month : 08/2010 342 results

The Board of Education rocks Alki Community Picnic

(Photos, Story and Video by Christopher Boffoli)

Tonight’s Alki Community Picnic had to move off the playfield and into the Alki Community Center due to the weather. But the gray skies, drizzle and blustery winds certainly didn’t diminish the energy of the crowd of children who danced to the music provided by The Board of Education.

Here’s guitarist Jon Goff inspiring a new generation of musicians by handing out guitar
picks at the end of the show.

And here’s a short video clip with some musical highlights:

West Seattle Triangle walking tour braves the elements

Covering tonight’s Feet Firstorganized Walk and Talk Tour of the West Seattle Triangle with Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, photojournalist Edgar Riebe of Captive Eye Media reports participants braved the weather to visit spots from West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park (above) to an inside look at the under-construction Link, below:

We’ll add Edgar’s video report on the tour later tonight. Meantime, the city-led Triangle Advisory Group meetings continue later this fall, according to information received by group members; the next meeting’s been set for October 27th, with a public open house planned on November 10th.

11:58 PM UPDATE: Here’s Edgar’s video report:

Lane closures on Admiral Way tomorrow, 9 am-3 pm

Traffic in both directions on Admiral Way will be impacted tomorrow, according to this SDOT notice:

Lane Closures on Admiral Way Bridge Wednesday
Wednesday, September 1, the Seattle Department of Transportation will close lanes on the Admiral Way Bridge between Walnut Avenue SW and 39th Avenue SW while they inspect and make drain repairs on the structure. The work will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The right lane eastbound will be closed first, then the westbound right lane will be closed. There will be no impact to the bridge sidewalks.

Congratulations to West Seattle See Dogs and friends!

(Video from West Seattle See Dogs and other guide puppies meeting SPD horses in Highland Park in June)
Tonight at the Mariners-Angels game, guide dogs will be in the spotlight – local Guide Dogs for the Blind volunteers, puppy-raisers including West Seattle See Dogs, and others, sold more than 738 tickets for the game and get the honor of throwing out the first pitch! West Seattle See Dogs’ Ruth Oldham tells WSB, “There will be over 40 guide dog puppies and guide dogs in the stands and on the Main Concourse Meeting and Greeting fans as they arrive. (Section 128 behind Home Plate) at the Main Entrance.” Then around 6:40 pm, Ruth says, “The First Pitch (will be) thrown out by Bob Sonnenburg and his guide Nino (since this whole thing was Bob’s idea!). Other pre-selected GDB volunteers and pups will join Bob on the field.” They’ll also have informational tables for Guide Dogs for the Blind at a couple of places around the stadium, and if you’re at the game, you’ll hear announcements too. Ruth enthuses, “What an incredible opportunity. There has never an event this large with the potential for increasing public awareness about Guide Dogs, and increasing public awareness about blindness in general.”

South Park Bridge demolition update: Leaf removal under way

(Photo by Jason Grotelueschen)

Two months and one day after the shutdown of the old South Park Bridge (WSB video coverage here), the first major part of the demolition work has begun – King County Department of Transportation confirms that one of its “leaves” (the actual drawbridge sections) will “be detached and lowered onto a barge sometime this afternoon.” The KCDOT announcement continues:

Prior to removal, nine steel cuts will be required to separate the leaf from the remainder of the bridge. Once the cuts have been made, the leaf will slowly be lowered onto the barge. This work is extremely complicated and may take a few hours to complete.

This process will be repeated when the second leaf is removed over the next few days. Both leaves will then be barged to another site for salvage and recycling.

During this first demolition phase, crews have also been demolishing vacant structures on county-owned property adjacent to the bridge to accommodate future construction staging. The work will set the stage for future construction of a new South Park Bridge when a funding package is in place.

UPDATE 4:40 PM: As of this afternoon there is still not a whole lot of movement as work progresses slowly. Jason Grotelueschen staked out the bridge this afternoon, reporting only an occasional drizzle and a few showers of sparks, as workers continued to make cuts in the steel. Here’s one more photo from Jason, with a closer view of workers on aerial lifts:

6:30 AM (Wed) UPDATE: According to eyewitness reports and the YourSouthPark newsgroup, the “South Park side of the bridge” was finally dismantled and lowered safely onto a barge below, at around 7 pm last night (see photos from The other side of the bridge should be removed by later this week.

