day : 04/03/2010 16 results

Rhyme time in Highland Park: HPAC celebrates Dr. Seuss

March 4, 2010 11:56 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Dina Johnson was among the Highland Park Action Committee volunteers who visited HP Elementary today to help the students celebrate Dr. Seuss – whose work of course everyone knows is best read aloud. HPAC chair Dan Mullins issued a blanket invite to his group to join him in reading to the students during Dr. Seuss’s birthday (3/2) week, and drew a good turnout, posing here with a school staffer or two:

Thanks to Dina and Monica Cavagnero for sharing the photos!

Video: West Seattle double-rotor, double-chopper flyover

We still don’t know where they were from or where they were headed, but we sparked some discussion on Facebook by noting this late-in-the-day flyover involving two double-rotor choppers (Chinooks, we believe) – and then Jeff J was kind enough to send in his iPhone video of the sighting, so we’re sharing.

Update: Officer hurt in crash at Delridge/Holden

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 7:38 pm – police car on sidewalk is the one involved in collision)
ORIGINAL 6:13 PM REPORT: There’s a crash at Delridge/Holden and traffic is affected at least as far as Thistle on the south side. SeattleCrime reports that an officer may be involved. (Holden/Delridge is just a block south of the Southwest Precinct.) 6:46 PM UPDATE: There will be traffic trouble at that spot for quite some time, as the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is being brought in. We have no information yet on the officer’s condition. 7:06 PM UPDATE: Christopher Boffoli is at the scene for WSB and has just talked to Lt. Ron Rasmussen, who says the officer’s injuries are minor – he was taken to Harborview Medical Center just for observation. There were “multiple” occupants in the other car – which Christopher says is in worse shape than the police car – we don’t know how they’re doing. Delridge remains closed from Orchard until at least Kenyon. The investigation, obviously, is just starting, but we’re told it appears the officer was heading east on Holden and collided with the car on Delridge.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, added 7:39 pm)
7:31 PM: SPD Blotter has now posted more details about the crash:

On March 4th at approximately 5:38 p.m. an on-duty officer in a marked police car was involved in a collision with another driver near the intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Holden Street. There were two occupants in the other involved car (driver and passenger). The officer was the only occupant of his patrol car. All involved parties were transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate.

10:17 PM: As of a few minutes ago, Delridge was still closed at Thistle – haven’t checked the northern side of the investigation zone yet. 11:39 PM: The road’s now open again, according to 2 reports in comments (THANKS!).

Yes, that was a gray whale off West Seattle this afternoon

So much else was going on this afternoon, we never got a chance to go into full whale-watching-sound-the-alert mode, but thanks to Eve for sending a photo as proof (and yes, we know it’s fuzzy, but hey, it’s A WHALE!): We’ve had several reports of a gray whale spotted in Elliott Bay, then heading southbound in the Sound, earlier this afternoon. Eve took that photo off Alki at 1:15 pm; Orca Network (which tracks sightings of non-orca marine mammals too) had a report of a gray whale in Elliott Bay, closer to downtown, just after 10 this morning. Orca Network also has a great page on its website explaining why you see grays in Puget Sound, most often at this time of year; see that page here.

Traffic alert: Lane closures north of The Viaduct next week

March 4, 2010 4:09 pm
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 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | Transportation

If you use Highway 99 to commute past the Battery Street Tunnel, you’ll want to know about these lane closures coming up – read on:Read More

Olympia update: State Senate passes “Jason McKissack Act”

More than a year and a half after the West Seattle attack that left then-Officer Jason McKissack with brain damage that has kept him from returning to work – and weeks after the city ended his employment because he cannot return – the State Senate has just passed a bill that will keep catastrophically injured public-safety personnel like him from going without medical coverage. (46 senators including West Seattle’s Sen. Joe McDermott voted for it – no one against it – there were 3 abstention/absences.) If you’ve been following along with us, it was no slam dunk – a version of the bill stalled in the State Senate last year; this year, public-safety advocates lobbied hard for it – Jason McKissack and his wife Kim both testified before committees in Olympia — and lots of public support ensued. Next step (3:32 pm update, thanks to legislative expert Gary Gardner) – we’re told it has to go back to the State House for them to sign off on an amendment that the Senate had made. So one more hurdle to clear. 4:41 PM UPDATE: Advocate Renee Maher says in the comments that this would be retroactive both for the McKissacks and also for a Seattle firefighter who suffered a catastrophic injury on the job 7 years ago. We asked her for formal comment – first, her reaction:

This is a day to celebrate! No longer can we say that officers and firefighters are better off dead for the sake of their families. Today is one of those days that you reflect upon for a long, long time. Every single person who called their legislators or wrote an email on behalf of this bill, you should know that you deserve to celebrate this day as well. A very big thank you goes out to the West Seattle Blog. Please hold your head high and know that your coverage was a huge part of this effort! If ever there was a perfect example of a community coming together to support our heroes, this was it!

