West Seattle, Washington
Two popular bands’ shows overlapped a bit tonight on the two stages at West Seattle Summer Fest – Satchel on the Alaska stage (which is right outside KeyBank at Alaska/California) and Hell’s Belles on the California stage between Oregon and Genesee, across from the West Seattle Eagles‘ HQ:
(Ever-rockin’ Jeff Gilbert from Feedback Lounge [WSB sponsor] was scheduled to intro Hell’s Belles – we missed him, as the show started a bit before the billed time of 9 pm.) As for the Saturday slate – it starts early, with Caspar Babypants (starring West Seattleite Chris Ballew) on the Alaska stage, next to our Summer Fest home in the info booth, at 11 am, while up at the California stage, Rat City Brass kicks things off at 11:15 am. And tomorrow night is Street Dance night at the California stage, with All Mixed Up and Cherry Cherry (Cars and Neil Diamond tribute bands, respectively). For our Summer Fest coverage from earlier today, scroll through our West Seattle Festivals coverage archive.
It’s been three days since 27-year-old Alex Kongsgaard waded into Puget Sound during low tide beneath Emma Schmitz Overlook on Beach Drive, soon paddling away alone in an outrigger-equipped kayak, bound for Glacier Bay, Alaska. Tonight his family shares a quick update: Alex has checked in from Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands (map). His short message: “Yarrrr!” He’s hoping to reach Glacier Bay – about 1,200 miles from here – within two months. (Here’s the story we published after covering his departure on Tuesday.)
ORIGINAL 6:42 PM REPORT: Just an advance FYI – their official “landing” isn’t until noontime tomorrow, but the Seafair Pirates are scheduled to make a landing-eve appearance at Alki within the next hour or so. It’s part of the Make-A-Wish aspect of this year’s Seafair Pirates’ Landing, as mentioned when we first reported on the event’s sponsorship challenges (since resolved) last month. The media advisory that we received with details last night said it was supposed to be a surprise to the teenage Make-A-Wish recipient, an Ellensburg boy, so even though it appears at least one media organization published details today, we’re staying mum, except to let you know you may see pirate activity (and Make-A-Wish volunteers) at the beach tonight. We’ll be there too. 9:20 PM UPDATE: Quite the amazing event. We even had someone onboard Moby Duck as it carried the young now-honorary-Seafair Pirate from downtown to Alki. Will be processing video/photos for separate story too (plus we made a side trip for some headliner rock music at Summer Fest.) In the meantime, we are adding to this with two great photos shared by Alki photographer extraordinaire David Hutchinson. That’s 13-year-old Joseph – now christened honorary Seafair Pirate “Happy Joe Rackham” – with his new compatriots.
Stand by for our next story with a close-up perspective – and a reminder, the official Seafair Pirates’ Landing – in which “Happy Joe” will again be a participant – is tomorrow at Alki, with the Pirates scheduled to come ashore (we hear there’s something new this year!) around 12:30 pm. 10:19 PM: Adding two more photos, shared with us by another of the many photographers who managed to capture this not-too-widely-announced event, Josh Daniels from JayLee Productions:
(In that last photo, after Happy Joe vanquished the soldiers who were on the beach when he and the Pirates arrived, he went onto the sand, lured by the promise of treasure – which he found!)
ORIGINAL REPORT, “FIRE IN SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE,” 4800 BLOCK 51ST: Not far from where we’re headquartered for the weekend at The Junction – everyone heard nearby Station 32 roar out – we’re on the way to the scene. 4:18 PM UPDATE: Just a scare. The self-cleaning oven somehow came on, residents returned to house full of smoke. No damage.