Update: Bank robbery at Alaska USA inside Westwood Village QFC

(Photo added at 12:32 pm)
ORIGINAL 11:39 AM REPORT: We’re receiving reports of SPD units responding to a bank robbery call at the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union in Westwood Village. We’re off to check it out.

12:32 PM UPDATE: We’ve confirmed that the Alaska USA Credit Union inside the Westwood Village QFC was robbed earlier today. The branch is currently closed while investigators process the scene. We’ll be checking with SPD for more information and will post an update as soon as we learn more.

4:17 PM UPDATE: FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt has provided us with a bit more information now. He said they are seeking a white, female suspect. Approximate age and hair color were not provided. She was estimated to be about 5′ 4″ and 140 pounds, wearing a black vest over a gray hoodie, with a black hat and stonewashed jeans. She also had a swollen upper lip. A weapon was not seen and only “implied” but he said the suspect should still be considered armed and dangerous. Special Agent Gutt said the suspect left the scene on foot.

West Seattle weather: Small slide on Marine View Drive

Thanks to those readers who called and texted about a small slide on the 9800 block of Marine View Drive. We responded quickly but SDOT already had the debris cleared to the side of the road by the time we arrived. It appeared to be more brush than mud. No damage was reported.

The rain seems to have let up a bit for now. But there’s more predicted throughout the rest of the day. We did find some slick streets around West Seattle this morning, as the rain has picked up some oil from the roadway. So do drive carefully.

Thanks to photographer Steve Shelton for his photo of the debris removal:

Melanie Carey @ West Seattle Wellness: Welcome, new WSB sponsor

This morning, we welcome a new WSB sponsor: Melanie Carey, CH, hypnotherapist and Reiki practitioner at West Seattle Wellness. As per the WSB new-sponsor tradition, here’s what she’d like you to know about what she does: “Actually, I feel like I UN-hypnotize people”, Melanie says. “We are all walking around in a trance most of the time, moving through our routine, serving our addictions and habits. My sessions offer a place away from everyday life, to clear your mind, hear yourself think, and connect with what you really want from your life.” Whether it’s time to change, or time to get ready to make that change, hypnotherapy is the most effective method out there. Hypnotherapy is for freedom from smoking and other addictions, letting go of weight, birthing without fear, or discovering blocks to fertility, hypnotherapy can help with any issue that exists. It empowers you. “I have never felt so relaxed” is what Melanie says she hears most often from her clients at West Seattle Wellness. Deep relaxation and freedom from issues – a new way of handling problems. It doesn’t have to be a fight; it is inspiring and empowering. If you’re wondering: What is Reiki? Reiki is a hands-on therapy that clears energy blocks in the body. It is similar to acupuncture, except without the needles. Reiki can offer relief from: stress, allergies, depression, anxiety, emotional and mental confusion, insomnia, or any other dis-ease. It is worth experiencing the peace and beauty of Reiki. You can find Melanie Carey, CH, at West Seattle Wellness LLC, online at – where you’ll find an online appointment scheduler! – or call 206-453-5397.

We thank Melanie Carey, CH, at West Seattle Wellness for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our sponsor team, and info on joining, all here.

A change in the weather: Wet and windy Tuesday

Local forecaster Cliff Mass called it yesterday:

An unusually heavy rainfall event for August is going to strike our region during the next two days, and its coming from the west and northwest…

From the looks of things outside this morning, that has definitely started to happen. It’s expected to continue through tonight and tomorrow, and we’ll keep an eye on the weather’s impact on today’s events and happenings.

1:15 PM UPDATE: Alki Community Center’s picnic/concert IS definitely moving indoors.