She also explains how the bill applies:

The bill creates a new section in the enumerated benefits given to catastrophically disabled officers and firefighters. It will apply to EVERYONE in the Law Enforcement Officer and Firefighter Plan (LEOFF) 2 pension system (which includes all officers/firefighters hired after October 1977 to present) and the Washington State Patrol (WSP is in a different pension system). In other words, anyone who currently qualifies as catastrophically disabled, no matter when the disability occurred, will now start receiving this benefit. That includes Jason McKissack. Mark Jones, a Seattle Firefighter who was catastrophically disabled in Dec 2003, will also be covered by this legislation.

We’ll keep an eye on the House’s concurrence calendar, and we are already on the governor’s press-info list, so we’ll have the information on where and when a signing would happen, once it’s announced. (Signings aren’t always in Olympia – last year we covered the governor’s signing ceremony for the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel bill, held at the Seattle Aquarium, with a slew of other, unrelated bills signed afterward.) ADDED 5:13 PM: An official news release from the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild – read on:Read More

Delridge Skatepark gets thumbs-up from Design Commission

We’re at City Hall downtown, where the Seattle Design Commission has just reviewed the Delridge Skatepark project for the second time, and has given its final blessing to the skatepark’s design. “Good luck!” chair Mary Johnston said to Parks Department project manager Kelly Davidson, after the unanimous vote. Commissioners had just a few lingering concerns they recommend Davidson and the designers, West Seattle-based Grindline, address – in particular, to make sure there’s maximum functionality for an element between the skatepark and the nearby wading pool, considered as a barrier to keep little kids from bolting across the 25 feet and into the skate bowl – not just a wall. A few other tidbits: Davidson says there’s no final decision on whether to have gravel paths around the skatepark, but suspects that will be the final decision because of cost concerns (the commission remains concerned about the gravel getting “onto the skating surface” and is urging Parks to look at a “different pervious” material) … Davidson mentioned that the community-powered art project to accompany the skatepark has three muralists assigned to it, which one commissioner thought might not be optimal since the project has few planned elements suitable to that kind of painting. (The community group working on the art project is meeting tomorrow night, Davidson mentioned, to continue discussing details.) She also was urged to consider adding a bike rack, and also to keep in mind that it will be optimal if people waiting for buses along Delridge will be able to watch the skaters (provided there’s no blockage from trees, since none are to be removed as part of the project). The $750,000, 12,500-sf skatepark at the northeast corner of the Delridge Community Center park site is expected to break ground this summer and be done by fall.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car-prowl alert, and 2 home break-ins

Two Crime Watch reports to share today – one a car-prowl alert; one about two neighboring homes that both were broken into – read on:Read More

Pet-search success! Happy ending in the pursuit of Zoey

Many times, when we get word that a pet on the WSB Lost/Found Pets page has been found, we just quietly take the listing off the page and make a note so folks who check the page know. But the now-ended search for Zoey – who ran away from her brand-new West Seattle home, sending her new human companion into a week-and-a-half tizzy – is worth a louder shout. Here’s Kayla‘s happy report:

Zoey is back!!!!

After 10 days of driving all over the area, racing to sightings, running down the beach in high heels and checking traps morning, noon and night, I finally caught the Yorkie who thinks she is a mountain dog.

Not sure what I will do with her after I give her a spa treatment and spay her, but for now she is safe in my kitchen. Now maybe I can get a night’s sleep. Thanks to everyone who sent wishes.

The help of the people along Beach Drive and in West Seattle in general was amazing. The West Seattle Blog and the Beach Drive Blog which spread the word, Lara and Jan McGregor who checked traps, all the folks who called in sightings, and Pam the cat trapper who leant me her traps all made me feel more a part of this neighborhood than I have in 20 years.

Thanks everyone,

(To get an idea of how intensive the search has been, go to the WSB Forums’ Open Discussion section and look for the updates with YORKIE in the title.)

