day : 15/01/2010 11 results

Injured West Seattle officer facing loss of medical benefits

We’d received a tip on this but hit a roadblock early on; Channel 4, however, got the story, and it’s an important one. You may remember Southwest Precinct Officer Jason McKissack, badly beaten while answering a call in High Point in 2008. We first reported the attack that June; later that month, a West Seattle community groundswell of support sent him get-well wishes. Then, one year after the attack, we were in the courtroom last June as his attackers were sentenced in an emotional hearing – no additional detention. Tonight, Channel 4 reported that doctors say Officer McKissack will never be able to go back to work; because of that, the station says, he is losing his medical benefits – apparently because of a state law that the Seattle Police Guild and some legislators are trying to change. Here’s the story they aired tonight:

The KOMO story points to the bill that’s just been reintroduced in the Legislature, where it stalled last year (see it here); it would fix the law so that public-safety personnel like Officer McKissack who suffer “catastrophic disabilities” will not lose their medical benefits. (Thanks to Robert and Shelley for tonight’s notes pointing us to this story.)

ADDED 7:06 PM SATURDAY: There’s now a fund set up:

Donations can be sent to:
2949 4th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98134
Subject line: Jason McKissack

Also please see the comments following this story for our discussion about how to reach legislators regarding the aforementioned bill.

Phoenecia reborn: “It’s Mom’s show; we’re just here to help her”

(From left, Inaam, Sonya, William and Nadia Khazaal)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Less than half a year after their sudden, shocking loss reverberated throughout West Seattle and beyond, the Khazaal family is ready to get back into the business of nourishing people with warmth and friendship as well as good food.

The family restaurant, whose newly painted awning now reads simply Phoenecia, instead of Phoenecia at Alki, is weeks away from reopening, under the wing of Inaam Khazaal, who was about to celebrate her 40th anniversary of marriage to Phoenecia proprietor Hussein Khazaal (left), when he died in his sleep last August at age 63. Instead of a family anniversary party, a celebration of the beloved restaurateur’s life brought hundreds to Alki on a mild summer night, to share stories, song, fondness, and food.

Five months later, the family business is about to reopen. “I am so proud of her,” says Sonya Khazaal, patting her mom. “She is doing so well.”

How did Mrs. Khazaal decide to go ahead and reopen the restaurant, to continue the life’s work, pride and joy of her husband?

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More West Seattle school notes: Lafayette open house; WSHS music

January 15, 2010 4:49 pm
|    Comments Off on More West Seattle school notes: Lafayette open house; WSHS music
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

A few more school notes before the week ends and the three-day weekend (for some, including local students) begins: First, we have two announcements from Lafayette Elementary principal Virginia Turner:

Lafayette’s Open House will be held Tuesday, January 19 @ 6:30 p.m. The event will be structured as follows:

6:30: Presentation by the principal and PTA president
7:00 Break-out sessions:
1) kindergarten teacher presentation;
2) Spectrum program panel of teachers and parents;
3) regular program break-out, led by first grade teacher, Ingrid Nyberg.
7:30: Tours of the facility.
This event is intended for prospective parents.


Lafayette tours: March 4, 11, 18 – 10:00 – 11:30. We request no children, please. Please RSVP to 252-9500.

The full list of Seattle Public Schools open houses/tours citywide is here (permalinked on our Events page if you need to find it in a pinch). Meantime, from West Seattle High School principal Bruce Bivins, word of music expansion:

West Seattle High School is expanding its music program to include string orchestra. This is a year-long music performance course. Students in string orchestra will perform at school assemblies, school functions, school concerts, and community events. West Seattle High School is proud to be offering this string orchestra course as an addition to the music program that includes, Wildcat Band, Choir, Guitar, Drumline, Piano, and an after-school Stage Band, where many of the students go on to perform in the annual West Seattle HS Spring Musical.

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West Seattle Weekend Lineup: “WS help for Haiti” edition

wswllicon3.pngFundraisers for Haiti earthquake relief are high on the weekend list this time around, including cash/check donations accepted at tonight’s free Seattle Symphony concert presented by the West Seattle Kiwanis, a car wash (rain or shine) at Keller Williams in The Junction on Saturday, WSUU soup lunch and “Dogs for Docs” at Beveridge Place Pub on Sunday (silent auction/raffle items needed), ongoing checkstand donations at West Seattle Thriftway, and more. As the weekend goes on, there are also music, dance, art and nature events – just the start of what’s up tonight through Sunday night – more than 40 events/activities in all, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club, where you’ll find FREE live music and rockin’ food:Read More

Room at the West Seattle Food Bank table: Help with April’s event

January 15, 2010 1:12 pm
|    Comments Off on Room at the West Seattle Food Bank table: Help with April’s event
 |   How to help | West Seattle news

At left, a sunny scene from last summer – Pete Spalding getting ready to drive the West Seattle Food Bank van in the WS American Legion Grand Parade. The Food Bank itself has a big event coming up before the next parade rolls around, and they could use a little more help – here’s what Pete (its board president) wants to share:

We are getting all of the final details worked out for our 3rd annual Instruments of Change fundraiser. It will be held at the Hall at Fauntleroy on Friday, April 30th. We are currently lining up table captains and sponsors. The response so far has been tremendous but we do need a few more table captains. Our prior two events have sold out and we would love for the third time to be a charm as well. In addition, we are still seeking sponsors for the event whether it be an individual or a business. Sponsorships range from $500 to $10,000. If anyone would like further information, they can contact Fran or Anna at the West Seattle Food Bank office.

