month : 07/2010 367 results

West Seattle @ Torchlight Parade: Hi-Yu float award, princess

7 pm and time to start our coverage of the West Seattleites who are in the city’s biggest parade tonight, the Seafair Torchlight Parade. We’re along the parade route downtown. For starters, we just got word from West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival president Tim Winston that the Hi-Yu “Dreams Do Come True” float has won the Princess Awardsame one last year’s float won! Just got one addition to the list of West Seattleites to watch forMichelle Edwards, former Hi-Yu Queen, is playing cymbals with the Seahawks’ Blue Thunder. 7:54 PM UPDATE: And again this year, the Hi-Yu rep in the Miss Seafair program has been chosen as a princess – Tim just sent word that Margo Femiano was chosen 1st Princess. (Just got a photo of Margo from tonight’s coronation, via text message – thanks! – added it at left.) ADDED 9:54 PM: The Hi-Yu float went by our spot (by City Hall) a short time ago – here’s video:

11:48 PM: Adding some more video, as promised. Here are the Pathfinder K-8 unicyclists flying by:

And here’s new Seafair First Princess Margo Femiano, riding in the parade:

Margo was Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu for 2008-2009; because Miss Seafair candidates have a busy schedule, as do members of Hi-Yu royalty, Miss Hi-Yu isn’t in the Miss Seafair competition until the summer after her reign ends (Margo was crowned in 2008; she crowned her Hi-Yu successor, Georgia Mitchell, in 2009; and Georgia in turn just crowned her successor, Kelsey Bills, last Monday – Georgia will be Hi-Yu’s contender for Miss Seafair next year).

Election 2010: Vashon forum, 1st report: County Council #8

(WSB video of each candidate’s opening statement)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The West Seattle route of the King County Water Taxi got a lot less love from King County Council District 8 candidates at a forum last night than the Vashon Island route did.

You of course have to take into consideration the fact that Vashon Island was where the forum was held – Courthouse Square, to be specific, part of a double bill with a forum for candidates in the other big open race that’s on Vashon, West Seattle, White Center and Burien (etc.) ballots, 34th District State House Position 2 (we’ll cover that one in a separate story later).

This race, if you’re just starting to ramp up, is for the County Council seat that used to be held by now-County Executive Dow Constantine. Former Seattle City Councilmember Jan Drago was appointed to do the job until this fall’s election, but wasn’t interested in running to keep it. Four candidates are running, and all were on hand for last night’s forum.

State Sen. Joe McDermott of West Seattle was the only candidate voicing unqualified support for the West Seattle Water Taxi run. Tim Fahey of South Park said he’d only found it useful to “go on dates” (and he hadn’t been aware of the Vashon run until it came up at the forum); Normandy Park City Councilmember Shawn McEvoy said West Seattleites had better “step up” their usage of the passenger ferry (seeming to infer “use it or lose it”); and Diana Toledo of West Seattle was noncommittal, saying she didn’t want to make promises she couldn’t keep.

And that was nowhere near the hottest topic they had to face in the hour-long forum moderated by Seattle University law professor (and Vashon resident) Craig Beles:Read More

Video: Camp Long Lodge reopening celebration

He’s scheduled to ride in the Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown in about two hours, but right now, Mayor Mike McGinn is in West Seattle, at the Camp Long Lodge reopening party. It continues till 7 tonight, with tours of the million-dollar renovation work (including the expanded kitchen), cake, and other festivities, and at 7, you’re invited to stay in the park for GreenStage‘s free Shakespeare performance. More photos later; the mayor’s Twitter account just posted a photo of West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen speaking (video added later):

Rasmussen was chair of the council’s Parks Committee when voters passed the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, which paid for this project – plus this pic of the grand-reopening cake, attributed to Fauntleroy’s own Original Bakery:

(video substituted for photo, 7:48 pm) And of course, it can’t be a grand opening without a ribboncutting:

While, as Parks project manager Kelly Goold told us during our sneak-peek tour last week, this renovation is meant to help extend the lodge’s life into the future, its past is also something to honor, as Camp Long’s Sheila Brown noted at the party:

Find out more about Camp Long and its programs and features by going here.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another broken-glass business burglary

