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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
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.
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? email@example.com – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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)
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)
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:
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.