South Park Bridge’s future: Two meetings next week

For those closely watching the future of the South Park Bridge, particularly whether it will have to shut down this summer if the county can’t find money to replace it, three notes: First, an update from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times – while that story’s topline is “the bridge might have to close in June,” the real news in the story appears to be that the county’s awaiting study results which might show the bridge COULD be kept open. Meantime, we’ve learned of two meetings next week for those interested in the bridge’s future – both have been publicized in South Park, but apparently not in West Seattle: First one is Tuesday (March 9), 7 pm, during the regular meeting of the South Park Neighborhood Association. The county has sent out a mailer – see it here. Then on Wednesday (March 10), community advocates are organizing a meeting about the bridge; here’s info about that, from the South Park Yahoo! group.

Welcoming a new WSB sponsor: Washington Energy Services

March 4, 2010 11:15 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle online

Today, we’re welcoming our newest sponsor, Washington Energy Services, and as with all new WSB sponsors, they get the chance to tell you about their business: As a second generation, family owned and operated company we are proud to have served Western Washington homeowners since 1957. We offer the most energy efficient gas and electric products on the market today, as well as a full line of Energy Star-rated windows and doors. We install and service everything we sell, and because we don’t outsource, homeowners have peace of mind knowing they are getting the most experienced technicians in the industry. Our Mission is Simple: Offer the best energy-efficient products for your home, and through innovation, look toward the future for new products and services that ensure we continue to meet your needs, while remaining good stewards of the environment. Satisfaction is Key: We take customer satisfaction seriously and we stand behind every project we do with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Simply put, if you are not completely happy with your purchase, we will remove our equipment and refund your money. Our People Make it Happen: From our corporate staff and sales teams, to our installation & service techs, we hire the best people in the industry. With passion for ensuring your needs as a homeowner are met, we maintain a proactive attitude toward seeking solutions. Our goal isn’t simply to get your business, but to earn it every step of the way. Check us out online at, or for more information call 800-398-HOME.

We thank Washington Energy Services for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.

“Jason McKissack Act” update: On the Senate calendar today

March 4, 2010 10:38 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle police | West Seattle politics

If you’re tracking something in the State Legislature, we’ve discovered while covering the progress of EHB 1679 – now the “Jason McKissack Act” – its website has a multitude of ways to follow along. One such way: The calendar. And for those following along with this bill’s hard-fought progress, we see it’s on today’s calendar for a full State Senate vote – choose Regular Calendar, scroll way down, and you’ll see it. According to another feature of that page – Senate Display Board (showing what they’re up to now) – they’re currently “at ease.” (Just coming in on this story? There’s background in yesterday’s report.)

Update: “Mac ‘n’ cheese throwdown” at SSCC

ORIGINAL “HAPPENING NOW” 10:11 AM REPORT: It’s not quite Iron Chef but it’s happening this morning in West Seattle, and Candace Oehler from South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) sent the pic –

Right now, in the South Seattle Community College teaching kitchen, Eric Foster, Executive Chef of Morton’s Restaurant (pictured front), is in a heated Mac ‘n Cheese throwdown with Culinary students Paul Polis (above background) and Nick Anderson. Chef Foster is recreating the dish he demonstrated on KCTS Channel 9. Results of the blind taste testing to follow!

Unfortunately, they’re not offering a public tasting. But there IS a reason to go to SSCC today – 11 am-3 pm, the Garden Center’s open on the north side of campus – not too early to think about spring planting – here’s the season schedule. 11:57 AM UPDATE: As promised by Candace, here are the results:

While the final products were all delicious, Chef Foster’s Blue Softshell Crab and Sambal Garlic Chile Sauce dish nosed out both Polis’ Truffle Salt, Dungeness Crab and Macadamia Nut creation, and Anderson’s colorful Ground Beef and Tortilla Chip effort. Guest judges included potential students and their parents who were visiting the campus, lucky staff members, and South Culinary chef instructors.

(From left, Chef Instructor Vicky McAffre, Nick Anderson, Chef Eric Foster, Paul Polis, Chef Instructor Robert Houot) Don’t know if any recipes will be available, but we’re going to ask!

Run to raise money for Safe Futures Youth Center

March 4, 2010 8:54 am
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 |   Announcements

From Safe Futures Youth Center, which is based in West Seattle:

Resolution blues got you down? It is not too late to get involved in your community and get fit at the same time!

