barrier between drivers and passengers – it was studied several years ago, he said, and not pursued at the time.
Till 5 pm today, the Duwamish Tribe welcomes you to an open house as their West Seattle longhouse celebrates its first anniversary. Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen spoke about an hour and a half ago, saying the tribe has sent a letter to President Obama, trying to accelerate consideration of their longstanding quest for federal recognition – briefly granted during the end of the Clinton Administration, canceled in the early going of the Bush Administration, being fought in court as well as the political arena. While the Duwamish fight for their future, you can also learn about their past – they’re showing the film “Princess Angeline,” about Chief Sealth‘s eldest daughter, twice today, and the next showing is at 3 pm. Or just check out the exhibits – remember its full name is the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center:
The Duwamish Longhouse celebrated its grand opening 1/3/2009 (our reports, with video, are here and here). It’s at 4705 West Marginal Way; here’s a map. (Other upcoming longhouse events are on the calendar here.)
From Rebekah via Facebook – just in time for you to either join in or at least know what the people in the purple shirts are doing:
It’s that time of year again. The Beer Dashers are taking on to the Junction this afternoon at 2. 2-10 pm. Be forewarned or join in! Here’s the low down:
2:00 PM Alki Tavern
3:00 PM West 5 Lounge
4:00 PM Talarico’s Pizzeria
5:00 PM Table 35
6:00 PM The Rocksport
7:00 PM Poggie Tavern
8:00 PM Maharaja Cuisine of India
10:00 PM West Seattle Beer Dash 12 ends. Ride home with your designated driver or take a taxi.
This is the 12th year, so be on the look out for the purple shirts with 12 eggs and carton on it
So we’re driving around to get photos of events we already knew about — when we happened onto something else. A dancing banana by Admiral Chevron begged the question of “What’s THAT all about?” — hopped out and snapped the photo: 3 students, 2 Kennedy and 1 Seattle Prep, collecting money for Haiti – and, oh yeah, promoting a garage sale nearby, doing the same thing. 1930 47th SW, said the sign … so off we went:
Not only are they having a garage sale (IN the garage, so you won’t get wet), but also a bake sale, all proceeds (as with the money in the boys’ bucket at California/Admiral) going to American Red Cross‘s and Catholic Relief Haiti efforts. Here’s a map – they’re there till 2 pm. Before the garage-sale side trip, we stopped by Seacrest:
The West Seattle Wildlife Habitat Project is putting in more plants for the demonstration garden by Seacrest. Next step – this spring, they start organizing to get more West Seattle neighborhoods beyond Alki certified as Wildlife Habitat – listen up for details to come regarding what you can do in YOUR neighborhood. And join the WS Wildlife Habitat Project group on Facebook (go here). The work party’s over at noon — but here’s something else happening till 3 pm (on break 11:30-12:30 so don’t go by during that time):
The Puget Sound Blood Center‘s mobile blood drive – B- and O- especially needed but other types welcome – outside Admiral Safeway (parked on California) till 3 pm. More of today’s events as they happen, coming up; you can also “follow” WSB on Twitter (@westseattleblog), where we post pix of most events we cover, while we’re there.
As noted in our recent coverage of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council, they had to move their meeting spot because the Delridge Library won’t be open late enough on Wednesdays any more, once the Seattle Public Library schedule changes take effect this Wednesday. NDNC hasn’t finalized the permanent night and location but they HAVE set the time/place for the next meeting: 6:30 pm Tuesday, February 9, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
From the West Seattle Weekend Lineup:
MORE MUSIC TO HELP HAITI: Join the West Seattle Eagles for a benefit tonight to help Northwest-based Mercy Corps‘ work in the quake zone. Doors open at 8, music starts at 8:30, $10 donation for five acts – more info here.
SURVIVING, WITH HUMOR: Three-time cancer survivor and humorist Becky Hanson is at Bridge Park this afternoon at 2 pm.
LIBRARY SENDOFF: After two decades in West Seattle, Karen Spiel is heading downtown to manage a different group of branches, and there’s a goodbye reception 2:30-4 pm at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch today.
WEST SEATTLE PRIDE BASKETBALL BOWL-A-THON: This new youth-sports organization (read about it here) is raising money so its players can travel to tournaments; join the bowl-a-thon 3:30-6 pm today at West Seattle Bowl.
GIFTS FROM THE EARTH: The food/wine gala at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) starts at 5 pm (more here).
