day : 05/03/2010 14 results

Big news for West Seattle’s Seal Sitters: $15,000 city grant!

(Photo by Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey)
We weren’t expecting to bump into news while taking a long walk along Beach Drive/Alki around sunset – but that’s what happened when we stopped in an Alki coffee shop. A few chairs away, Seal Sitters leaders were meeting with a city rep – who brought them the news that they are receiving a $15,000 Small and Simple Grant. Seal Sitters is an all-volunteer nonprofit group that’s run till now mostly on scrappiness, with some donations – just last November, a jewelry sale at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) was their first-ever fundraiser. Founder Brenda Peterson told us they’ll use the $15,000 grant for education — one of their major missions, something the actual seal-sitting itself embodies too. Find out all about Seal Sitters at; they also keep a blog-format journal at

4 West Seattle restaurants (so far) in this year’s Dining Out for Life

March 5, 2010 9:59 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle restaurants

Never too soon to set a date aside on the calendar – so if yours isn’t already marked for April 29, here’s your heads-up: That’s the date for this year’s Dining Out for Life, to benefit Lifelong AIDS Alliance. West Seattle establishments on the list of participants so far: Abbondanza Pizzeria in Morgan Junction, Buddha Ruksa in The Triangle, Fresh Bistro in The Junction, Skylark Cafe and Club (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge. Anybody else want in? Looks like signups are still under way.

Reminder for Saturday morning: Fairmount Ravine needs you

The more volunteers who can pitch in tomorrow morning for the annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup, the better, particularly under the bridge – and that photo taken by John Lang this week shows exactly why. He went up to survey the scene in advance and found a worse mess than usual … what you don’t see as you drive, ride or walk through the ravine between the Admiral District and the Harbor Ave. waterfront. Before you get on with your Saturday plans tomorrow, spend an hour or two helping. From the announcement John originally sent, published here last week:

Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group will sponsor the 18th Annual Spring Cleanup and Reforestation of Fairmount Ravine, Saturday March 6th at 8:30. Meet at top of ravine (Forest St. and Fairmount Ave.). Wear boots and gloves. Bring a pruning saw if interested in removing ivy from trees. Delicious Tully’s coffee and hot cocoa along with donuts will be served. We extend a special invitation to those who use the ravine to access the waterfront; please donate an hour of your time to keep this greenbelt healthy and pristine. More info – call John at 932-5151.

Here’s a map to the meeting place.

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: March mellowness

March 5, 2010 5:12 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

wswllicon3.pngHelp clean up Fairmount Ravine … munch fry bread and help the Duwamish Tribe fight for recognition … go retro with “Monty Python” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” … bid, bike, cheer, chow down, go garage-saling … From tonight through Sunday, more than 40 events/activities on our list, sponsored by Skylark Cafe and Club, where you’ll find FREE live music and rockin’ food:Read More

Alki Kayak Tours reopening, with Seacrest dock work done

Greg Whittaker from Alki Kayak Tours shares what he says is the first photo of a kayak in the new “finger piers” that are part of the King County Water Taxi dock upgrade at Seacrest – work we’ve been tracking here. And with the work done, he says Alki Kayak Tours is ready to reopen. From his announcement:

Alki Kayak Tours, one of the 2009 recipients of the City of Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Award, will be reopening for the season this weekend at its location at Seacrest Marina in West Seattle.

… Alki Kayak Tours has prepped its sea kayak fleet and will be offering guided sea kayak tours of Elliott Bay, exploring the natural history and human history of Puget Sound. Migratory waterfowl are prevalent this time of year along with sightings of marine mammals including the California sea lion, harbor seal, and occasional grey whale and porpoise!

Alki Kayak Tours also offers “other outdoor adventure gear,” plus inline skates, beach cruiser bikes, longboards and Stand Up Paddleboards. As for the Water Taxi – it’s still on track to start the season exactly one month from today, Monday, April 5. (Did you see our stories with a sneak peek inside the new boat and the first look at it with the official paint job?)

Update: Don Armeni Boat Ramp open again, post-paving

March 5, 2010 3:48 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

Checked with Garrett Farrell from Seattle Parks and he says that as of mid-afternoon, Don Armeni Boat Ramp and its parking lot was open again, as planned, after two days of long-overdue repaving (first previewed here).

He’s rockin’ – and giving: 10-year-old Connor Wartelle’s album!