Thanks to the tipster who called to tell us about what is apparently the latest broken-glass business burglary case in West Seattle, at the state liquor store in The Junction. A glass company was there fixing the rear door just about an hour ago. We haven’t reached police about the case yet, but the online “911 incident report” map confirms a “commercial burglary” in the 4500 block of California SW, reported to 911 at 3:36 am today. Previously reported cases include Northwest Art and Frame (reported here – a commenter on that story also mentioned break-ins at Uptown and Allstar), Zebra Print and Copy in The Triangle and Freshy’s Coffee in South Admiral (reported here), and The Swinery (mentioned here). ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: We heard from a witness to the liquor-store burglary who wants to be anonymous:

The robbery happened at 2:30 am Saturday morning. It woke me up; the suspect took one bottle from the place as far as i can tell. He ran through the parking lot going west bound. They brought in a k-9 unit along with the fire department to secure the broken door. A person from the liquor store was brought in and stayed until around 4 am until the fire department completed the boarding up.

We hope to find out more from police Monday about whether this is considered an official “pattern” of break-ins, and what the status of the investigation is.

West Seattle scene: Baby birds by the bay

Remember Melanie‘s amazing photos of a great blue heron, published here two weeks ago? (Follow that link if you didn’t see them the first time!) This time, she shares a photo of baby seagulls, photographed at Jack Block Park. Sorry we can’t crop it any closer, but even this size yields something we didn’t know – that baby gulls are speckled.

Eat Local Now! organizers have a seat for you at their table

(WSB photo from Eat Local Now! in October 2009)
Last year’s Eat Local Now! – held in West Seattle – was a hit, with hundreds of people sharing an evening of good good, good discussion, and interesting info about food sustainability. Organizers including Sustainable West Seattle and West Seattle-co-founded CoolMom are starting to cook up this year’s event, and hoping you can help:

Eat Local Now! is a joint fundraiser of Sustainable West Seattle, Cool Mom, and The Good Business Network with the mission to promote the importance of and strengthen the local food systems and economies of Seattle and Puget Sound. Last year our dinner served 225+ attendees at the Masonic Hall in West Seattle and was educational, fun, and a fantastic dinner value. This year we are very excited to be partnering with Herban Feast to have the event at their Sodo Park catering venue on September 30th. This beautiful space is sure to make this years event something to be proud of.

Our organizing team would love your help either in the coming weeks or the day of the event. If interested, please attend our next organizing meeting at Big Al’s Brewery (9832 14th Ave SW) 7-9 pm in White Center on August 5th. We could use more help in the areas of marketing the event, seeking food, beverage, or sponsorship donations, organizing a silent auction, decoration, tabling, poster distribution, developing the evening program, or serving and greeting during the event itself. If you can’t make this next meeting, please e-mail Bill Reiswig at with your interests. Thank you!

West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Saturday-Sunday edition

July 31, 2010 8:54 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Saturday-Sunday edition
 |   Fun stuff to do | WS culture/arts | WS Weekend Lineup

wswllicon3.pngWelcome back, Camp Long Lodge! 4-7 pm today, you’re invited to the reopening party celebrating its levy-funded million-dollar renovation (previewed here). Also today, fun ways to do good deeds – benefit sales, donation drives, “Cones for Kids” in the afternoon on Alki; then tonight, the next edition of West Seattle Outdoor Movies features “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” There’s even more going on – just click ahead for this week’s West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Café and Club (with weekend delights including brunch both days – get a dining coupon on the WSB Coupons page)!Read More

Fauntleroy farewell for history-making Captain Lynda Wheeler

Just came back to West Seattle on the state ferry Tillikum from Vashon (covered the two-race campaign forum – stories in the morning) – without realizing, till the boat was almost docked, that it was a historic run: The last voyage for Captain Lynda Wheeler, Washington State Ferries‘ first female captain. Well-wishes were broadcast on the public-address system just as the Tillikum pulled up to the Fauntleroy dock; the voice urged those on board to applaud Captain Wheeler as she walked off. (We hoped to catch a photo but she was out of sight by the time we drove off the ferry.) In 1977 – according to this timeline – Captain Wheeler became WSF’s first female deck officer (here’s more from HistoryLink).