Safe Futures is looking for runners and walkers to participate with Safe Futures staff and board this summer in Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: a winning combination! This event is Safe Futures most important fundraiser in 2010! Please consider walking or running with Team Safe Futures at the Rock and Roll Run, held in Seattle on June 26, 2010!

The Rock and Roll event offers an exhilarating and fun half and full marathon. We are recruiting people willing to commit to walk or run and gather pledges on behalf of Safe Futures Youth Center. Our goal is to raise $250.00 per person, with pledges from friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. All proceeds from the Rock and Roll Event will directly support a wide range of youth programs at SFYC.

Located in West Seattle, Safe Futures Youth Center (SFYC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has become a destination point for hundreds of kids. The agency has produced impressive outcomes and proven itself as one of the most effective youth-serving organizations in Seattle. SFYC provides culturally competent youth leadership, case management, and school support programs. It is rare that an organization can work with young people at numerous levels of personal development. Through its success, SFYC has expanded programming to the White Center and Rainier Beach communities in addition to serving youth in the greater West Seattle area, such as, Delridge, High Point and White Center. To learn more about Safe Futures, find more details at:

How To Participate in this Event and Raise Funds at the Same Time:

1. Register for the Rock and Roll Run Marathon or Half Marathon at:
Cost is $80.00-$100.00 to participate. Hurry, because race slots fill up fast! Go to:

2. Join us by e-mailing and we will send you a team packet.

3. Attend the SFYC Open House for a runners gathering on March 13, 2010. You will learn more about Safe Futures Youth Center and meet other members of Team Safe Futures, including staff, Board members and supporters.

4. Start gathering pledges on behalf of Safe Futures Youth Center. We are a Registered, not for profit organization and donors will receive a letter acknowledging their donation.

4. Participate in any of the fun, group training runs/walks we have scheduled for Team SFYC. It’s a great way to stay or get in shape and meet new people at all levels of fitness. This year we anticipate a large walking group.

5. Sport your Team Safe Futures T-Shirt on race day.

If you don’t want to run or walk? Then, consider making a pledge. We will do the work for you. Donate online at the Safe Futures’ Website:
Be sure to indicate your name in the memo field so we can be notified as soon as you make your donation.

Please contact Mark Manuel at 206-948-9794 or via e-mail at: Your efforts will go a long way to keep the youth center doors open in this tough economic climate.

Jade West Cafe followup: Fundraising event for Wong family

Thanks to Kathy for sending us this flyer, which she also plans to post on the door of the Jade West Café, closed since a drunk driver hit proprietor Wah Wong and his son Jason outside their Beacon Hill home almost 3 months ago: Friends have organized a fundraising lunch and silent auction next month, to help the family with expenses including medical bills – as just one example, the flyer mentions that a prosthetic leg for Jason, who lost part of one leg, could cost up to $50,000.

The benefit will be noon-4 pm April 11 at Perché No Pasta and Vino, 1319 North 49th (map). Tickets are $35 for a three-course meal, live music and the silent auction. They’re still taking donations for the silent auction, and also accepting contributions if you can’t attend the event but would like to help; call Chris at 206-227-7943 or Daniel at 206-409-9590. Kathy, who sent the flyer, says she’s hoping West Seattle businesses might consider contributing.

(Our archived coverage of the Wong family’s story, including last month’s sentencing of the drunk driver and West Seattleites’ outpouring of well-wishes after first news of the crash, can be read here, in reverse chronological order.)

Today/tonight: Chief Sealth’s big game, skatepark review, more …

March 4, 2010 7:38 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Highlights from the WSB Events calendar:

*11:30 am at Daystar Retirement Village, First Thursday Democrats feature a WWII-era singalong with local Rosie the Riveters and a WAVE (here’s our original announcement)
*1 pm at City Hall downtown (map), the Seattle Design Commission reviews the design for Delridge Skatepark, to be built this summer
*5:30-8 pm, the regular Thursday tastings at West Seattle Cellars include Latin American wines (details here)
*6:30 pm, a trip to the state tournament is on the line as Chief Sealth High School boys’ varsity basketball team faces Franklin at Bellevue College (map)
*7:30 pm at Town Hall downtown (map), the League of Women Voters of Seattle presents “Women and Climate Change: Connecting Around the World” – with co-sponsors including West Seattle-co-founded CoolMom.