(The Full Tilt Ice Cream bike is here selling ice-cream bars all weekend! By the info booth)
Vendors are here till 6 tonight – starting up again at 10 Saturday – and the music is already going on the California Stage (across from West Seattle Eagles), with Ragged Glory till 3:30, Trombone Cake at 4, and onward from there – last act of the night on the California stage is Hell’s Belles at 9; the Alaska stage, near our spot in the info booth at Walk All Ways, starts music with Mariachi Fiesta Mexicana at 5:45 pm, followed by Kim Virant at 7, and the much-awaited Satchel at 8:30. And something lots of folks have asked us about – the Rat City Rollergirls dunk tank – is just getting set up. More to come as the afternoon rolls on! There’s a nice breeze here through the heart of The Junction, and things have been mellow, but fun, so far.
3:52 PM: We have an unofficial policy of photographing every candidate and elected official who stops by – just chatted with 34th District State House Position 2 candidate Joe Fitzgibbon (D):
He says he’s about to head back out doorbelling and expects to pass 5,000 doorbells rung (etc.) sometime tonight. The election is August 17th, but since it’s vote-by-mail, you’ll see your ballot before the end of the month. And as we write, another candidate in the same race, Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy (I), has just dropped by – we’ll add his photo in a few.
4:44 PM: The fire scare (see separate story) delayed the continuing coverage here. Here’s the McElroy photo:
(And if we see Marcee Stone and/or Mike Heavey, we’ll take their pix too – all candidates/politicians welcome at the info booth!) We’ve also seen a lot of The Junction’s merchants today, no surprise – here’s Easy Street Records proprietor Matt Vaughan (they’re having their giant tent sale as usual this Summer Fest):
And little visitors, too: Fauntleroy Children’s Center is one of the “field trips” we’ve seen come through. This photo was taken shortly after they passed the info booth and were heard to exclaim “A POLICEMAN!”
We’re in the info booth till about 5:30 today – vendors are here till 6 pm – music continues on till 10 pm+. And right by our booth, a martial-arts demo (youth) just kicked off! We’re rolling video. (added later) Here’s the Evergreen Tang-Soo-Do Academy demo (they’re in Admiral):
Popping in some other news before we start a late-afternoon edition of Summer Fest coverage after 3 pm … Remember that tonight’s the night we find out how a West Seattle girl did on “Jeopardy!” – 7:30 pm on Channel 4, Washington Middle School student Vivian Lappenbusch competes, after making it to the TV show from among a field of 10,000 contenders! Though the show was taped months ago, Vivian’s mom Brittany, who just sent the photo of her daughter with the show’s legendary host Alex Trebek, reiterates that their lips are sealed – so we won’t know how she did till we watch the show tonight! (Here’s our original report from last month about Vivian’s big achievement. The family lives in North Delridge.)
(“Big Purple Slide,” which you’ll find in front of Rocksport at Summer Fest)
It’s noon and West Seattle Summer Fest is now cranking into high gear for its first afternoon. We’re in the Information Booth again this year – what’s new is the community (Alaska) stage just feet from us, in front of KeyBank. It’s where TILA Real Estate is about to put on its first West Seattle “Minute to Win It” contest – if you don’t see them at the stage, they’ll be down by PETCO.
(video added – here are the first contestants, Oreo-balancing)
Very nice breeze coming through right now. 12:31 PM UPDATES: Outside the Senior Center of West Seattle, you’ll find Sound View Quilters, selling $1 raffle tickets for this gorgeous quilt:
Proceeds benefit the Senior Center, which is where the quilting group meets. Another update: Who’s scheduled to be in the Community Tent today – till 2, the Water Taxi, Emergency Preparedness, Streets for All, and West Seattle Helpline/Clothesline; 2-5 pm, Water Taxi, Streets for All, and West Seattle Helpline continue, with La Leche League joining them. (Update – just talked to Admiral Neighborhood Association president Katy Walum – they’re in the community area all day too, selling their cool new Admiral T-shirts and other gear.)