That’s 10-year-old Hope Lutheran fourth-grader Connor Wartelle, performing “Civil War” – one of the songs from an album he’s selling online. If you watch the video, you’ll see (and hear) it’s no sweet little “Itsy Bitsy Spider”-esque singalong – it’s power-guitar rock. We found out about Connor courtesy of proud mom Jeanne Wartelle, who tells us Connor is donating part of the album’s proceeds to Children’s Hospital. He’s been playing guitar since he was five – and his guitar teacher/mentor Rob Hampton helped Connor make the album. Rob also has written about Connor online, including a peek into the album-making process: “For example, (Connor) created the helicopter-like sound in the breakdown of “Slavery” by cranking all the knobs on my BOSS Flanger pedal. I winced when I first heard the effect, but Connor insisted that was the sound he wanted. Now I love that part.” Here’s where to find Connor’s album (“Too Small“) at Amazon.

Delicious Planet: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor!

(From left, Delicious Planet’s Jose, Chase, Lianne, Randi, Miranda, and Lulu)
Today, we welcome Delicious Planet as a brand-new WSB sponsor – and as per WSB tradition, this is their chance to tell you about their business: Delicious Planet meals start with the highest-quality, seasonal organic foods and specialty ingredients, obtained from local sources whenever possible. We leverage the flavors and nutrients that nature provides, without the processed ingredients, additives and preservatives. Order online by 1 pm to receive food the next weekday! Our unique Delicious Detox program is a tasty and convenient way for people to retrain their taste buds, eliminate common allergens, lose weight, renew energy, improve mental clarity and learn healthy eating habits. The goal is to acquaint people with the building blocks of good nutrition while cleansing their systems – without depriving them of taste and variety. Our customers call it a lifechanging experience. We think it is a lifesaving experience ;) Call today – 206-720-7017 – start on Monday!

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

From West Seattle police: Injured officer update; WS crime trends

(Thursday night photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Two updates from Lt. Norm James at the Southwest Precinct – first, one followup on last night’s crash on Delridge barely a block south of the precinct: Lt. James says the officer who was hurt is “doing fine” and got out of the hospital within hours of being taken there. (Investigation results will take a while, since the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad was called out, which is why Delridge was closed for so long.) Second – a new overview on West Seattle crime trends, from the report Lt. James gave to this week’s Precinct Advisory Council meeting:

So far this year we’re seeing crime trends down in virtually every category, some very significantly. Examples would be car prowls December 2009 and February 2010 tied for the lowest in a year and a half; residential burglaries Feb 2010 were the lowest in over a year. It’s very encouraging, and we continually thank the residents of West Seattle for their efforts in assisting us in this.

Explains why things have been a little quieter on the Crime Watch page lately.

Followup: Metro’s detour route when the 1st Ave onramp closes

We didn’t want to bury this new information by adding it to our previous story about the city setting May 17 as the date for the permanent closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge – so here’s a breakout. We spoke with King County DOT‘s Linda Thielke a little while ago, and she said Metro does have the BUS detour worked out for the year and a half that there will be no way to get on the westbound West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and The Viaduct. First, the routes that will be affected:
21 local
56 local

Second, the detour route (we tried to make a custom Google Map but the line-drawing function is just not behaving for us, so that’s just going to have to wait): 1st Avenue South to Hanford (map), west on Hanford to East Marginal Way (map), south on East Marginal to Spokane (map), then across the lower bridge. Only one current stop, in the 1st/Spokane vicinity, will be missed, and this will only affect the “back to West Seattle from downtown” runs, since the 1st Avenue South offramp on the eastbound side will not be affected (also, the new 4th Avenue ramp on that side will open later this year). The one key piece of the puzzle that Metro is still working on: Travel times/scheduling, so they can create something resembling a predictable schedule for this detour. They’re talking with the city re: signal timing, for example. And Thielke pointed out one other thing: Metro also is trying to keep this all in the “big picture” – they can address what needs to happen because of this May closure, for example, but with all the other work scheduled in the area, they are trying to make sure things don’t have to change every time “another domino” falls. This domino – the 1st Ave. So. ramp closure – is part of the city’s Spokane Street Viaduct project; the official online info starts here.