Phone number and e-mail addresses can all be found on this page at the Food Bank website.

West Seattle scene: The “fishing” cat, again

This cat has meme potential. We caught a photo of him/her outside Alki’s Spud Fish and Chips two weeks ago; just now, someone sent us this sighting via cameraphone. Smart kitty!

Congratulations! WSHS student’s triple win at DECA regionals

Out of the WSB inbox, from West Seattle High School principal Bruce Bivins – news of a student’s big achievement this week:

Fatima Ruiz Villatoro won three top DECA Awards at the DECA Marketing Club Regional Competitions (Test Scores, Role Plays) at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Fatima will be going on to compete in the DECA State Competitions in March, 2010, and if she places at State, Fatima will go on to compete at the DECA International Competitions in April, 2010.

(DECA’s high-school division helps students develop “marketing, management and entrepreneurship” skills.)

Share the good news about your school/students/group/etc. any time! Here are all the ways to get the info to WSB.

Limber Yoga and Seattle Integrated Martial Arts: New WSB sponsor

Today, we welcome a new WSB sponsor: Limber Yoga and Seattle Integrated Martial Arts, offering an open house tomorrow (Saturday) at the studio at 4711 42nd Ave. SW in The Junction (map). The studio offers a wide range of martial-arts classes, and on Saturday from noon until 4, you’ll be able to experience viniyoga along with introductions to Muay Thai kickboxing, Filipino Kali, and Jeet Kune Do, the fighting style that was developed by Seattleite Bruce Lee. Along with the free classes and demonstrations, there’ll be drawings for free classes, sales on equipment, and special offers on upcoming sessions.

Limber Yoga and Seattle Integrated Martial Arts are owned and operated by Aubrey and Bob Heinemann, seen above with their son Oliver. Inspired by their new role as parents, they wanted to create a space that would allow them to pursue a meaningful quality of life for their family and community. The motto for their space is, “One location for a total growth experience!” Limber Yoga and Seattle Integrated Martial Arts are both non-contract schools. Limber Yoga offers a variety of classes including classes for all levels, pre-natal, mom/dad & baby, early morning immersions, and kids’ classes! Seattle Integrated Martial Arts offers a mix of martial arts including kickboxing, grappling, kali, and JKD in a non-competitive and ego-less environment. Find them online at and (where you’ll also see schedules, including the classes for Saturday’s open house).

We thank Limber Yoga and Seattle Integrated Martial Arts for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.

Smoke-free yes, spit-free no? Park Board’s 1st look at new rules

Story and photo by Johnathon Fitzpatrick
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Last night the Seattle Parks Board took its first official look at a compiled list of potential rules designed to regulate the public’s behavior in parks.

The proposed Code of Conduct (see it here) includes explicit bans on smoking, spitting, cursing, and entering restrooms that are for the opposite sex, as well as more ambiguous language banning any “conduct that unreasonably deprives others of their use or enjoyment of the park or park facilities.”

“We’ve had to deal with these situations one by one and we thought we’d gather it all together in one place,” explained Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter. “We’re trying to suggest good behaviors that make the parks more enjoyable for everybody by putting one little extra piece of trash in the can or by refraining from swearing in front of a 2-year-old.”

But the proposals weren’t all a hit with board members.

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In court today: Cooper challenge; Admiral assault sentencing

In addition to what’s on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar for today, the King County Courthouse is the site of two court hearings of note:

(From left, Charita Dumas, Joy Anderson, Shelly Williams in court last June; photo by Christopher Boffoli)
COOPER CHALLENGE: According to anti-school-closure activist Chris Jackins, three parents’ challenge to the closure of Cooper Elementary School will be argued at 1:30 pm before Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas in courtroom W-965. In the last round of school closures, Seattle Public Schools closed the Cooper program along with the Genesee Hill Elementary building, moving the Pathfinder K-8 program – long “temporarily” housed at GH – into the Cooper building. Judge Greg Canova denied a motion for summary judgment in the case last summer (WSB coverage here); that meant it would go to a full hearing. Cooper parents Joy Anderson, Charita Dumas and Shelly Williams (shown in the photo above from last June’s hearing on the summary-judgment motion) contend the school was closed without a proper hearing; the district said state law only required hearings for school buildings that were closing, not school programs that were closing in buildings that would stay open.

ADMIRAL ASSAULT CASE SENTENCING: Three months’ work release is the recommended sentence for 23-year-old Jedidiah Doyle. He’s the man arrested after the August Admiral assault (reported here), a pistol-whipping in which Doyle’s gun (for which court documents say he had a concealed-weapons permit) went off once. He pleaded guilty last month to one count of assault. His sentencing is scheduled for 2:45 pm today in Superior Court courtroom E-955. The victim recovered, but according to court documents, he suffered a broken nose and broken facial bones and was left with “stitches in his face that extended from his chin to the top of his head.”

High Point Neighborhood Association: KaBOOM! – yum! – & more

Today, the High Point Neighborhood Association moves into its new office in the two-month-old HP Neighborhood Center. It’s the perfect followup to all the community information shared in a meeting room at the center Thursday night, during HPNA’s quarterly meeting. Among the highlights – word of a new park/playground; a survey about healthy food; and words of wisdom from a West Seattle community builder. Full story ahead:Read More