day : 31/12/2010 11 results

Video: West Seattle’s one-and-only New Year’s Eve parade

“We’re gonna let the neighbors know it’s New Year’s Eve!” With that promise from Highland Park Action Committee chair Dan Mullins, this year’s Not-So-Silent-Night Parade strolled across SW Holden and onto a winding mile-long loop route. Not quite the same route as the first-ever version last year – not the same weather as last year, either; it was rainy then, but this time, clear and cold, with ice patches like this one in the street (luckily everybody kept to the sidewalks):

Neighbors along the way called out “Happy New Year!” to greet the parade:

And at the end, like 2009 – after Mullins exhorted everyone to “give yourselves a hand!” – a brief fire ceremony offered a chance to tell the old year goodbye:

What burned? Neighborhood greenery, predominantly rosemary like last year, “maybe some thyme,” we heard somebody say. And then, the 60-plus participants were invited inside for cookies, cider, and a jovial 4-plus-hour start on 2011.

Mourning Matt Durham – West Seattle photojournalist, firefighter, dad

If you knew Matt Durham at all – even a bit – he seemed like the last guy who could be felled by a terminal illness. Strong, active, positive outlook …

But cancer plays no favorites.

The West Seattle photojournalist (whose work in the past few years included WSB contributions), whose main job was as a Woodinville firefighter, is dead of melanoma, at just 45 years old.

Matt died yesterday. While his wife Elaine Durham announced it on their Facebook pages last night, they are not public, and we wanted to wait until she gave her approval, which she did late today, to share the news. She and their sons, 9 and 11, had just spent Christmas Eve/Day with Matt at Swedish Medical Center. If you were among their Facebook friends, you have probably followed along with their brave story for the past few months, since Matt himself announced the diagnosis on his page in September.

As it was a private matter, we hadn’t written about it before, but earlier this week, with Elaine’s permission, we had a story in the works regarding a benefit planned by Matt’s fellow firefighters in the Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District (which gave us permission to use their photo of Matt) on January 13th, after this Woodinville Weekly article appeared, and after a flyer about it started circulating in West Seattle.

We never got to publish that story before Matt lost his fight against the metastatized melanoma discovered less than four months ago. He will be missed by many throughout West Seattle, Woodinville, and beyond. You can see some of his photos on his photography site at Once we have word on memorial-service plans, we will publish an update.

ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: The Woodinville department says it is classifying Matt’s death as line-of-duty; that drew regional media attention, including this KING 5 report late Friday night.

‘Lunging’ dog shot by police officer in Fauntleroy

Tonight we have details from police about an incident in Fauntleroy this morning (thanks to the two WSB’ers who e-mailed us to ask about it): Police were called about trouble involving two dogs, and shot one of them, according to Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith. He says officers were called to the 9600 block of 48th SW (map) just before 7:30 this morning. The caller said two “aggressive pit bull dogs not known to (the) complainant” were on the porch. According to Lt. Smith, here’s what happened when officers arrived:

The dogs quickly approached a responding officer who was standing on the street. The officer backed away and attempted to place a garbage can as a barrier between him and the dogs, but one of the dogs lunged at him. The officer discharged his duty handgun, striking the dog in the face/head area. The dog fell back, rolled on the ground, then both dogs fled northbound on 48th Av SW. Officers were unable to locate either dog.

West Seattle New Year’s Eve: It’s already 2011 at The Mount

(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
On New Year’s Eve, every new hour brings the new year somewhere in the world. At Providence Mount St. Vincent this afternoon, residents, staffers, and volunteers were probably the first in West Seattle to ring in 2011; they did it on Parisian time – 3 pm Seattle time. The party included a prize wheel, and the winners included resident Melly (top photo). Another big feature – karaoke, with volunteer Mike Fox belting out a lively version of the French song “Louise“:

Other popular numbers included “Dust in the Wind” and “Hallelujah“:

Looking back at West Seattle’s 2010, #2: The offbeat stories

While continuing to put together the WSB take on 2010’s top 10 stories (coming up later), we came across three that seemed to deserve a retrospective all their own – the three offbeat stories covered here in 2010. Read More

In case you’re wondering: 35th/Avalon-area fire call

December 31, 2010 2:50 pm
|    Comments Off on In case you’re wondering: 35th/Avalon-area fire call
 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

It went out as “fire in building,” which means a big response for starters; then arriving crews determined it was a “food on stove” fire, and most units were canceled. However, one building resident tells us via Facebook that the sprinklers activated by the fire have caused some water woes, which means the trucks will be there for a while.