HOPE SCHOOL ROCKS: Dinner/dance “FUNdraiser” tonight for Hope Lutheran School, happening at nearby Seattle Lutheran HS, 6 pm (details here).
THEATER X 2: First weekend for ArtsWest‘s “Love Song“; it’s also the last night of West Seattle High School‘s student production of “Jumpin’ Jupiter.” Both at 7:30 pm.
MUCH more – for today/tonight/tomorrow – listed here. And if you can donate blood, remember the Bloodmobile’s at Admiral Safeway till 3 pm – B- and O- especially needed.
An emotional Friday night at the Seattle Lutheran High School gym, for several reasons. This ceremony was one of them: A new board was dedicated to honor the school’s track-record holders, and it’s named after the man who holds four long-distance records for SLHS: Eric Engelstone, a 1983 SLHS alum who died in 2004. The ceremony was held last night while Bear Creek was visiting – and that’s who Engelstone’s daughter Kendall plays for:
With her – sister Christine, mom Shelley, and the man who coached Eric Engelstone in his recordsetting days, Bob Matthews. The rest of the night was one for the Kleenex, too, since it was Senior Night – photos and game highlights ahead:Read More
Those are just some of the highlights — shot by Captive Eye Media for WSB — from last night’s Chief Sealth High School boys’ varsity basketball victory over Franklin High School at Sealth/Boren, 72-58. It was considered one of the biggest games in the city last night, with Sealth #2 in its division (behind Rainier Beach), Franklin #1 in its own (and last year’s state 3A champion). Sealth’s Keon Lewis led the scoring with 28 points; here’s a full game wrapup from our partners at the Seattle Times. The girls’ varsity game (stats here): Franklin 63, Sealth 44. Also last night – at West Seattle High School, Bainbridge was the visitor; boys’ varsity score (game stats here) WSHS 39, Bainbridge 35; girls’ varsity (stats here), Bainbridge 43, WSHS 34.
(Photo added 12:17 am, thanks to Katie for sharing it)
11:50 PM: An allegedly drunk driver has been stopped after reportedly speeding westbound on The Bridge. It all started on The Viaduct, according to a tweet from @SeaCrime – we came in on the scanner traffic toward the end. A fire unit’s being called in to check on the driver’s condition. We’ve received multiple calls/notes/tweets about the major police response – thanks! 12:17 AM: Added a photo taken by Katie, who says the driver was in a maroon Subaru that “spun around,” apparently after a certain technique was deployed by officers to stop it. She was close enough to hear the driver – who is on the ground by the officers in the background – say slowly, “I….was….trying to find…a place to…PARK it.”
We just received a note from the Alki woman beaten unconscious while working at her job as a Metro bus driver in Tukwila one week ago tonight. She is out of the hospital but wanted to get this message out and is hoping you will answer her call for a sign of support:
I am keeping this brief because it is hard for me still to keep concentration but I am the Metro Driver involved in the assault almost exactly one week ago in one hour from now.
Dow Constantine is meeting with me at my home tomorrow [Saturday]. Change needs to be done. I will not say where I live, but I am in the Alki area and he is coming at 2 tomorrow, Saturday. He needs to know this sort of thing is unacceptable. If folks show up to the beach with signs and presence, I believe he will see that this does not just affect drivers, but the public as well. We need to keep pressure on for change.
If you can support her – send this around – use the Share This feature beneath this item, or right-click on the headline to get the URL for this so you can send it any way you choose. While she does not want to publicize her name or address, we believe it’s the central part of the beach district (Bathhouse vicinity). Meantime, as reported here Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy is now charged with assault in connection with the attack.
One week after the shutdown of the 4th Avenue offramp from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct section of the West Seattle Bridge, you can see crews wasted no time in taking it down. Marybeth Turner of SDOT visited the construction site on Thursday and shared this photo with us today. The north side of the westbound SSV is where the widening will take place, with a brand-new structure added; the new westbound off/on-ramp will be at 1st Avenue, while a 4th Avenue offramp is being built on the eastbound side. This gives us a reason to remind you that as of minutes from now, the northbound I-5 ramp and Columbian Way ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge are both closing for what could be the entire weekend, till Monday morning, though the same shutdown pattern last weekend ended much earlier than planned (on Saturday night); we’ll keep you up to date on changes. The city’s infopages on the project start here; more photos of the ramp demolition are here; our archives of project coverage, dating back more than a year and a half, start here.
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