To get to the community-group area, just head toward Junction Plaza Park, east from Cupcake Royale (WSB sponsor). One West Seattle Summer Fest fixture is West Seattle Hi-Yu – their award-winning “Dreams Do Come True” float is parked up on California north of Oregon, by Fleurt – you can buy a Hi-Yu button there and/or from the Hi-Yu folks roaming the festival zone (look for the signs and/or red polo shirts):
And a note about where to find food – in addition to all the restaurants that are always here at The Junction, some of which have outdoor areas just for the occasion, there’s the vendor zone west and east of Walk-All-Ways – plus, for example, Jack Miller of Husky Deli is cooking and serving right outside his popular store:
Pagliacci Pizza has a setup outside its Junction store too:
And of course, there’s the sidewalk-sale aspect of Summer Fest – if you’re an Apple devotee (we are), your Apple guy in The Junction is Brian Presser from TouchTech Systems, out in front of the building where his office is on the breezeway, by the liquor store:
Much more to come – our earlier reports include “what’s new/what’s changed,” road closures/bus reroutes, the Art Dive participant list, the Parents’ Rest Stop (scroll down through this archive). Reminder that tonight’s music highlight is Satchel, 8:30 pm, followed by Hell’s Belles.
NOTE: We’ve started a 2nd report about day 1 – so updates are over on this one – coverage continues here.
Got a tip about this and just confirmed with police here at West Seattle Summer Fest, so we’re mentioning it here in case you saw the police activity: A well-known local transient was found dead by Eastridge Christian Assembly in The Triangle (southeast corner of 39th/Oregon) around 6 o’clock last night. Police say he was in his late 40s, well-known to them – but not much of a trouble-maker. He appeared to have fallen, which they say he had done many times over the years. Foul play is NOT suspected, though the cause of death and ID aren’t public, pending the Medical Examiner’s next media update (we’ll check on that this afternoon).
While we’re devoting much of the day to West Seattle Summer Fest coverage, the other news will go on. We’ll keep this story ongoing for any non-breaking Crime Watch reports that need to be added during the day. First one comes from Mary in Seaview, who sent the photo at left, explaining, “I just want to report that our car was vandalized, probably last night. We saw some orange paint that had been sprayed on a white fence on 49th last night as we walked home from Morgan Junction, then discovered that our car and a neighbor’s car had also been sprayed with a line of orange paint. I did report it to police.” Morgan Junction also is the location of another report from an incident Wednesday night – read on (also added, possible casing on Puget Ridge):Read More
(Updated 10:45 with photos, now that everything’s set up. Separate report upcoming with ongoing coverage)
We’ll be reporting “live” from West Seattle Summer Fest (co-sponsored by WSB) starting later this morning – vendor hours today, 10 am-6 pm; music, past 9! – but first, one more practical preview: A few notes about what’s different this year, if you’re heading out based on memories of last year. First, the stages – one is at the north end of the festival zone on California north of Oregon (near the Art Dive and beer garden) – right across from the West Seattle Eagles:
The other stage is on the west side of Alaska/California instead of the east end – that’s primarily for non-band performances. Here’s what IS on the east end of Alaska: Junction Plaza Park is open at the northwest corner of 42nd/Alaska (dedicated last week). Last year, the site held a beer garden to raise money for park completion. This year, it’s “just” a park – so check it out if you haven’t already, take a break on its benches, seating walls, grass … There are activities nearby – for example (from the list on this page of non-music activities/entertainment), that’s where the Rat City Rollergirls‘ dunk tank is scheduled to be. The Community Tent, too, where you’ll find neighborhood groups and other cool local nonprofits. There also are food vendors along SW Alaska both east and west of the “Walk-All-Ways” intersection – in recent years, they’ve been only on the west side. Also on the west end of SW Alaska, the Super Terrific Happy Fun Zone (presented by Clowns Unlimited, which sells tickets – otherwise Summer Fest is free), is by Wells Fargo. (Note it’s in two parts – some in SW Alaska street, some north of Wells Fargo’s drive-thru):
New this year: strong>GreenLife at Summer Fest, the sustainability/gardening expo presented by Sustainable West Seattle and West Seattle Nursery, is on the west side of California at Edmunds – between Technical Analysis and the hot-yoga studio:
Direct links: General festival map here; specific map with numbered vendor locations here (alphabetized list with numbers can be found here); live music schedule here, other activities/entertainment here, our overnight note about road and bus changes here. In addition to ongoing coverage here – plus the other news of the day/night – we’ll also tweet photos and quick updates at twitter.com/westseattleblog. See you at Summer Fest! We’re in the info booth again this year, south of the stage that’s in front of KeyBank.
