month : 02/2010 337 results

West Seattle wildlife: Coyote in Arbor Heights

Just out of the WSB inbox, from DRG:

Just wanted to drop a quick note about a coyote sighting (my first): I was driving south on 44th Ave SW (between 43rd Place SW and SW 100th [map]) shortly after 10 pm tonight, and saw a coyote dart across the street into some bushes.

As always, we want to share the “coexisting with coyotes” info-link, in case their presence among us is news to you. (All our coyote reports, some with photos, are archived here, newest to oldest.)

West Seattle (and beyond) weekend scenes: Boatload of bikes

Not West Seattle, but taken by a West Seattleite, and some WS riders had to have been in the crowd – that’s a ferry full of bicycles, headed from Bainbridge Island to downtown Seattle after the Chilly Hilly, photographed by John LaSpina, who caught this view too:

Update: Fight to get “Jason McKissack Act” through the Senate

One day after our first report that public-safety advocates were pleading for support to keep EHB 1679, the “Jason McKissack Act” – whose namesake suffered brain damage in an attack while on the job as a police officer in West Seattle – here’s where things stand: Tomorrow remains the deadline for bills to get out of the Ways and Means Committee, or be dead for the year. Law-enforcement lobbyist and police widow Renee Maher, who sounded the alarm last night, is among those working around the clock – she tells WSB, “The idea of losing this bill breaks my heart in more ways than words can describe.” She testified at public hearings before both houses’ Ways and Means Committees (we went to Olympia to cover both – here’s our report from last Monday). Maher reiterates that keeping up the pressure is vital – Senator Margarita Prentice, Ways and Means chair, will make the decision on whether there’s a vote; she also recommends contacting Sen. Lisa Brown, Senate Majority Leader, because “it’s important that she knows how much this issue means to the community.” West Seattle’s State Senator Joe McDermott is on the committee as well, and commented following yesterday’s story, ” I have spoken to Senator Prentice … and Senator Brown … reminding them again of the compelling testimony we heard at the hearing and underscoring the need to move the bill out of committee. … Continued positive encouragement is always welcome in a legislative environment.”

Contact info:
Sen. Margarita Prentice (360) 786-7616
Sen. Lisa Brown (360) 786-7604
Sen. Joe McDermott (360) 786-7667
Full membership of Ways and Means (with phone numbers – follow links to their home pages for e-mail addresses)

The committee meets at 1:30 pm tomorrow, and its agenda is apparently still a work in progress – its latest version is online here.

Dream Dinners open house in The Junction on Tuesday

From Leslie Thomson at Dream Dinners (longtime WSB sponsor):

Join us Tuesday, March 2nd at
5:30 PM, 6:00 PM or, 6:30 PM

for a taste of our wonderful March menu. Start Spring 2010 by saving time and money while serving delicious and nutritious Dream Dinners to your family and friends.

Want to attend? It is easy.

Just click here and select “View Sessions for March Menu.” Next click on March 2nd at 5:30, 6:00 or 6:30–which ever time works best for you. The party password is dinner.

Our Taste of Dream Dinners Open House is a great opportunity to invite friends to check out Dream Dinners.

Attend as an observer–sample some yummy dinners from our March menu and watch a Dream Dinners assembly demonstration. Still better, register to assemble a dinner that you take home to serve to your family and friends.

More questions, please click here to send us an email or call 206 938 5999.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

Seattle Public Schools “open enrollment” starts tomorrow

The new Student Assignment Plan for Seattle Public Schools means that starting next school year, thousands of students get default assignments to what the district has designated as their “neighborhood schools.” However, you can still request a different school – and the official period for doing that starts tomorrow. Here’s the info on the SPS site. ADDED 9:58 PM: The district is having several outreach events at which you can get help with the application process; in West Seattle, there’s a session planned 5:30-7 pm March 8 at Delridge Library.

West Seattle’s Water Taxi: Gangway’s here; training soon

We’ve been tracking work on the new King County Water Taxi dock at Seacrest – next step, the gangway. Its components arrived at the end of the week, after the concrete dock was towed in (see our previous story/photos here) and secured. And you may soon see the new vessel on the West Seattle-downtown run, the Rachel Marie, because King County Transportation Marine Division communications manager Susan Whitmore says it’s being brought into Puget Sound this week, after leaving the Ballard shipyard where it’s been getting ready for its new role (see our “sneak peek inside tour” story here). Whitmore says the crew – county employees, now that the service is no longer operated by Argosy – starts work two weeks from tomorrow and will be training until the new season begins on April 5. 6:48 PM UPDATE: Seems the Rachel Marie didn’t wait till next week – we’re told it was seen out and about today, and Zack sent this photo of the RM docked at Pier 50 this evening, now sporting the KCWT branding, next to its counterpart Melissa Ann, which makes the Vashon-downtown run:

9:31 PM UPDATE: The explanation comes in comment and on our Facebook (WS Blog) page – the Rachel Marie will fill in on the Vashon-downtown run because of mechanical trouble that took the Melissa Ann out of service.