West Seattle Tuesday: Another school starts; ‘Walk and Talk’; more

A few of the West Seattle highlights for today/tonight: West Seattle Elementary starts today, eight days before most other Seattle Public Schools, because of its improvement plan (here’s our Monday report on the back-to-school barbecue with new principal Vicki Sacco) … Speaking of back-to-school barbecues, Roxhill Elementary has one today (and, have you signed up yet to help rehabilitate the R?) … The second major Feet First event in West Seattle in four days: Tonight, walk and talk in The Triangle with City Council Transportation Committee chair Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (details here) … And Alki Community Center presents the summer-ending Alki Community Picnic tonight @ Alki Playfield – they’re providing the food starting at 5:30 pm, The Board of Education‘s providing the music starting at 6, and they’re planning to sell $10 bike helmets too … There’s more on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar (and share your event with us any time – even if it’s months away; the calendar already stretches into next year).

12:36 PM UPDATE: We have confirmed that tonight’s concert with The Board of Education is still on but will now be located inside the Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens Street). The Feet First event is unchanged. The Walk & Talk with CM Tom Rasmussen begins at Rotary Viewpoint Park (at 35th and SW Alaska) promptly at 6 pm. Feet First Director Lisa Quinn tells us that the first ten people who show up tonight will receive a free Feet First umbrella!

West Seattle door-to-door alert: Magazine seller ‘heads up’

Stacey shared this alert tonight. A reminder as always – might be legitimate, might not; always ask for a license:

FYI – 52nd and Stevens area. West Seattle neighbors – just a heads up. There is a guy going door to door “selling magazines” on our block. He was a bit too smooth….with the car prowls and burglary on Garlough – it was a concern.

City rules for door-to-door solicitors are listed here; the WSB archive of door-to-door alerts is here.

Seattle Times reports deal likely between district, teachers

With a little more than a week to go till Seattle Public Schools classes begin, our partners at the Seattle Times report tonight that the district and its teachers union believe they’ve reached a tentative contract agreement. By most accounts, these had not been easy negotiations, so that’s bigger news than it might have been some years. The Seattle Education Association already had a membership meeting scheduled for Thursday, so if a deal has indeed been reached, that’s when teachers will vote. More details are expected tomorrow, according to the Times report.

New Dick’s Drive-In in West Seattle? (Or …)

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli)
West Seattle has some great burgers, both sitdown and takeout – we are sure you’ve got your fave – but you have to admit, the peninsula is a little short on fast-food burger options. So a big announcement today by the fabled Seattle burger chain Dick’s has some West Seattleites abuzz as well as folks elsewhere around Puget Sound: Dick’s just announced it’s going to build a new location for the first time in decades. You can vote for the “South” option – including West Seattle – in the official webpoll

West Seattle biz closures, both permanent & temporary

TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Redline owner Scott Goerig, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, e-mailed to clarify today that while the “Goodbye Redline” party IS on for Sept. 10-11, he has NOT set an actual closing date yet.

ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: We found out today that Redline Music & Sports Bar will be closing permanently after next week. As per a message on their Facebook page, they’ll be having a “Goodbye Redline Weekend” party on Friday and Saturday, September 10th-11th.

Here’s an excerpt from Facebook:

Hi friends~ many of you have supported me for the past 3 years and through MANY awards and MEMORIES it’s finally time to move on! (tear)
Thank you so much, especially those of you who sipped tea with me late into the night while moppin up…


Come say goodbye to Redline all weekend long from sun-up to sundown! I know we can’t fit everyone in one day, hence if Friday doesn’t work just cruise on in Saturday instead!


A development proposal for the site including Redline surfaced last year – here’s our coverage of the Design Review meeting held for the proposal last November – there’s no indication the permit process has progressed further, though.

Also, just received word from Gretchen at Square One Books (WSB sponsor) about their temporary closure beginning next week: 

Square One Books will be closed for 1 week, from September 1st-September 7th for inventory and an update of our computer systems. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update on body found Saturday near 35th and Barton

We know a little more today about the the death of the man found late Saturday night (previous coverage here). Det. Mark Jamieson in the SPD media unit told us this morning that the death did not appear to be related to criminal activity and as such was not being investigated by police as a homicide. The Medical Examiner’s office was able to confirm that an autopsy of the 32 year-old victim was happening today. But by late this afternoon they could say only that the “cause and manner of death is still pending.”

For the birds: Various sightings in West Seattle

The photo above is courtesy of WSB reader Dan, who spotted this seemingly rare bird in West Seattle yesterday in Endolyne (south of Fauntleroy, on Marine View Drive overlooking Puget Sound).