Overnight, David Hutchinson shared that photo of the Thursday afternoon crowd at Alki – and also overnight, the National Weather Service updated its forecast for this first day of West Seattle Summer Fest. The “heat advisory” remains in effect till 9 tonight, and the projected high could reach the low 90s. Fabled forecaster Cliff Mass, though, thinks it could be as much as 7 degrees below Thursday’s high, which was a recordsetting 95 at Sea-Tac Airport. Back at the beach, David noticed this:
Was it an algae bloom? He points out a possible one was reported here on WSB exactly a year ago, also during hot weather.
WSB went to Rainier Beach on Thursday afternoon to see Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Seattle City Light officials announce the expansion of “Powerful Neighborhoods” – the door-to-door energy-efficiency-and-safety installation/advice program first mentioned here in March. The briefing happened during a training session for program workers. They’ve been visiting homes in certain target areas, with an emphasis on low-income, senior-citizen, and primary-language-other-than-English residents, but offering service to anyone interested. Their consultations have included CFL light bulbs, faucet aerator and smoke detector installation, plus offering low-flow showerheads; now they’re adding to their repertoire – checking for toilet leaks (which can waste hundreds of dollars in water/sewer bills each year) and inefficient dryer vents, as demonstrated by program manager Andy Silber in our video clip:
If you live in 98106 or 98126, you may find one of the canvassers at your door soon. City Light contracts with two nonprofits to go door-to-door for this program. So far, the utility says, they’ve worked in almost 2,000 homes/apartments. By the end of this year, City Light hopes that number will grow to 10,000. The program has $500,000 in federal stimulus money and $1.2 million in city money, with a federal grant paying for the smoke detectors through the state Health Department.
(WSDOT’s “South Portal Design Concept” showing where the new Hwy. 99 south-end would meet the tunnel)
The South Portal Working Group, an advisory panel working with the state/city/county/port on how Highway 99 and what’s around it will flow toward West Seattle (and beyond), was offered the chance to stop meeting till fall – but its members, including West Seattle reps, said they thought there were too many important issues to discuss. So, they’re meeting again this month, and the date has just been announced: 4 pm July 28, board room at Union Station (401 S. Jackson). These meetings are open to the public. And if you have viaduct-related questions in the meantime, do note that WSDOT has a booth at West Seattle Summer Fest this weekend (#26; here’s the map).
Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle – which helps coach locals in edible gardening, and grows/coordinates donations of fresh food for local food banks – has news for you: For starters, if you’re interested in gardening but don’t have the space, you’re invited to “drop-in gardening” nights at St. James Annex, 9421 18th SW, 6:30 pm – help weed or plant, “then go home with some of the harvest!” says Aviva from Community Harvest. If you’d like to see some of our area’s tastiest-looking food gardens, tomorrow (Saturday) is the day – the 3rd annual West Seattle Edible Garden Tour runs 11 am-4 pm Saturday – ticket/map info here. And during those same hours, Community Harvest is having a seed sale – get seeds to plant now for harvesting root veggies and greens this fall. The aforementioned St. James Annex is the place, during tour hours, 11 am-4 pm Saturday, with seeds offered in $1 packets – and if you go to the seed sale first, tickets/maps for the Edible Garden Tour will be available there. Last but not least, to get hands-on advice for your own garden, Seattle Tilth-trained Garden Helpers are available – here’s how to dig into that program. Questions about any of the above? email@example.com