Why you can call Bob Estep the “Stair Master of West Seattle”

Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

You’ve seen the stairways that emerge from dense foliage on our steep West Seattle hillsides. Perhaps you’ve wondered where they lead or descend to; perhaps you’ve even climbed some of them. Our staircases can be at once daunting and convenient. It’s a steep slope from California Avenue to 44th Avenue SW near Hamilton Viewpoint, but those stairs, all 78 of them, provide you with easy pedestrian access from one road to the other and eliminate the need to wander blocks out of your way.

Bob Estep knows those steps, and many more. He is a walker — up to 6 miles per day. Inspired by a recent article in the Seattle Times (WSB citywide-news partner) about an architect who mapped the staircases on Queen Anne Hill, Bob thought, “Why don’t I do that for West Seattle?”

And so, he has.

Read More

West Seattle Farmers’ Market: What’s on the list today

From soup to nuts – apples to stinging nettles – it’s a long list of freshness at West Seattle Farmers’ Market (10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska) – check out the Ripe ‘n’ Ready rundown here!

Twelfth Night Productions to present “The Miss Firecracker Contest”

February 28, 2010 3:50 am
|    Comments Off on Twelfth Night Productions to present “The Miss Firecracker Contest”
 |   Announcements

From West Seattle-based Twelfth Night Productions:

Twelfth Night Productions (TNP) is proud to open its spring production, The Miss Firecracker Contest, by Beth Henley on Friday April 9 at the Youngstown Cultural Center in West Seattle.

The Miss Firecracker Contest is set in the small town of Brookhaven, Mississippi and centers around its annual beauty pageant, the titular Miss Firecracker Contest. Young and attractive Carnelle is trying out for the pageant as a way to elevate her somewhat tarnished reputation. Together with her recently returning cousins, Elain and Delmount, she is determined to leave her small town life behind her in a blaze of glory. Meanwhile, Popeye, her seamstress, has fallen in love with the deeply intense Delmount, but hides her feelings behind stories of her eccentric life. Once they all make it to the contest, they meet up with Mac Sam and Tessy, two characters who have an intimate knowledge of two of our protagonists. It all comes to a head with the crowning of the one and only Miss Firecracker and the yearly fireworks display.

The Miss Firecracker Contest runs in a special limited engagement at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. Show times are: April 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 PM and April 11 and 18 at 3 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors and are available online at brown paper tickets (, at Square One Books at Jefferson Square (4724 42nd Avenue SW) and at the Youngstown Theater (4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106) on performance days.

Census confusion? South Seattle Community College will help

February 28, 2010 3:47 am
|    Comments Off on Census confusion? South Seattle Community College will help
 |   Announcements

From South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor):

South Seattle Community College is partnering with the U.S. Census Brueau to help achieve a complete and accurate count of the nation’s growing population. By supporting the 2010 Census, the college hopes to raise awareness of this important initiative and work to increase the overall response rate of historically hard-to-count college and university students.

The partnership will involve sharing information about the census on the college website,, and encouraging students to complete and return their 2010 Census forms. Off-campus sites NewHolly and Georgetown will also participate in outreach activities.

In addition, a Question Assistance Center (QAC) will be established on the main campus in Cascade Court room 123 (former site of Bernie’s Bakery), where staff will answer questions from students and members of the community. The QAC will be staffed from 11 am to 7 pm on the following dates:

Tuesday, March 16
Wednesday, March 17
Tuesday, April 6
Wednesday, April 7
Tuesday, April 13
Wednesday, April 14

South Seattle Community College is located at 6000-16th Ave. SW, in West Seattle. Driving directions:

Suspected gunfire heard in two West Seattle neighborhoods

No word so far if either of these has been confirmed as “shots fired” – sometimes it turns out to be fireworks – but we’ve heard reports in the past few hours of suspected gunshots in two West Seattle neighborhoods: Alki and Pigeon Point. In the latter case, it just happened – we got a text, and have heard on the scanner that 911 is getting multiple reports; Alki was a few hours ago, according to commenters both here and on our Facebook page. SUNDAY AFTERNOON NOTE: We checked with the Southwest Precinct; Lt. Norm James, who would normally be notified of major incidents, said no confirmed case of “shots fired” had come to his attention so far.