From Dan:

Saw a very unusual bird at our bird feeder yesterday. Got a picture of it and sent it to a lady the local Audubon said was an expert. She identified it as definitely not local in nature and probably someone’s pet that got out. Below is her e-mail answer (quite a coincidence that she happens to be in Aftrica now but reads her local e-mail daily).


Hi Dan,

Thanks for writing and sending the pictures. You’re right that that’s no goldfinch. It’s definitely not even a Pacific Northwest bird. In fact, since I am in Africa right now, I recognize it as a male Yellow-crowned Bishop. They are sometimes kept in captivity, so perhaps one has escaped. They are not migratory and it is highly unlikely one got from subsaharan Africa to the Seattle area on its own!

Hope this helps,


Also spotted in West Seattle: WSB’er Timothy says he “met these two lovelies on a walk along Lincoln Park beach this morning,” and he wondered if there was a “domesticated goose escape” of some kind?

SEPTEMBER 1 UPDATE: Many thanks to those readers who reminded us that these particular geese are “well-known residents” of that area. As noted by WSB’er Carolyn:

They are indeed domestic geese, however, they were born (May ’09) down by the ferry terminal, and have lived in the ‘wild’ all their lives. They are well cared for by the folks in the neighborhood. They are used to people and to being fed.

Mom (Goose) disappeared this year in April, after about a 16 year residence in the area.

Finally, just a reminder that our Pets section is bustling hub of activity for lost/found animals around the neighborhood. This past weekend, the handsome parrot Miya (photo below) found his way back home:

First day of school for WS Elementary principal Vicki Sacco

August 30, 2010 2:38 pm
|    Comments Off on First day of school for WS Elementary principal Vicki Sacco
 |   High Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

That’s new principal Vicki Sacco greeting parents and students this morning at West Seattle Elementary in High Point. Students were decked out in new school clothes as they lined up to gather their school supplies before sitting down for a barbecue lunch prepared for them by the smiling cafeteria staff.

Orientation continued afterward with a school walk-through. Students will return for the actual start of classes at 8:15 am tomorrow.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stabbing suspect found ‘competent’

We’re checking on several West Seattle cases with court hearings today. First one happened this morning, involving Marcus Allen Combs, the man charged with stabbing a woman in what investigators called a random attack in High Point on April 23rd. After he was charged, as reported here in May, he was sent to Western State Hospital for a three-month evaluation to see if he was competent to stand trial, and a hearing was set for today to make the determination. King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe tells WSB today’s hearing resulted in a ruling that Combs IS competent to stand trial, so Combs will be back in court Sept. 27 for “case-setting,” – the hearing that determines what happens next in the case and when.

Mystery helicopters over Gatewood

Thanks to the tipsters who phoned in sightings of two unmarked helicopters in the Gatewood area in the last 30 minutes. We’re told they were not news helicopters and we have no word of police activity in that area. At the moment they have flown off as quickly as they appeared. We’ll post an update if we’re able to find out what it was related to. But it is likely unrelated to any kind of law enforcement or rescue activity.

South Park Bridge update: Leaves stay, for today

August 30, 2010 1:25 pm
|    Comments Off on South Park Bridge update: Leaves stay, for today
 |   South Park | Transportation

(Photographed Saturday, August 28th by Christopher Boffoli)

We had reported last week that some of the leaves of the now-closed South Park Bridge might be removed this week, as the process of taking apart the bridge begins.

We asked Linda Thielke, spokesperson for the King County Department of Transportation, if that might be happening today, and the answer is “no.”

From Thielke:

They are still doing prep work. Looks like the earliest it could be dismantled is mid-afternoon on Tuesday, but that is still a bit tentative.

1:42 PM UPDATE: Another update from Thielke, with the caveat that this plan could certainly change by tomorrow:

Looks like the barge with the crane will move in tomorrow morning. Then, there’s the work to hook the crane with the leaf. So, the lift is looking more like happening late afternoon Tuesday.

Sights in West Seattle: Bus lines, quiet libraries

(Photos by Jason Grotelueschen)

With classes back in session for many West Seattle schools, you’re likely to see a school bus or two in your neighborhood very soon. The bus row in the photo above was spotted at Alki Elementary this morning, where the Alki and Lafayette bus drivers were meeting to discuss the official start of Seattle Public Schools’ schedule (September 8th).

