West Seattle, Washington
(Our first Sunday report with other Polar Plunge video and photos is here)
As you saw in our first report about this morning’s Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Alki, there was a big law-enforcement contingent among the 350 people organizers say signed up – and that video shows them as the first group to dash into the 45-degree water. (At center, the Southwest Precinct’s commander, Capt. Joe Kessler, next to acting SPD Chief John Diaz – other law-enforcement luminaries who were on hand are shown in our first report. After plunging, Capt. Kessler pronounced the water “perfectly balmy.”) Tonight, Mary Do from Special Olympics reported in this WSB comment that the event raised $30,000. Also tonight, Chief Sealth’s Polar Plungers, who won the Spirit Award, are challenging any and all other high schools to “come try to take it away next year,” according to Michael Bunch, who shared this photo of the whole group afterward:
We had photographed Sealth athletic director Sam Reed with the trophy close-up – read on to see that photo and a few more we wanted to share before this event’s in the books:Read More
Out of the WSB inbox, from Kevin:
Someone driving a late model white Volvo wagon just sideswiped my truck in the Alaska Junction, parked on Rutan Pl SW [map] at approximately 8:00 PM. Driver continued down Rutan (a dead end street), turned around and sped past my neighbors who were trying to get the plates on the car. Seattle Police are out looking for the vehicle as it sounds like the driver may be intoxicated. Any info would be great as I am about to move out of state and this is really bad timing for me!
(From left, Denny assistant principal Chanda Oatis, Mr. Mohamed, Ms. Habibo, Denny’s Leticia Clausen, student Farhiya)
With more Somali families moving to West Seattle, the schools serving those families are working to build new cultural bridges. Saturday afternoon at Denny International Middle School, families, community leaders and school administrators gathered for what Denny’s English Language Learners program director Leticia Clausen described as “a formal welcome, opening our doors to the Somali community.” According to Denny principal Jeff Clark, this was the third weekend that Denny has housed a new program partnering with local Somali families – a cultural education program in which the families use the school building on Saturday and Sundays, as a supplement to regular school. Clark says Denny will probably have about 100 Somali students next year; he pointed out that district managers announced recently in West Seattle (mentioned in this story) that Somali is now the second most common non-English language in the district. More on Saturday’s event and the expanded outreach, ahead:Read More
From the Polar Plunge to high-school hoops to NFL playoff-cheering, and beyond, it’s been an active weekend around West Seattle – and here’s one more event report to add to the mix: At Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) on Saturday, residents played in a Wii bowling battle with a visiting team from Merrill Gardens-Queen Anne. In our video, you see Aida – top scorer on the day with 178 – getting a spare. Unfortunately, MG-AH’s Colleen Barnes reported later, that wasn’t enough for the West Seattle team to overcome the challenge; Queen Anne won 738 to 621, but AH had three of the top four scorers (Rudy with 168 and Mary Ann with 109, in addition to Aida, while QA’s Frank was #3 at 134). Wii bowling is popular with retirees – we spotlighted it at The Mount almost two years ago, at which time the Senior Center of West Seattle noted it had a Wii system on the way too.
By Charla Mustard-Foote
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow corporations (and unions) to make unlimited contributions on behalf of political campaigns has a direct effect on the efforts of a West Seattle political legend to organize against the idea of “corporate personhood: It pushed the issue to a front burner of local political discussion.
Six months ago, Georgie Bright Kunkel convened a group of West Seattleites to study the issue and to recruit and train speakers who could educate the community about the effects of a set of seemingly obscure court decisions that essentially gave corporations the same constitutional rights as individuals. And they’re getting ready to meet again.
COUPON FUNDRAISER: If you’re in or going to The Junction, look for West Seattle High School seniors at California/Alaska, selling Taco Time coupon books ($1) and Brown Bear Car Wash coupons ($8) to raise money for Grad Night. They’re expected to be there till 3 pm.