West Seattle schools: Alki parents’ “prom”; Lafayette arts assembly

We’ve got photos from unique events involving two West Seattle elementary schools: First, Saturday night was Prom Night at Kenyon Hall, for Alki Elementary parents (and friends) who wanted to party like it was the ’80s all over again. Thanks to Kristina for the tip; she explained it’s an Alki fundraiser, with tickets sold at the recent benefit auction. We went over for a couple photos, intrigued by the promise of “big hair, some crazy ’80s music … satin, tuxes with shiny cummerbunds, and the like … a great time with a lot of laughter, and it’s all in the name of helping our kids!” Four promgoers paused to pose – from left, Laurie, Susan, Doreen and Linda:

Also this morning, photos from a special assembly at Lafayette Elementary on Friday – courtesy of Luckie:

She says Boxtales Theatre Company from Santa Barbara, California, enchanted the students (and others!) with stories from afar, including Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba. The photo above is from the Mexican story “La Calavera” (Lady Death). The performers also showed some of their masks to Lafayette students:

Luckie adds, “The Lafayette PTA budgets each year for arts assemblies, and this is the first one of the 2009-10 school year. Next, we will have the Grail Theatre of Britain, in June. Yay PTA!”

West Seattle Crime Watch: Two car break-ins – and a followup

Two car break-in reports to share, one at a local park, one with puzzling loot choices – and a followup on a recent car prowl, with a victim getting some of her stolen items replaced – read on for all three:Read More

Followup: Admiral Neighborhood Association cleanup success!

admiralogo.jpgThe Admiral Neighborhood Association put out the call for volunteer help at its quarterly Adopt-A-Street cleanup today – and more than 20 answered the call, according to this report from ANA president Katy Walum:

23 people showed up for this morning’s cleanup (!), along with some early sunshine to further lift spirits. With so many present to lend a hand, cleanup went smoothly and fairly quickly. There were LOTS of cigarette butts cleaned up – many volunteers commented that it would be nice to see more Admiral businesses place receptacles for the butts (and trash) outside their doors, and of course maintain these regularly.

A very special thanks to all of the volunteers who came out today, and to Metropolitan Market which provided coffee, pastries, and even complete sack lunches for us! It was inspiring to see so many people take time out of their weekend to give back to their community. And now all of Admiral can enjoy cleaner sidewalks and surroundings because of these generous folks.

Also, per John Lang, who visited our event today: If you missed today’s event but are looking for a similar opportunity to help out the Admiral community, don’t forget about next Saturday’s cleanup of Fairmount Ravine, from 8:30-10:30 am, put on by area neighbors. Volunteers for this cleanup need to bring their own gloves, wear sturdy shoes or boots (for getting up into the hillsides), and bring pruning-type saws or clippers for tackling the ivy.

More on the Fairmount cleanup plan here. Meantime, you can keep up to date with ANA announcements like the quarterly Adopt-A-Street cleanups (next one is 6/5) through the group’s Yahoo! mailing list and Facebook group. Congratulations to these volunteers and everybody else who was out today at the myriad work parties listed by the Green Seattle Partnership (and in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup) – reports on those events are welcome too, as we always love to share good news too.

Followup: Ryan Cox pleads guilty, released from jail

We reported yesterday on the latest arrest of Ryan Cox, who had previously been arrested twice in the past 10 months for serial graffiti vandalism, charged with multiple counts of property destruction, then eventually freed when charges were dropped because he was found not mentally competent to stand trial. This time, the charge was “1st degree property destruction, value greater than $50”; it involved tire-slashing, according to the victim, who e-mailed a Crime Watch report about it. According to the King County Jail Register, Cox is out of jail as of less than an hour ago; The Seattle Municipal Court website says he had a hearing today at which he waived trial, then pleaded guilty to the charge, was given a “suspended sentence,” and “referred to the time pay office” for what the court site says was a $5,000+ fine. That’s all the information we have; we won’t be able to find out more from the City Attorney’s Office until Monday. (Previous stories, some of which included photos previously released by police, are archived here.)