ADDED SATURDAY 6:48 AM: Turns out someone who read this last night did get a photo – one of the West Seattle-residing candidates at the aforementioned forum. State Sen. (County Council hopeful) Joe McDermott:

I had the opportunity to congratulate her (last) night walking off the boat here at Fauntleroy. She is looking forward to hiking during retirement, but is sleeping in (this) morning.

Video: Pathfinder unicyclists practice tonight, Torchlight tomorrow

They balanced, they bounced, they pedaled, they pivoted. And tomorrow night, the unicyclists of Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point will perform for hundreds of thousands of people in the Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown. They’ve been practicing every night this week, so we dropped by tonight to check on the final session. P-E teacher Lou Cutler coaches them – you may remember him from his Make-A-Wish work – listen to his excitement:

Whether you’re going downtown to watch the Torchlight Parade (preceded by the Torchlight Run, and remember that’ll close the Alaskan Way Viaduct northbound from about 5:30 pm-7 pm Saturday) or watching it on TV or online (Channel 7,, the Pathfinder unicyclists are part of an all-star West Seattle lineup you’ll see scattered through the parade – we listed everybody (that we know of so far) here.

Door-to-door alert: Subscription solicitation

Just out of the inbox from Adam in Westwood, a report of a door-to-door solicitor making a claim we know for sure is fake – read on:Read More

Meet a champion: West Seattle-based jump-rope ace Rene Bibaud

EDITOR’S NOTE: When Rene Bibaud showed off her championship jump-rope talents yards from where we were stationed during West Seattle Summer Fest – the clip below is one of two we published during Summer Fest coverage – we thought she seemed like a West Seattleite you might like to get to know better. So WSB contributing reporter Keri DeTore set out to catch Rene in a non-airborne moment.

By Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Rope-jumping is one of civilization’s oldest pastimes.

It’s possible that as a Pharaoh-kid, Tutankhamun was jumping vines to pass the time between headdress fittings while his contemporaries in the Pacific Islands were jumping between bamboo poles held on the ground. The Dutch brought rope-jumping with them to America, including their specialty team-building exercise: the “Double Dutch.”

Many of us jumped rope, but gave it up after our first bicycle or video game came along; we now think of it as a simple activity for kids to do when they’re restless — something that you might think doesn’t require much skill or effort. You’d re-think that if you met one of the many boxers who use rope-jumping as a serious workout to refine their speed and coordination – as well as if and when you meet Rene Bibaud, who has elevated rope-jumping to an art and a career, running her own business, Ropeworks.

(Photo courtesy Rene Bibaud)
Rene, who has lived in West Seattle for six years, has won multiple jump-rope championships, coached hundreds of kids and adults, and appeared in Cirque du Soleil’s traveling shows.

Read More

More West Seattle construction – in front of Potter Construction

You may have noticed the work in front of Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) headquarters along California SW, between Alaska and Morgan Junctions. Potter sent a photo and explanation:

Potter Construction, located at 5606 California Avenue, is renovating the front entrance to their office. The project plan shows new sidewalks, steps and all new landscaping. Construction should be complete in a few weeks and we look forward to the peace and quiet that comes with the end of any construction project!

Admiral Safeway: Old store set to close August 21st

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, taken during 2009 Admiral power outage)
Just in from Sara Corn at Safeway: The official closing date for Admiral Safeway is set for midnight Saturday night, August 21st. She adds, “The existing store is expected to be demolished in mid-September, and the new store is estimated to be open late summer 2011.” Corn also says they’ll have a website up “soon” to provide updates on the construction schedule and even a construction webcam, as well as providing information on promotions at the Jefferson Square Safeway, for those who choose to shop there while the Admiral store is closed. (update) The pharmacy will open in its temporary HQ (parking-lot trailer) on Aug. 22nd. (back to original report) The last City Council vote related to the project will be Monday, when final approval is expected for the “alley vacation” giving Safeway the right to build over what is technically an alley on the south side of the site (though you wouldn’t recognize it as one).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Man charged in Highland Park attack

