day : 05/01/2011 12 results

West Seattle holiday postscript: Lights donation total; pics request

(WSB video from the light show’s opening night on November 27th)
The traditional 12 Days of Christmas are almost over. And here’s one last bit of holiday news. Jim Winder from the Helmstetler Family Spectacular light show by the Charlestown water tower – – has sent an update on this year’s fundraising, and a request before the holidays get too far in your rear-view mirror. First, the update:

The fantastic people of our West Seattle Community (and beyond) gave the following:

West Seattle Food Bank: $431.00 and 1066 lbs of Food
Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation – $381.00
Pushing Boundaries – $391.00
Brian Teachout – $500.00

And now, Jim’s request – he’s looking for video and photos you might be able to share, as part of something he’s putting together for next year:

I would like to gather up two things:

1) Pictures/videos of dads playing Santa Claus … of course the funnier the better!!

2) Pictures/videos of kids getting their pictures taken sitting on Santa’s lap…would even love some black and white pics from yesteryear…

They can send them to me at

And Jim promises he’ll have video from this year’s spectacular show up soon. Things just got busy.

Video: Blue Angels’ wintertime Seattle visit to prep for Seafair

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have one jet and two pilots here tonight, as part of Seafair‘s two-day winter meetings, looking ahead to summertime. For WSB, photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux covered the pilots’ arrival today, as well as their media briefing immediately afterward, as you’ll see in his video above. Blue Angels jet #7 is at Clay Lacy Aviation tonight and expected to leave noontime tomorrow. This year’s Seafair air show, featuring the Blue Angels, is exactly seven months away – August 5-7.

Assignment-plan transition back before School Board tonight

The draft transition plan for the second year of Seattle Public Schools‘ new Student Assignment Plan comes before the School Board tonight. (If you’re not attending, you can watch it live right now on cable channel 26.) Reviewing the draft plan today, we noticed it does not include a possible change previously discussed to address West Seattle’s challenges – possible “dual feeder” schools to balance out the two major public high schools’ populations. We checked with West Seattle’s school board rep Steve Sundquist, who confirmed that’s not currently under consideration. We asked him about his view of key points of interest for West Seattle families – read on:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Alki shooting suspect in court

gavel.jpgWe’re at the King County Courthouse, where 59-year-old Thomas Qualls – the Alki resident accused of firing an assault rifle September 3rd at police who subsequently shot him (original WSB coverage here) – made a brief appearance this afternoon. It was meant to be an update on whether he would enter a plea or proceed to trial. He pleaded not guilty September 22nd to three counts of second-degree assault, with firearms enhancement. Lawyers told the judge today that they are still awaiting key reports, so a decision on what’s next is now pushed back a few more weeks. When last we saw Qualls in the same courtroom three months ago (WSB coverage here), he was in a wheelchair, as he recovered from a gunshot wound to the abdomen; today, Qualls was standing, with the assistance of a walker. He’s been in jail since leaving the hospital five days after the incident, held in lieu of $1 million bail. The proceedings today included a mention of “negotiations,” so it appears a plea bargain is still a possibility.

West Seattle Family YMCA gets new signs, with a new look

In The Triangle, the West Seattle Family YMCA (longtime WSB sponsor) has just put up new signage, with a new look for the first time in more than 40 years. The Y’s Josh Sutton tells WSB it’s about more than just a logo – and other upgrades are in the works:

Over the past few years, Ys across the country, led by YMCA of the USA, found that people love the Y, but couldn’t really name what we do beyond swim, gym & camp. So it’s time to refresh and make sure we communicate better how the Y strengthens the foundations of community.

Our look has changed a couple of times since we came to both the West Seattle Junction and the Fauntleroy communities in the early 1920s. The last time we revamped the Y look was the late 1960s. The new logo comes in five colors and focuses on what most people already call us – the Y.

More important to us than the new look and colors, we want to better communicate the impact of our Y – For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility.

When our full-time Y directors at Sealth & West Seattle High Schools help 9th graders to make a successful transition to high school, our Y is For Youth Development.

When cancer survivors get together to exercise and support each other at the Fauntleroy Y, we are For Healthy Living.

When more than 975 Y volunteers give more than 21,000 hours and 2,400 donors chip in to help West Seattle kids in need, we are For Social Responsibility.

We appreciate the enormous support and involvement our Y has in the West Seattle community, and hope that you like the new look! By the end of the month, we’ll have launched a new website that is more easily navigable and brings the new look and message online. Our staff and volunteers are thrilled to share these changes with you, and we look forward to seeing those new Y shirts around the neighborhood!

West Seattle scenes: Hovercraft at Alki today (and Tuesday’s sub)

Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo of a hovercraft-type vessel that showed up on Alki this afternoon. (Thanks also to Cami for sharing a photo via Facebook.) Not sure yet what it was up to but we’re working to find out! UPDATE: Just a few minutes after we published this, we got a note from Jeff, who says the hovercraft’s skipper was stopping for lunch but didn’t know powered craft were not allowed to come ashore; apparently the arrival sparked several 911 calls, but, Jeff says, the hovercraft’s operator “talked with SPD and was allowed to depart without further actions.” ADDED 5:31 PM: Jeff also shot and published this video – including the hovercraft rising up and heading back out onto the water:

(back to original story) Meantime, a photo from Tuesday – submarine spotted passing West Seattle shores:

Bob Anderson got the photo from his North Admiral backyard; he says the sub was heading northwest.