Advocates say “Jason McKissack Act” in danger of dying in Senate

ORIGINAL 1:55 PM REPORT: We have been following the progress in the Legislature of EHB 1679, the bill that is meant to fix the situation that has left catastrophically injured public-safety personnel and their families without health coverage if they cannot return to work. First, it was heard in the state House Ways and Means Committee (WSB coverage here), and passed the House unanimously; then last Monday, it was heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee (WSB coverage here). But that committee has to bring it up for a vote to get it to the floor – and Renee Maher, law-enforcement advocate/lobbyist and an officer’s widow, e-mailed us today to say EHB 1679 is in danger of NOT coming up for a vote in Senate Ways and Means. The Senate is also where a version of this bill died last year – before the well-publicized case of Jason McKissack, who was on duty as a West Seattle-based Seattle Police officer, trying to break up a fight a year and a half ago, when he was kicked in the face repeatedly and suffered brain damage. He is unable to return to work and received a letter from the city last month saying his employment was ended; he and his wife testified in the House hearing, but he was not well enough to attend last Monday’s Senate hearing. From Renee Maher:

Somehow EHB 1679 – the Jason McKissack Act – has slipped through the cracks in the Senate Ways and Means committee. We need to get the word out to people to ask them to contact Senate Ways and Means Chair Margarita Prentice, 360-786-7616, and ask her to vote EHB 1679 out of the committee. The deadline is Monday!

The full list of Ways and Means members – with each name linking to the senator’s site and contact info – is here. Among them, West Seattle’s 34th District State Senator Joe McDermott, who had said he’d do everything he could to move this bill this year; we have messages out to him – the committee is in session again today, though this bill is not on its published agenda.

ADDED 4:14 PM: The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild has sent a news release with an open plea to the public to help rescue this bill.

The Seattle Police Officers Guild and the Council of Metropolitan Police and Sheriffs need the public’s assistance. Engrossed House Bill 1679, also known as the “Jason McKissack Act”, which would provide health insurance to Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters who are catastrophically injured in the line of duty faces the possibility of not passing. This bill passed the House of Representatives unanimously on February 3, 2010. On February 22, 2006, testimony regarding the bill was heard in front of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Officer McKissack’s wife Kim testified along with the President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, the President of COMPAS and the Executive Director of COMPAS, stating the importance of this bill, and how the state needs to take care of their law enforcement officers and firefighters, should they ever become catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

If this bill is not voted out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee by THIS Monday, March 1, 2010, the bill will die. Currently the bill IS NOT SET to be voted on, on Monday.

The news release continues after the jump:Read More

Play ball! Tryouts, draft tomorrow for West Seattle Little League

February 27, 2010 1:43 pm
|    Comments Off on Play ball! Tryouts, draft tomorrow for West Seattle Little League
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

West Seattle Little League has tryouts and draft for majors and minors tomorrow at Bar-S Playfield (map) – here’s the schedule as shared by Cami MacNamara:

Majors Players Check-In:
8:45am at Bar-S Playfield Sign in and receive number from registrar and start warm-up
Players try-out evaluation 9:30am – 11:15am
Draft: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Minors Players Check-In:
12:15pm at Bar-S Playfield Sign in and receive number from registrar and start warm-up
Players try-out evaluation 1:00pm – 3:15pm
Draft: 3:30am – 5:00pm

Try-outs may be cancelled due to weather conditions. If it is raining please check our website for updated information on whether the try- outs are cancelled and rescheduled to our back up date. If the information is not posted please come down to the fields and a decision will be made at the earliest time possible. Please do not assume they are cancelled.

Updates at

Chile earthquake aftermath: Local tsunami advisory, BUT …

… don’t panic. Even a ripple can be a “tsunami” if it’s considered to have been generated by an event, such as Chile’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake. If any such ripple does show up on our shores, it’s predicted around 4:41 pm this afternoon, according to the latest table from NOAA. It’s moving north and so far no major trouble’s been reported in its path further south. Nonetheless, wariness by the water is probably not a bad thing.

Be ready for anything: Know your West Seattle Communication Hub

View West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs in a larger map

Watching/reading/listening to news of the Chile quake and the Hawaii tsunami alert – we are NOT under a warning here – you might be inspired to doublecheck to be sure you’re ready for what everyone hopes will never happen. So we’re reminding you about the ONE West Seattle-specific link that not only is laden with the traditional preparedness information, but also shows you where you’d be able to go to get information and help, if you couldn’t find out what was going on any other way: the Emergency Communication Hubs mapped at West Seattle – Be Prepared. Because of a two-year volunteer effort, our area is way ahead of most other Seattle neighborhoods in terms of this kind of preparation, and the volunteer effort includes this great site. The Hubs are part of it – nine sites around the peninsula where volunteers will set up gathering places/information clearinghouses – click on your nearest one on the Google Map above, then find out the full details at this page on the official site. Bookmark the site on your home and work computers – plus your smartphone if you have one – and also remember that you can find the link in the WSB sidebar (look for the mini-graphic of the Hubs map). You also can pick up postcards with the hub map at the Junction and Delridge Neighborhood Service Centers (more on that here).