A 19-year-old man is in King County Jail, charged in what court documents call “a violent, random sexual assault on a complete stranger.” In the case (first reported at; we obtained the court documents online today), Arjay D. Caraang is accused of approaching a 17-year-old girl who was walking in the 9200 block of 8th SW (near Westcrest Park) around 9 pm on July 21st, trying to talk to her, then grabbing her, groping her, and pulling her clothes off. The court documents say she broke away and ran; her screams brought help from passersby who chased the suspect, subsequently arrested by police. According to the court documents, Caraang has four felony convictions dating back as far as six years – three are “taking a motor vehicle without permission,” one is “attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle” – and five misdemeanor convictions, one for theft and four for driving-related offenses. The address listed for Caraang is near Roxhill Park; his bail is set at $77,500.

Next up for West Seattle Outdoor Movies: ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’

July 30, 2010 1:10 pm
|    Comments Off on Next up for West Seattle Outdoor Movies: ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle Outdoor Movies

Tomorrow night should be a truly fantastic edition of West Seattle Outdoor Movies (dusk in the courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse [WSB sponsor]) – with the animated “Fantastic Mr. Fox” as the feature (the clip above is its official trailer). Come early to stake out a spot (bring your own chair/blanket), check out the concessions, buy raffle tickets (both of the preceding are nonprofit fundraisers – also, this week, the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks are in the spotlight, so please bring a nonperishable food donation – Dream Dinners [WSB sponsor] also is co-sponsoring) – the movie itself is free,

West Seattle traffic alert: Truck trouble at Harbor/Avalon

Thanks to Kindree for the photo and this traffic report: “The onramp to bridge from Avalon is blocked by a lumber truck. He took the corner too tight and got stuck.” The photos and note were sent half an hour ago but just came through – so we’ll be heading that way to see if this is cleared yet. (P.S. If you’re trying to recall “hasn’t this happened before?” – here’s the previous stuck truck in our archives, last October.) 11:48 AM UPDATE: Ramp clear, truck gone.

Know the perfect P-Patch site? City wants to hear about it

Just got an announcement from the city Department of Neighborhoods that it’s “welcoming suggestions … for possible future P-Patch sites in the West Seattle area.” Click ahead for the criteria, and to see how to send in your suggestion(s):Read More

West Seattle mystery: Whither the Westwood Village ‘Cornmen’?

Westwood Village‘s manager Stuart Crandall is trying to solve the mystery of why dolls like those two keep turning up around his shopping center. He says he’s been finding them in various places for at least a few weeks. They’re usually accompanied by a simple photocopied note titled “The Death Note of Cornman.” Read on for the mildly macabre text – and the postscript of at least one other place they’ve turned up:Read More

Seattle Outdoor: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

Today we’re welcoming Seattle Outdoor as one of the newest WSB sponsors. New sponsors are offered the chance to let you know more about their business: While Seattle Outdoor is in SODO, it’s owned by a West Seattleite. After going far afield for camping equipment for many years, West Seattle resident Keith Watkins (above) decided that it would be better to find something closer to home. Keith says his years of being a payroll specialist for an outdoor equipment company and his many years of camping left him with the unique perspective of understanding what gear campers, hikers, and climbers need.That’s why he opened Seattle Outdoor at 2905 1st Avenue South (map), next to Sears Auto Center. Keith says he thought that the people who live south of downtown needed a full-time camping store that featured brand name equipment and good service. To that end, he opened a store that carries name-brand hiking, camping, and climbing equipment from manufacturers like Alchemy Goods, Kavu, Sierra Designs, and Granite Gear. Keith and his store manager Sean Barnett say they can outfit anybody for something as simple as a day trip all the way up to a complete backpacking vacation. Seattle Outdoor is open from 10-6 Mondays through Saturdays, 11-5 on Sundays. You’ll find them online at, or call 206-682-0482.

