day : 07/03/2011 10 results

West Seattle scene: Great blue heron’s warning to cormorant

Yet another memorable image arrived in the inbox to share with you. Robin Lindsey‘s backstory for this: “Two hours of patience finally paid off this morning – the sun momentarily broke through the clouds just as this heron reacted to an incoming cormorant.” Robin is known well as first responder for Seal Sitters (see more of her work on their Blubberblog site) but says all’s been quiet on the seal front lately – the birds, however, are another story!

2 scam alerts: One by phone, one online ‘rental ad’

Two warnings from the WSB inbox tonight: First, an odd telephone call that turns out to be a scam attempt that’s been going around a while; second, a Craigslist post for a West Seattle rental that yielded a bizarre reply. Read on for details on both:Read More

West Seattle winter’s end: Swap event planned for March 26-27

March 7, 2011 6:19 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle winter’s end: Swap event planned for March 26-27
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

(WSB photo from October 2010 Halloween Ski [etc.] Swap)
Another winter-gear-swap event is in the works, organized by the folks at Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle. Dropping by the store today, we heard from M2SO staff about the plans for a followup to the first-ever Halloween Ski Swap last year: The swap event will be at the VFW Hall (3601 SW Alaska, across the street from M2SO), Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27 – with dropoff on Friday the 25th, 4-7 pm; the swap 10 am-6 pm on Saturday and 11 am-5 pm on Sunday (retrieve the leftovers 4-6 pm). M2SO tells us 20 percent of the proceeds will benefit nonprofits. Details are being finalized, so more info is yet to come, but go ahead and mark your calendar if you’ve got gear to swap! P.S. M2SO’s winter-clearance sale is in its final week – including 50% discounts.

Always Best Care Senior Services of Seattle: New WSB sponsor

Today, we welcome one of our newest WSB sponsors, Always Best Care Senior Services of Seattle, specializing in non-medical in-home care and senior living referrals, and owned and operated by Brian and Maureen Englund. New sponsors are offered the chance to let you know more about their business: With more than 30 years of experience in senior living, care and services, the Englunds have a sincere concern for enhancing the quality of life that goes beyond doing what is required and doing more for those entrusted to their care.

Always Best Care Seattle is licensed to provide non-medical in-home care needed for seniors and adults of any age to continue living safely and comfortably at home. Care providers are directly employed, licensed, insured and bonded, and receive comprehensive orientation and ongoing training. Home care services are available 1 to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays. With Always Best Care, seniors and their families have the important and empowering option of remaining at home with in-home care or receiving assistance with the selection and move to a senior living community. You will receive guidance in making a well informed and sound decision. Either way, you will receive exceptional service and peace of mind.

Always Best Care is also pleased to offer their services as certified leaders of the American Red Cross Family Caregiving program as a complimentary public service. The program consists of eight one-hour classes, and each is a self-contained module allowing you to attend any or all of the classes. The program has just begun at the Senior Center of West Seattle, every Wednesday, continuing this week (March 9). The next seven classes are:

General Caregiving Skills – March 9
Positioning and Helping Your Loved One Move – March 16
Assisting with Personal Care – March 23
Healthy Eating – March 30
Caring for the Caregiver – April 6
Legal and Financial Issues – April 13
Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease – April 20

To register online, go to

We thank Always Best Care Senior Services of Seattle for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news on WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

West Seattle sinkhole followup: Almost 3 stories underground!

Craig Young has been keeping an eye on the emergency sewer-main repair at Fairmount/Forest in the Admiral District – which started with a once-small sinkhole – and sent us a new photo this morning: Repair workers almost 30 feet under the street! So we called Seattle Public Utilities to get more details about this “big dig” – and a conversation with Frank McDonald revealed a lot about what goes on underground, here and elsewhere:

McDonald says the collapsed main that’s being replaced is a century-old, one-foot-wide clay “sanitary sewer” pipe. He says clay is actually a “resilient” material for pipes like this, so the age and material aren’t necessarily the cause of failure. Though the pipe is almost 30 feet – which means a contractor is doing the repairs, as SPU workers stop at about 18 feet – McDonald says it was only five feet under when it was installed in 1910, and most pipes are only about 10 feet down. This street has been graded and straightened over the years, and so the pipes just kept going further down.