Admiral Theater: Double feature for New Year’s Eve, high hopes for the New Year

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This autumn’s been a tough one for operators of historic local theaters, and their fans.

In Seattle alone, two shutdowns were announced last month – first the Uptown on Queen Anne, then the Neptune in the U-District.

That made us wonder how West Seattle’s historic Admiral Theater is doing, two and a half years after its last management change. So we arranged a chat with the woman who runs it, Dinah Brein. She was on duty last night, helping run the night’s films, and getting ready for a special New Year’s Eve-themed holiday double bill tonight: “Holiday” at 7, “When Harry Met Sally” at 9.

Just as we headed her way, Dinah sent a link to another theater-closure story that had just appeared online, this time the Orchard Theater in Port Orchard. And with a close-to-home twist – it’s part of the Far Away Entertainment theater group run by her brother Jeff Brein, which also includes The Admiral.

No, they’re NOT throwing in the towel here too. But some of what was on that theater’s wish list remains on The Admiral’s wish list too.

Read More

West Seattle New Year’s Eve scenes: Cold beauty

December 31, 2010 12:39 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

Two images to remember this chilly last day of 2010 by … Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters was out early this morning as always, checking the beaches, and caught the top image of paddleboarders, with the Olympic Mountains’ famous peaks The Brothers as a backdrop. Robin says it was so cold her fingers almost fell off! Next, Max shares a unique view, explaining, “We woke up to this delightful window decoration.”

The noon temperature at Sea-Tac and Boeing Field, by the way, was 32 degrees – up from the early 20s in both locations at 6 this morning.

Looking back at West Seattle’s 2010, #1: Christopher’s photos

Over the course of today/tonight, we’re looking back at West Seattle’s 2010 in a few ways. Here’s the first. Christopher Boffoli photographed dozens of notable stories for WSB again this year; he went through his archives via Flickr and created this montage of memorable scenes. It’s not in order of importance – you’ll see a number of breaking-news scenes since Christopher is often first to arrive, but also wildlife, parade participants, sights at sea and in the sky … a great visual retrospective. Just click the “play” button and the images will automatically advance as you watch. Coming up later, our “top stories of the year” list, as well as year-end thanks. (But we’ll be here as usual covering today’s news all day, too!)

16th/Holden update: JoJo’s closed, Zippy’s exploring options

A few more updates this morning from the in-foreclosure commercial building at 16th/Holden: One day after confirming she would close once her current inventory ran out, which she thought might be early next week, JoJo’s Fine Espresso owner Jodi Robbins has closed the stand. This morning, reader Erik had sent a photo of a “pay rent or vacate” note he saw on the stand this morning; WSB contributor Deanie Schwarz says it’s gone now. Robbins confirmed the back-rent notice in a note to us and also just added a comment to our story from yesterday, noting the closure, saying she’s “being forced to shut the doors,” and concluding with well-wishes for Zippy’s Giant Burgers – now the last business open at what until one week ago was a three-business spot.

Deanie, meantime, has spoken again with Zippy’s owners, who say they are continuing to explore the possibility of financing to purchase the site. Yesterday, Deanie reports, reps from UniBank* including an assistant vice president, Alex Ko, were at the now-shuttered SeaMart – whose owners had also owned the building pre-foreclosure – and they put up this note on the store’s door:

The bank told Deanie they’ve already had bidders and that the building was appraised for $825,000 this fall.

*FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE: We have corrected the name of the bank in the story – it’s UniBank, not Union.

More West Seattle New Year’s Eve notes: Government services

December 31, 2010 8:28 am
|    Comments Off on More West Seattle New Year’s Eve notes: Government services
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

Most government offices are closed today; city libraries close at 6 pm. Metro remains on a “reduced weekday” schedule. Trash (etc.) pickup is on a regular schedule today, but not tomorrow. Mail is delivered today but not tomorrow. Banks are open today but not tomorrow.