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

West Seattle (foggy) Friday: Blood drive; politics; Shakespeare

Thanks to Oliver for sharing the foggy view from atop The Bridge this morning; once it’s time to drive back the other way, the forecast promises afternoon sunshine. Not too busy a day on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar; if you can donate blood, the Puget Sound Blood Center mobile unit would love to see you at West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California SW), 1-6 pm; as noted in our election update on Thursday, candidates in both of our area’s big races – State House Position 2 and King County Council District 8 – will be at a forum at Courthouse Square on Vashon (a short ferry ride away but remember that Friday afternoon traffic is busy), 7-9 pm; two events in The Junction – Bin 41 (WSB sponsor) has a 5:30-7 pm wine tasting with Marie-Eve Gilla from Forgeron Cellars, and Easy Street Records has an in-store concert with LeRoy Bell, 7 pm; also at 7, a breast-cancer-fighting fundraiser – silent art auction – presented by Team Tracy at Kenyon Hall (35th/Kenyon); GreenStage presents more Shakespeare in the Park (Camp Long) with “As You Like It” (free/donation, 7 pm); at Alki Kayak Tours from 5-8 pm, there’s a big kayak demo-fleet sale co-presented by Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor).

West Seattle Hi-Yu: Miss Seafair rep’s awards; reception thanks

(Margo Femiano in last Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade; photo by Mark Hewitt)
Two West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival updates: First, tomorrow’s the big night for Margo Femiano, who represents Hi-Yu in the Miss Seafair competition, which ends with the coronation along the Torchlight Parade route tomorrow night downtown. (Margo was Miss Hi-Yu 2009; the queen represents the festival in Miss Seafair the summer after her reign, because that program has too many commitments/appearances for concurrent participation.) And even ahead of tomorrow night, she’s a winner, according to info from Tim and Carol Winston of Hi-Yu: Margo won four scholarships at this week’s Seafair Commodores Princess Awards Banquet at Salty’s on Alki: The Commodores/Seattle Kiwanis Interview Award, 25 percent of the Miss Seafair score, $900 scholarship; Commodores Public Speaking Award (10 percent of the score), $400; second place in the Banner Bank Academic Award (20 percent of the score), $900; and – this one doesn’t count toward the title – one of five recipients of $1,000 from the Seattle Jaycees Miss Community Service Awards. Tomorrow night’s coronation will be at the Westlake grandstand for the Torchlight Parade, 7:30 pm – if you don’t happen to be watching from there in person, you can see it on Channel 7 TV (or streamed at, and we’ll publish a quick update too.

Meantime, there’s a followup to the big day last Saturday – with not only Hi-Yu participation in the American Legion Post 160 West Seattle Grand Parade, but also a “visiting court” reception beforehand – read on for Hi-Yu’s public thanks to those who made it possible:Read More

Got a bicycle you don’t need any more? Donate it this weekend!

If you have a bicycle you can spare – somebody needs it on the other side of the globe. On Saturday, you can drop it off in The Triangle – and volunteers will take it from there. From Gatewood resident Tom Furtwangler:

A bicycle can truly have a transformative impact on the life of someone who lives several miles from their school, work, clinic, or water source: cycling reduces their time in transit, and increases the load they can transport.

There are many great organizations working to move used bikes to Africa, and build programs on the ground there to make sure bikes get in the right hands. And we have one right here in the Northwest – The Village Bicycle Project, which recently celebrated shipping its 100th container of bikes to Ghana!

Village Bicycle Project is having a bike drive this Saturday at the West Seattle YMCA from 9-5, which makes it incredibly easy to drop of an old bike, bike frame, bike wheel, pile of parts, whatever you have lying around, while you are out doing your weekend errands!

The Y is at 4515 36th SW (here’s a map).

Video: First of six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha

An unofficial (but reliable) tally of the crowd when tonight’s concert kicked off at the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center put the count at more than 300. This is the first of six Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, second year the series has been presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association (with sponsors including WSB – see the full list here). On stage, The Starlings, perfect for a cloudless summer night, with a crowd full of families – lots of little kids bouncing and dancing in front of the stage.

See the full season slate here. ADDED 9:13 PM: A couple more pix. First, PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor and major concert-series sponsor along with The Johnson Team from Prudential NW Realty) brought the Kid Picks van – you’ll see it the next 5 weeks too:

And it’s always a great event for people-watching. Not just the little ones dancing like mad in front of the stage, but the ones who are fascinated even by the sound equipment:

Next week, Back Burner, 6:30 pm Thursday, bring donations for the West Seattle Food Bank.