We say “pipes” because McDonald says there’s another one under there that may have something to do with this one’s failure – an 18-inch-wide storm-drain pipe installed in 1974, when the “combined” sewer system was split in this area as part of the Forward Thrust program. That pipe crosses over the sewer main in a few spots, he says, and the interplay between the pipes and groundwater may have led to the settlement that revealed the growing problem underground. It was confirmed with use of a special camera, McDonald explains, equipment that’s carried by five SPU trucks. They don’t just respond to problems – they also use data analysis to figure out what types and ages of pipes around the city might be most at risk of trouble, so they are out proactively checking on pipelines too. (With 43,000 pipelines around the city, McDonald notes dryly, they have to prioritize.)

In this case, he says, after they dug down to the “original problem,” the crews started checking further down the line – literally – and “are finding some other potential problem areas,” so they’re going to keep going until they get to a section that seems to be OK. He still expects the work will be done by the end of this week – unless they find some major additional problem.

The digging has included the removal of the intersection’s traffic circle – here’s our photo from February 18th, before the repair work began:

McDonald says it’ll be up to SDOT to come in and replace the road surface, as well as features like the traffic circle. (And then, he points out, SPU will get an interdepartmental bill.)

Roll the dice and show your hand for animal advocates at ‘Catsino’

March 7, 2011 2:36 pm
|    Comments Off on Roll the dice and show your hand for animal advocates at ‘Catsino’
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | Pets | West Seattle news

This year’s version of “Catsino” – a growing-every-year benefit for local animal advocates – has just been announced for 2-6 pm April 3rd at Beveridge Place Pub in Morgan Junction. As you’ll note on the official poster above, BPP is one of four places where you can buy advance tickets – and there’s a discount if you buy yours by March 31st. Here’s more info in the official news release:

What do Hotwire Hot Mess Roulette, Pig Craps, BlackCat 21 and K9 Blackjack all have in common? “These are just a few of the twelve crazy Las Vegas style games we’ll be playing at Catsino,” says Lora Swift of Furry Faces Foundation, “Local businesses and animal rescue groups are adopting” the gaming tables, dealing out the cards and rolling the dice. Rumor has it that some of the tables will be shelling out extra prizes!

Tickets are just $25 at the door or save $5.00 by purchasing your ticket early at one of our four ticket outlets by March 31st. Each Catsino guest will receive $1,000 in Catsino bucks, three raffle tickets, one free drink ticket, gaming instructions, hors d’oeuvres and a chance to win over 30+ raffle prizes. ‘Use your ‘Vaccination Record Passport’ as a guide to visit and play at each table,’ says F-Cuber Teri Ensley, ‘every time you play for at least five minutes at a table you have not visited before, you will receive a stamp. Play at six different tables, you’ll win an extra Grand Raffle ticket; play at nine different tables—another Grand Raffle Ticket; play at all twelve and earn your third grand raffle ticket!

‘This is a chance for our community to meet our local business owners in a fun, personal setting and learn more about animal rescue groups’, says Tammy Lyle, Furry Faces VP, ‘and, if you like what you hear and see, perhaps deal a few dollars into their donation bucket or sign up to volunteer with them! We know that A.A.R.F., Purrfect Pals, Regional Animal Services of King County and Furry Faces Foundation folks are looking forward to meeting all of you!’

For more information, please visit

Pre-Sale Ticket Outlets-Save $5 By Purchasing Your Ticket Early!
Beveridge Place Pubm: 6413 California Ave SW, 932-9906 (Morgan Junction)
Hotwire Coffeehouse: 4410 California Ave SW, 935-1510 (Alaska Junction)
Muttley Crew Cuts: 4200 Southwest Admiral Way, 932-6888 (Admiral District)
Pet Elements: 6701 California Ave SW, 206-932-0457 (Morgan Junction)

Volunteers needed! Your chance to give the low-tide lowdown

(January 2011 photo shared by Lisa)
Just about everyone loves walking our beautiful beaches at low tide. Are you ready to help beach visitors learn more about what they’re seeing – as well as how to make sure they don’t cause unintended harm? The Seattle Aquarium‘s volunteer Beach Naturalist program – which stations volunteers on area beaches (including two in West Seattle) during summertime low tides – is looking for help. Here’s the official announcement just out of the WSB inbox:

Care about beaches? Good with people? Sign up to be a volunteer beach naturalist at a Seattle-area beach this summer. Naturalists will attend a program orientation on Tuesday April 12, and receive training from marine and interpretative experts on four weekday evenings (April 19, May 3, 10 and 17) and three weekend days (April 23, May 7 and 21). Once trained, volunteers spend three summer days educating visitors about beach ecology and beach etiquette at Carkeek Park, Constellation Park (South Alki), Des Moines Beach Park, Golden Gardens, Lincoln Park, Olympic Sculpture Park Beach, Redondo Beach, Richmond Beach or Seahurst Park. To sign up or get more information, please email or call (206) 386.4365.