More ‘contact voltage’: 5 West Seattle/White Center locations

(Photo by Deanie Schwarz, added 5:04 pm – the 1721 SW Roxbury pole)
Seattle City Light has published another update today about its ongoing systemwide streetlight inspections in the wake of “contact voltage” that killed a Queen Anne dog and spooked one in High Point. On Monday, three more West Seattle discoveries were listed; today, SCL announced five more spots were found in our area. From their online update:

Locations where the latest contact voltage was discovered were:

* 1721 SW Roxbury Street [map], 111 volts, a faulty ballast assembly was replaced …
* SW Avalon Way and 35th Avenue SW [map], 104 volts, bad wiring was repaired
* SW Holly Street and 31st Avenue SW [map], 107 volts, a faulty lamp head was replaced
* 4115 SW Arroyo Drive [map], 84 volts, a faulty ballast assembly was replaced
* SW Arroyo Drive and 39th Avenue SW [map], 98 volts, power was disconnected, repairs pending

City Light’s update also says that West Seattle testing has been completed. Their contractors have made it to 37 percent of the city’s streetlights so far.

Special Olympics Polar Plunge returning to Alki on January 29

(WSB video from 1/24/2010 Polar Plunge @ Alki)
Miss last Saturday’s Polar Bear Swim at Alki? Or, liked it so much you’re looking for another excuse to rush into the chilly water of Elliott Bay sometime soon? Good news today – on Saturday, January 29th, Special Olympics of Washington is bringing its Polar Plunge to Alki Beach for the second consecutive year. Last year, more than 350 joined in – triple the participation of the previous non-West Seattle location. WSB is proud to co-sponsor the law-enforcement-organized fundraising event again this year. Here’s where to find information about participating!

ADDED 1:35 PM: You might recall that Chief Sealth International High School‘s group won the “Spirit Award” at last year’s Polar Plunge (photos in our 2nd report from last year). They’re planning to participate this year, and hoping to almost (at least) triple that number. They hope to collectively raise at least $5,000 – you can make a pledge/donation by going here (or if you want to be part of their group, they’re taking signups here).

Repaired West Seattle Water Taxi vessel starts sea trials

(9/26/2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
More than three months after it crashed into the downtown seawall at Washington Street, the King County Water Taxi vessel Rachel Marie is close to returning to service. This morning, King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok confirms that the Rachel Marie begins its post-repairs sea trials today. (Thanks to Eileen for the tip.) The Argosy Cruises boat that used to handle the West Seattle-to-downtown run, the Sightseer, has filled in for most of the runs since the crash, which sent seven people to the hospital last September 26. Ogershok says they should know in a few days when the Rachel Marie will be officially back in service; meantime, a U.S. Coast Guard District 13 spokesperson says the investigation is still “ongoing.”

ADDED 1:26 PM: USCG Lt. Jon Lane provided a little more information about the investigation’s status: He says there will be a formal announcement for the media later this week, saying that Coast Guard investigators have “determined the causal factors” but won’t be able to go public with them “until the investigative report is finalized at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound and then reviewed and approved by Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C.” Lt. Lane says that’s likely to take at least two more months.

West Seattle Wednesday: SW District Council, and a Blue Angel

[View from Alki Beach]

(Taken from Alki by SapphiraFey, shared via the WSB Flickr group pool)
West Seattle’s first major community-group meeting of the year is tonight – Southwest District Council, 7 pm, South Seattle Community College board room. Two major topics: First, an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct project (just as the tunnel contract is about to be signed); second, the Department of Neighborhoods changes that will directly affect the council’s operations – as first reported here Monday, DON director Stella Chao will be at the meeting to explain. … If you hear a hint of a familiar summertime sound in the sky this afternoon, no, you’re not hearing things – as noted on Tuesday, Blue Angels jet #7 is coming to Seattle for Seafair winter meetings today and tomorrow, and expected to fly into Boeing Field (which might mean a West Seattle sighting) early this afternoon … Check the WSB West Seattle Events page for tonight’s entertainment highlights; have a great day!

Won’t you be … a donor? Mister Rogers Sweater Drive @ PCC

(YouTube clip with the opening sequence from a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episode)
In honor of the TV legend who always started his show by trading a suit jacket for a comfy sweater, the Mister Rogers Sweater Drive is about to begin at all nine PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) stores, including West Seattle (2749 California SW). Starting next Monday, you’ll be able to donate sweaters at PCC to benefit Wellspring Family Services and Northwest Center. They need kids’ sweaters the most – new or “gently used” – but will accept adult-size sweaters too. The drive, a legacy of Mister Rogers himself (who started it six years before his 2003 death), continues through February 13th and is co-sponsored by KCTS 9; PCC’s full announcement is here.

West Seattle Little League in-person registration days away

(Panorama of Bar-S fields; photo courtesy West Seattle Little League)
Now that the New Year has arrived, spring and baseball don’t seem as far away as they did just days before the old year ended. One reminder comes from West Seattle Little League, which is days away from its first of two in-person registration events. Players can register January 11th and 18th, both at West Seattle High School‘s library (3000 California SW), both 6-8:30 pm, says WSLL president Mark Terao, who shared details of what you need to bring, as well as other important league-related information – read on:Read More