Your West Seattle Saturday: Cookies, cleanups, concerts …

February 27, 2010 8:25 am
|    Comments Off on Your West Seattle Saturday: Cookies, cleanups, concerts …
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Randall G. Hauk)
We showed you the 30,000-box pickup … the decking-out of Walking on Logs … and now, Girl Scout Cookies are finally on sale. The photo’s from Admiral Safeway last night, where Troop #41504 junior Scouts were on duty; if you want to know for sure where and when to find cookie-selling scouts, any time between now and March 14, here’s the online Cookie Locator (put in your zip code and choose “within 5 miles” and you’ll get the whole West Seattle list). Also today: Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s Adopt-A-Street cleanup will gather volunteers outside Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) starting at 9 am (more here), and it’s a very busy day for work parties in parks and greenbelts (Green Seattle Partnership keeps the list). Then tonight, along with live music at Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor) and other regular nightspots, you have a few special concerts to choose from including Westside Blues and the latest Music Northwest presentation. Those are just the highlights; the full list is in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.

Duwamish Tribe fundraiser at “life or death moment”

From the Duwamish Tribe:

The Duwamish Tribe is inviting Seattle to a Frybread for Justice fundraiser to benefit the Duwamish Legal Fund to support its court case for tribal federal recognition–to date about $60,000 of $128,000 needed for expert witness fees has been raised.

Cecile Hansen, the Tribal Chairwoman and direct descendant of Chief Seattle, has been asking the people of Seattle for help. “If everybody in Seattle gave us one dollar, we would be able to raise the money for our legal defense fund to appeal the 2001 negative determination. We are not asking Seattle to give us back our land, just a little help to find justice.”

Event: Frybread for Justice

Suggested donations: $6 for Indian Taco & Drink and $2 for Frybread
Free admission to Longhouse exhibits & continuous showings of “Princess Angeline” film in exhibit area. This film chronicles the life of the daughter of Chief Seattle and is told through the members of the Duwamish tribe with the struggle of federal status as a theme. This is a very emotional and powerful film. Princess Angeline lived her whole life in her homeland which became the city of Seattle refusing to leave the land of her people.

Date: Saturday, March 6th 11 AM to 5PM
Place: Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center
4705 W Marginal Way SW
Seattle, WA 98106

This is a life or death moment for the legal status of the Duwamish Tribe!!!

Donations can be sent to Duwamish Tribal Services at 4705 West Marginal Way SW Seattle, WA 98106.

Don Armeni Boat Ramp to shut down a few days for lot paving

Just got word tonight from Seattle Parks and Recreation that West Seattle’s Don Armeni Boat Ramp is going to close for several days for lot repaving, possibly as soon as next week. Parks’ Jason Frisk sent the above photo to show how badly the current asphalt has deteriorated; while Don Armeni is the city’s most-used boat ramp, Frisk says it hasn’t been paved in a quarter-century – since 1984. Parks will be working with Statewide Parking Lot Services to “apply an overlay over the entire asphalt area.” They expect the ramp will be off-limits for 3 to 5 business days, but they have to wait for good weather; optimally, Frisk says, they might be able to close on Wednesday and reopen on Friday. But right now, they just want to get the word out that the lot will close for this work on short notice – signs will be up at Don Armeni on Monday. According to Parks, alternate city-run salt-water boat-ramp access during the closure is at Eddie Vine Boat Ramp, 8001 Seaview Avenue NW (Golden Gardens; here’s a map).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another stolen bike to watch for

From Catherine:


My bike was stolen from my front porch last night in the area of 46th Ave SW and SW Maple Way [map]. Between 9 pm 2/25 and 8 am 2/26. I’d love to recover it (but don’t really expect to) but I am posting this on the blog as much to warn my neighbors as anything else.

That said, I’ve attached a picture and here is a description:

15″ Specialized Sworks mountain bike, gunmetal gray
Mavic 217 rims, sunset anodized color, silver Shimano Deore XT Parallax hubs
Specialized Strongarm cranks with RaceFace rings
Time ATAC mountain pedals-red
XTR front derailleur
SRAM 9.0SL wood grain rear derailleur
Specialized Fatboy Slick narrow tires

Please be on the lookout–thanks! If you have any information on the whereabouts, please contact