West Seattle Elementary essay winner: ‘I never gave up’

(Photos and video by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
As West Seattle Elementary School fifth-grader Allamagan Anod returns to school today, he has an extra reason to be proud.

He wrote an essay that won a school contest!

West Seattle Elementary, you might recall, is in the first year of an intensive improvement plan. One year after landing on a list no school wants to be on, the school is “soaring,” as new principal Vicki Sacco recently told WSB. That’s not the result of her work alone – her staff is generating innovative ideas as well as emphasizing stepped-up academics.

This is where WSES school counselor Laura Bermes comes in. She suggested an essay contest to help inspire better attendance – fewer absences, fewer tardies. After all, the more you are at school, the more you will get out of school.

The theme: Attendance Matters. It’s not just an emphasis for high schools, as they work intensely to keep students from dropping out. It’s a value that elementary schools work to instill as well.

Laura asked if WSB would be interested in publishing the winning essay. (Of course!) So the essay’s appearance here is part of the prize package, along with a pizza party for the winner’s whole family. The winner (and two runners-up) received certificates too.

Participation wasn’t mandatory, but Laura reports it was sizable. Essays were evaluated for criteria including thoughtfulness and – most important – what life could be like with an education. We were there as Allamagan read his essay to classmates Friday afternoon:

Here’s what he wrote:

“When I first came to America, I lived in San Diego for about two years. I went to a school called Porter Elementary School. I was nervous about the first day of school because it was my first time going to school in my life. I never went to school when I was in Africa. When the teacher was talking, I didn’t understand what she was talking about. Then, when I wanted to use the restroom, I didn’t even know how to say it. But now, I am starting to learn how to speak English, because I never gave up. Now, I see myself driving a beautiful car, coming from my important job as a lawyer, and donating money to build a park for children to enjoy. To keep that dream, I must go to school every day and never be late!”

Laura also is tackling attendance problems by working with parents/guardians. When a student has an unexcused absence, a letter is sent home requesting “a meeting mandated by the school,” she explains. At that meeting, the importance of regular attendance is explained, and a school magnet is given , with information including how to contact the school. The family is also offered the chance to discuss any issues affecting attendance, and how they might be resolved. Laura says these meetings are working well, with a dramatic reduction in the number of second-time unexcused absences.

She’s optimistic that, once everyone is clear about the necessity for good attendance, it will improve exponentially. If the students’ enthusiasm regarding the essay contest is any indication, she is on the right track.

P.S. Here’s a look at Allamagan’s essay, with the drawing that accompanied it:

P.P.S. A “best picture” winner was chosen too – here it is, by Ashley:

Congratulations to the students and staff of West Seattle Elementary!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspected car prowlers spotted

Near Lowman Beach Park early today, R noticed and reported a trio of suspected car prowlers – read on for details:Read More

West Seattle (and vicinity) Monday, Block Watch to bridge party

(Photo by Kenna Klosterman, from last week’s storminess; rain is forecast to return tonight)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar: New Block Watch captains are invited to the last multi-neighborhood training session before longtime Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow retires this month – it’s at 6 pm tonight, Southwest Precinct meeting room, RSVP information on the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network site … The Little Pilgrim School at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) starts accepting registration forms for next school year today, with morning/afternoon classes for 2-5-year-olds (206-932-5600) … Local business owners are invited to check out Happy Hour at the new restaurant/lounge Avalon while networking with the Westside Professionals (WSB sponsor), 5-7 pm (2940 Avalon Way) … With construction of the new South Park Bridge starting soon, a community celebration is planned tonight, 6-8 pm at the Machinists Union Hall, 9135 15th Place S. (flyer here) … Monday night Karaoke with Kelli debuts at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor) tonight, 9 pm … More on the calendar!