More traffic alerts – with the date for 1st Ave. bridge ramp closure

The newest roundup of upcoming traffic effects from road work in and around SODO and the Spokane Street Viaduct is now online – see it here – and it includes the first definite date we’ve seen for the impending closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge: May 17th. (SDOT had previously just mentioned May.) The impending closure came up at this week’s Southwest District Council (our long-version story’s still in the works), during a guest appearance by City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Transportation Committee; he promised to put the pressure on to make sure there’s more public outreach before that closure takes effect. The ramp is to be replaced by a new 1st Avenue on/offramp (with the entry/exit a ways north of the current one), opening in 2012. ADDED 10:11 AM: A related traffic-advisory note for next week is just in from SDOT – read on:Read More

Eat, drink and be … generous: West Seattle benefit reminders

March 5, 2010 7:58 am
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Between the winter chill (OK, not that much chill this year) and the summer sun, it’s the perfect season to gather to do good. Some reminders about events coming up in the next few weeks:

FAUNTLEROY CHILDREN’S CENTER DINNER/AUCTION TOMORROW: FCC has even more than usual to celebrate this time around, since the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse purchase closed just a week ago (as reported here), with the center as a major tenant. We checked with director Kim Sheridan – she says they’ve still got a bit of room, so either call today or show up at the door tomorrow (The Hall at Fauntleroy, starting with the silent auction at 5:30); they’re maxed out of the chicken entree but the beef and portobello mushroom options are still available. Full details on this Facebook event page; call 206-932-9590 or e-mail

SEATTLE LUTHERAN DINNER/AUCTION NEXT FRIDAY: Head of School Adair Hinds is promising a big announcement during this year’s “Global Connection” event – the official RSVP form deadline just passed, and there’s no school today, but if you’re already good to go, the dinner’s March 12 at SSCC’s Brockey Center.

NATURE CONSORTIUM BENEFIT BRUNCH: Lisa at the NC says just a few spots remain for the 2nd annual brunch on behalf of the organization that’s devoted to forest restoration here in West Seattle. There’s no ticket charge but you’ll be asked to consider making a donation. Noon Sunday, March 14, The Hall at Fauntleroy. RSVP: or 206-923-0853. (WSB is among the event sponsors.)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU SPRING TEA: Hi-Yu’s Deena Mahn says a few tickets are left for the Spring Tea and Silent Auction at 2 pm March 21, also at The Hall at Fauntleroy. It’s a fundraiser for the Miss Hi-Yu Scholarship Program and for the Hi-Yu float, the last Seattle neighborhood festival-powered float on the regional parade circuit. Call 206-937-0263 or e-mail

BOWL TO “STRIKE OUT HUNGER”: Solid Ground benefits from this bowl-a-thon at West Seattle Bowl on March 27; you can sign up to bowl at 2 or at 4:30. Full details here.

UPDATE ON THE WONG FAMILY FUNDRAISER: We published info yesterday about this April 11 event to help Jade West Café proprietor Wah Wong and family recover from the December crash that seriously hurt Wah and son Jason Wong – and have since received an updated flyer with new information on what’s happening at the lunch/auction — see it here. (And note that organizers would love to have more silent auction items – local businesses that can help out are encouraged to call the numbers on the flyer!)

Lots more in the hopper for many great West Seattle organizations – this is just a sampling of reminders about what’s ahead in the next month or so. Other events are on the WSB Events calendar (and if you don’t see yours, but would like more people to know, please send us the announcement – here’s how).

“High earners” income-tax bill? Hear from West Seattle co-sponsor

West Seattle’s State Sen. Joe McDermott is one of the sponsors of a bill that’s getting a lot of buzz in the State Legislature’s waning days: SB 6250, with the official title “providing fiscal reform,” but the bottom line, it would ask voters whether to implement income tax for those making more than $200,000 a year. Sen. McDermott explains the bill in the video clip above, shot and shared by Senate Democrats staff; it got a public hearing Thursday night in the Senate Ways and Means Committee (of which he’s a member). This report from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times suggest it might not have much hope of passage this time around.

So close! Chief Sealth’s big season ends with hard-fought game

March 5, 2010 1:44 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

When the Chief Sealth High School boys’ varsity basketball players attend next week’s sports banquet, they’re bound to be holding their heads high. Their season’s over, but it was down to the wire. Last night against Franklin at Bellevue College, in a “winner to state, loser out” situation, Sealth spent the last five minutes of the first half going from seven points down to four points up, but that run and a subsequent one in the third quarter were not enough, as Franklin beat them 68-65 in the last minute. The loss ended the Seahawks’ season and moved Franklin into a seeding round this weekend to determine their place in the state tournament next week. Sealth’s gut-check run at the end of the first half made up for a very flat game up until that point. They managed to keep the streak going at the start of the third and went up on Franklin by as much as 12 points. During that run, the Seahawks controlled the rebound and managed to keep control of the ball.

By the fourth quarter Franklin pulled up and tied Sealth on a series of three-point shots. Most of the last five minutes saw the game turn into a one-point affair, and with less than a minute to go, Sealth went up, thanks to this three-pointer from Keon Lewis.

Lewis was the high scorer for the Seahawks with 28 points, the bulk of those coming on free throws. Congratulations to Chief Sealth for an exciting season!