Also, you’ll see signs at your local Seattle Public Library branch similar to the one below at High Point. While the libraries are typically nice and quiet, they will be completely quiet this week as the systemwide SPL closure begins today, as we’ve noted previously.

3:24 PM UPDATE: Added the correct start date for most SPS schools (Sept. 8th)

West Seattle Monday: Back-to-school day for some!

August 30, 2010 6:30 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Monday: Back-to-school day for some!
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS miscellaneous

Topping our look ahead at what’s up in West Seattle today/tonight: It’s the first day of school for hundreds of West Seattle students – classes begin at Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Holy Family … If you’ve got a K-8 student who’s NOT going back till next week, you’re invited to “end the summer with a blast” with Sonics legend Slick Watts at West Seattle High School, today through Thursday – Hoop Camp registration info’s online at … One more reminder that the week-plus systemwide Seattle Public Library closure starts today … And for those involved in the community work to help King County decide how to reduce combined-sewer overflows in Puget Sound, with the least amount of community impact, the next meeting of the Murray Basin Citizens Advisory Group is scheduled for tonight (full details here) … You’ll find even more for today/tonight if you check the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.

Better walking in West Seattle? Feet First is working on it

(left to right: Max Hepp-Buchanan, Chas Redmond, Paul Sorey and Lisa Quinn)

We checked-in with the folks from Feet First on Saturday morning, just before they headed out for their Rolling Community Meeting. The meet-up was designed as a tour of possible sites for a new set of eleven pedestrian wayfinding kiosks that are to be installed in West Seattle this fall. It was also the culmination of a series of community meetings that have taken place over the past year, through which the group has gathered input on where to put the kiosks and what should be displayed at each location.

Leading the tour was Feet First Director Lisa Quinn, Program Coordinator Max Hepp-Buchanan, and Chas Redmond, Southwest District Council Co-Chair and a tireless advocate for walkability in West Seattle.

Part of the day’s agenda was to look carefully at proposed kiosk locations, taking into consideration the most practical siting as they would relate to walking routes, pedestrian traffic, transit stops, sites of interest, etc. Redmond said, “We want to orient the kiosks to take into account pedestrian traffic flow, being clear of line-of-sight for vehicles turning corners, and also getting clearances from adjacent property owners. But above all it is a matter of what makes logical sense for pedestrians who are approaching an intersection looking for something.”

Also present was local artist Paul Sorey who has not only designed the new stainless steel kiosk frames but will also be fabricating them in his West Seattle shop. Sorey has designed public art sculptures that appear throughout Washington and in California, including his 2001 work Salmon Waves, permanently installed at the Chittenden Locks in Ballard.

He also designed and developed, along with the Pomegranate Center, similar kiosks that are installed along the Longfellow Creek Gateway. Sorey said that the new kiosks were meant to echo the design language of the existing installations. The first example of the 2010 kiosks has been installed on the west side of Delridge, near the intersection of SW Brandon:

Though the kiosk frames share a common design, the group has sought input on customization throughout the various locations. Information and artwork may vary throughout the locations. A newly updated, full-color West Seattle Trails map will be featured prominently on each kiosk. Redmond says that “Awesome, much more legible” paper maps, like the widely-available 2008 version (pictured below), will be made available too.

The project is funded through a $99,000 grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The group hopes to complete the installation of the kiosks by October of this year.

A PDF document with information on the proposed kiosk locations, as well as photographs of the sites under consideration, may be downloaded here

For more information, to ask questions or to contribute feedback on the kiosks, contact Max Hepp-Buchanan, Program Coordinator at or 206-652-2310

Feet First is also hosting a Walk & Talk in the Triangle with Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmusssen on Tuesday, August 31st from 6 to 8pm. The roughly 1.5 mile walk should take about 90 minutes and will be followed by an evening deck reception, overlooking Puget Sound, at a sustainable urban farm in West Seattle. Tickets are $10 for Feet First members, $15 for non-members.

The meeting point is Rotary Viewpoint Park at 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska. RSVP information is available here. Or you can direct e-mail and telephone inquiries to: Ayaka Haga at or 206.652.2310