COYOTE SIGHTING: Quick note from Jennifer – “… at around 11 pm last night, I saw a VERY LARGE coyote at the missing totem pole on 35th.” Not surprising since West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park is just uphill from where the Camp Long greenbelt meets the West Seattle Golf Course.
(Our second report on Polar Plunge, with more video and photos, can be seen here)
If you haven’t seen the photos and updates in our Twitter stream yet – Special Olympics’ Polar Plunge at Alki made a huge splash this past hour or so. Organizers tell us about 350 people registered to plunge – triple last year (which was at a different location). The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is a special focus of this, and there was a big law-enforcement turnout – including Acting SPD Chief John Diaz, state Attorney General Rob McKenna and the chiefs of the Washington State Patrol and Lakewood Police Department, among others.
Awards were handed out in contests pre-plunge – among the winners, a Chief Sealth High School group (here with Athletic Director Sam Reed) for the most spirit. (Here they are pre-plunge.)
WSB was among the co-sponsors, which also included Ivars – donating chowder post-plunge, and swimmers to go in:
ADDED 12:32 PM: Some video – Plungers didn’t all go in at once, they were broken into groups. This one included the Chief Sealth students, and also, toward the end of the clip, a guy who loved the experience so much, he had to run right back in:
ADDED 1:39 PM: The warmup act for this cool event – the Seahawks’ Blue Thunder drum line:
ADDED 8:31 PM: The law-enforcement lineup before they went into the water – that’s Southwest Precinct Captain Joe Kessler waving:
The video of them going in, will be part of our followup later tonight.
POLAR PLUNGE FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Looks like the air and the water will both be in the 40s this morning as a crowd of brave and giving souls – from police officers to high-school students – takes the Polar Plunge at Alki, for Special Olympics of Washington. Registration 9 am, into the water at 11 am. More here. And once you’ve dried off, a great day/night of dining out for a good cause is ahead:
FIVE WEST SEATTLE EATERIES IN DINE OUT SEATTLE FOR HAITI: Though the poster says “night’s proceeds,” things start early – Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor) will give ALL its brunch proceeds to Haiti quake relief – 9 am to 3 pm. Feedback Lounge (also a WSB sponsor) is in on “Dine Out” too, with the door swinging open at 11:30 am (and remember Sunday’s the day for the famous ribs, starting at 5). Spring Hill, Mission and La Rustica also are participating – plus 10 others citywide.
WHAT ELSE IS UP? Elsewhere in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup — Also at Skylark – art opening tonight (6 pm) for Lonjina Verdugo … and this morning/afternoon, as always, it’s the West Seattle Farmers’ Market (10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska) – read on for today’s Ripe and Ready list:Read More
Story, photos and video by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Hosted and organized by Willie Murderface, the Saturday night fundraiser at Goldie’s for Officer Jason McKissack — injured while on duty in West Seattle—attracted supporters including Officer McKissack’s wife Kim, police from several precincts, and West Seattle businesspeople like Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s Justin Cline and Jessie SK from Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor).
4:16 am update – Willie reports via Facebook: “Between the 160 Joe Mullis raised [Wednesday at Yen Wor], the 190 that Goldie’s donated, 170 from my wage, 100 from cash donations, and the 780 from the raffle (that wouldn’t have been anywhere near what it was without help from Tracy Dart and Justin Cline), we raised 1400 dollars for Officer Jason McKissack and his family.”
Asked about his motivation for producing this fundraiser, Willie says: “I went home that Sunday night and read about (Officer McKissack’s denial of benefits) on the blog. It hit me because it happened while he was protecting West Seattle.” Willie is a lifelong West Seattle resident, and both he and his mother are West Seattle High School graduates. “I proclaimed myself Mayor of West Seattle and decided it was my civic duty to do something.” He announced his plan here, the day before the news conference in which Officer McKissack, with wife Kim at his side and dozens of other officers presence for support, talked about what it was like to receive the recent letter saying he was no longer with the department because he hadn’t recovered enough to work: