month : 05/2011 388 results

West Seattle benefit for children of Cpl. Brandon Hocking

An Army corporal killed in Iraq this past March had family with longtime ties to West Seattle – and a benefit show has been organized for this Saturday night. The announcement includes a request to RSVP by Thursday:

Saturday, June 4 · 7:00pm – 11:00pm
VFW Post 2713 at 3601 SW Alaska
In honor of US Army Sgt. Brandon S. Hocking, who lost his life on March 21st 2011 while serving in Iraq. Come join the event that brings together musicians who grew up and went to school with Brandon’s Mom Chris (Pitts) Dansereau, Stepdad Calvin (Dempsey) Dansereau, and Aunt Jodi (Pitts) Lascoumes, here in West Seattle.

“The Band of Brothers” will put two groups on stage for the evening, as part of a fundraiser for Brandon’s children. This is an all-ages show, with a $10 per person suggested donation at the door. This event is by invitation only, and space is limited, so please respond by June 2nd to secure your name on the invite list. Food and drinks will be extra and some items to be raffled off too. If you would like to donate items such as gift certificates, goods or services to be raffled, please contact me. [ Richard at, 206-225-0153 ]

The list of those musicians who have graciously offered their support, as well as the VFW Post 2713, are some of the best in Seattle, and they are our guys from right here, showing their true West Seattle support.

Rod Moody
Pat Tunison
Joe Bauer
John Bradley
Bill Reid
Monty Smith
Shel Van Taylor
Jon Sleight
Michael Wolfe
Mike Winston
Doug Marrapodi
Jay Marrapodi

According to this Seattle Times (WSB partner) story about Corporal Hocking’s death, he was 24, and survived by his wife and two preschool-age children.

Update: List of West Seattle summer camps with room left

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re continuing to update this list as additions come in – newest update, 6/12 – if you discover any of these no longer have room, please let us know! Thanks!)
With just a few weeks of school left, we’re getting a few questions about day-camp options. We don’t have a comprehensive list but here are a few announcements we’ve received:

(updated 6/1) THE PINK ARMADILLO ART STUDIO: Clare Hebert (above) just opened this studio in the same building as the Blue Mist Salon in Admiral (which is very much alive and well, its owners assure us, and still in that same building!), across from Hiawatha, and is offering half-day camps for 6-12-year-olds in July and August. The schedule is here. (She teaches classes for adults/teens too – more online, or e-mail her at

ARTS-IN-NATURE CAMP: West Seattle-headquartered nonprofit Nature Consortium presents a week of day camp August 15-19 for ages 9 and up at Camp Long, with nature-themed art projects, 10 am-4 pm daily, registration at Questions? Ryan @

GARDEN ART DAY CAMP AT VILLAGE GREEN: West Seattle artist Sarah Browning is offering two 3-day sessions in August for ages 8-12 at Village Green Perennial Nursery just south of WS – full details here.

WEST SEATTLE/FAUNTLEROY YMCA DAY CAMPS: There’s a wide range of camp sessions offered by the Y (WSB sponsor) – and if you follow the registration links, you can see whether spots are available. Here’s where to start.

LITTLE GYM OF WEST SEATTLE: They e-mailed tonight to say they have camps for ages 3-10, Mondays-Fridays, June 20th-August 27th, 1-4 pm, with games, group activities, gymnastics, arts and crafts; you can sign up “for one day or every day.” See the schedule at or call 206.937.0311.

SEATTLE SCHOOLS SUMMER MUSIC AT WSHS: This is for student musicians who are finishing grades 4 through 8 and have at least one year of experience playing an instrument. This is a three-week program, 9 am-noon, June 27-July 15 (or, students may attend just one or two weeks). The program offers band, strings, jazz, and/or small ensemble participation, with a concert each week. You can register online; here’s the link. More info also is available from Toni Reineke, head teacher for the West Seattle site: or 206-243-6955.

WEST SEATTLE SOCCER CLUB: Via Facebook, WSSC says it’s sponsoring three different soccer camps for players age 4-14 this summer. Details and online-registration links can be found at

THE COVE SCHOOL: The school’s summer-camp program has a few spaces open, 9-noon Mondays-Fridays, for children ages 3-5, the last 3 weeks in July and the middle 3 weeks in August. Info:

ARC SUMMER DAY CAMPS AT SEATTLE PARKS’ COMMUNITY CENTERS: Five locations in West Seattle, one in South Park. From the announcement we just received: “The atmosphere at camp is one that emphasizes community relationships, but also recognizes individual achievement, creativity and original thinking. Enriching field trips weekly! Children currently in Kindergarten through 5th grade that are not younger than 5 and not older than 12 are welcome. Weekly sessions June 27-September 2- attend one week or all.” Go here to find out more online.

COMMUNITY DAY SCHOOL AT SANISLO ELEMENTARY: Announcement just in: “Offering weekly sessions for K-5 focusing on different book genres. Join us for JRR Tolkien/The Hobbit or Harry Potter Week, just to name a few! Open 7 am-6 pm with flexible dropoff and pickup times. Contact us at or 206-763-5910 for a complete list of themes and more details.”

COMERFORD SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE: Beginning Irish Dance workshop for kids offered July 18-20 at the West Seattle VFW. C’mon over and learn a jig! The session for new beginners will be 10 to 11 AM each day. INFO:; 206-935-3225.

SING OUT SEATTLE: Reports the following: The Lion King (July 11- July 22) 2 weeks – 5 slots left … Princess and the Frog ( July 25-Aug. 5)- 6 slots left … Shrek! (Aug. 8- Aug. 19)- 12 slots left. For information and registration, contact:

WESTSIDE SCHOOL CAMPS: Sing Out Seattle is one of several summer camps offered at Westside School (WSB sponsor). Full list, including ages, details, and how to register, can be found here.

YOGAGIRLZ: Shana Hageman reports, “I still have room in one of my YogaGirlz summer camps: July 25-29th for girls 7-11. It runs from 9-3 pm and the cost is $300. There is more info at”

SEATTLE LUTHERAN SPORTS CAMPS: Cheer, basketball, volleyball, and running camps are offered, and SLHS says there’s room. Age groups (some for as young as 2nd grade, some up to 12th grade) and schedules are listed in this brochure (2-page PDF).

COMETA PLAYSCHOOL: “Around the World in 5 Weeks,” starting with North America the week of July 11th, then South America the week of July 18th, Asia the week of July 25th, Europe the week of August 1st, and Africa the week of August 8th. Daily hours 10 am-1 pm; more info at, or call 206-353-6781.

BLOOM PRESCHOOL: This school is hosting three summer camps for preschoolers (3 to 5 year-olds) and older siblings (grade school age). Sibling discounts are available. Camp hours are 9:30 am-12:30 pm, with sessions June 28-July
1, July 18-21, and August 29-Sept 1 – summer-themed crafts, storytime, walking recess, and
lunch. RSVP to Bloom Preschool teachers Keri Russell or Kristi Ingle at or 206.612.6044.

CHIEF SEALTH BASKETBALL AND LIFE SKILLS CAMP: For 2nd through 9th graders, girls and boys, this camp teaching both basketball and life-skills/leadership lessons has three one-week sessions this year. Full details in our original preview, including a link to the brochure and registration information.

LIMBER YOGA AND SEATTLE INTEGRATED MARTIAL ARTS: Two summer-camp sessions in August – “Yoga, Adventure, and Martial Arts Camp” – through this Junction-based studio. August 8th-11th, 9-1, is for 4 to 6-year-olds; August 22nd-25th, 9-1, is for ages 7 through 11. More information online – go here.

SEATTLE BOULDERING PROJECT: This is a new indoor rock-climbing gym in South Seattle, and a West Seattleite who works there sends word they have summer camp programs – full details here. She says it offers “a different form of climbing than most people are accustomed to” with climbing walls no higher than 15 feet and the gym floor including 16 inches of padding. Programs start June 27th and are available for ages 6-16. Register by phone 206.299.2300 or e-mail – 900 Poplar Place S.

SEREVI RUGBY: Introductory one-session “camps” for ages 7-18 at Hiawatha Playfield, details here.

(Any others in WS, or nearby, that still have room? We’d be happy to add more to the list;

West Seattle coyotes: How to handle a close encounter

The latest coyote sighting out of the WSB inbox raises the issue of how to react if you have a close encounter with one. After our last photo-accompanied coyote report, one reader chastised us for the lighthearted headline – as if you would want to play with a coyote. She reminded us that for their safety and ours, you want to do your best to scare them off. That point was raised again by Shawn‘s encounter, which resulted in these photos and note:

I took these pics with my cell phone yesterday around 4 pm while walking my dog, Charlie. The coyote was so close my hands were shaking! It seemed curious, but not threatening. Charlie’s a big dog, though, and does not look like a snack, except maybe to a bear or a whale. It did bark or yip once, which was kind of cool. The coyote followed us for at least a block and was close enough to touch. (I didn’t) These pics were taken on a populated street in High Point; the one that backs up to the cemetery.

As advised in the “coexisting with coyotes” link we often share: “If a coyote ever approaches too closely, pick up small children immediately and act aggressively toward the animal. Wave your arms, throw stones, and shout at the coyote. If necessary, make yourself appear larger by standing up (if sitting) or stepping up onto a rock, stump, or stair. The idea is to convince the coyote that you are not prey, but a potential danger.”

Hot topics on tap tomorrow: Highway 99 traffic; West Seattle Triangle

Two West Seattle meetings of note tomorrow tackle hot topics: First, the Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct construction work and its effect on traffic to and from West Seattle. The South Portal Working Group, an advisory committee focused on that side of the 99 project, meets at 4 pm Wednesday, for the first time in a few months. Its agenda includes a project update, with committee members specifically asked to be ready to answer this question: “Do you have any feedback regarding the way traffic has been managed during construction?”. West Seattle reps in the working group include Pete Spalding from eastern West Seattle, Vlad Oustimovitch from western West Seattle, and Junction lawyer Jerry Cohen.) The meeting’s at the Sound Transit Board Room at Union Station on the south end of downtown.

Then at 7 Wednesday night, South Seattle Community College Board Room, the Southwest District Council – whose members are from neighborhood groups and other organizations around the west side of the peninsula, which the city calls the “Southwest District.” The SWDC has expressed concern over the city-led Triangle planning process – especially a suggestion that some parts could be rezoned for 85-foot-tall buildings – and will hear from the city planners on the project, Susan McLain and Robert Scully, tomorrow night. They’ll also hear from SDOT about SW Alaska “rechannelization” – changes planned to that street’s flow through the Triangle and Junction for the RapidRide bus service. The agenda also includes new Department of Neighborhoods director Bernie Matsuno. All are welcome at both meetings.

Historic Alki Bike Tour set for June 25th

There are a lot of activities going on at the beach the weekend of June 25th. If you aren’t into PADDLING in the water, you could try PEDALING along the water’s edge instead. There is a Facebook Event page to RSVP, but you should also contact Sarah Frederick at the Log House Museum. Here’s more info from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society…

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society (SWSHS) invites residents to bike into history as the 4th Annual SWSHS Bike Tour returns to West Seattle Saturday June 25th 2011, 12:30 to 2 p.m. The Bike Tour accompanies SWSHS’ popular Walking Tour series, showcasing some of West Seattle’s most influential landmarks. Admission to the Bike Tour is $7 for non-members, $5 for museum members. Donations are accepted.

The Log House Museum is located at 3003 61st Avenue SW, a half-block off Alki Avenue. Participants are encouraged to register by contacting Sarah Frederick at (206) 938-5293 or

For more information about SWSHS and the Log House Museum, log on to

West Seattle traffic alert update: 35th SW crash scene clear

12:12 PM: A crash at 35th/Henderson has police diverting traffic north of the scene, at SW Trenton, and south at Barton. More details to come.

12:19 PM UPDATE: Added a photo. No information so far on the circumstances of the crash, but as the picture shows, two cars were involved. The private ambulance was there to take one person to the hospital. It and the fire truck have just cleared, according to our crew on the scene, but you’ll want to avoid the area a while longer, till debris can be cleaned up, and vehicles towed if needed.

1:03 PM: Went back over to verify – the scene is all clear, traffic back to normal.

Help Seattle Parks plan adult/senior rec programs’ future

May 31, 2011 11:45 am
|    Comments Off on Help Seattle Parks plan adult/senior rec programs’ future
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

There’s still room at the table for a dinner conversation coming up one week from tomorrow in West Seattle. Parks Department Lifelong Recreation Program staffers want to hear what programs you’d like to see offered to adults (seniors as well as younger adults), and what partnerships might be appropriate to make those programs happen. The free dinner is at 6 pm June 8th at Delridge Community Center, but you need to RSVP – call Mary at 206-935-2162 or e-mail

Zippy’s Giant Burgers really is open now in White Center

For the “won’t believe it till we see it” contingent – this photo is proof, Zippy’s Giant Burgers is indeed open for business in White Center (9614 14th SW).

ADDED 12:25 PM: More scenes from (re)opening day:

The photo is by WSB/White Center Now contributor Deanie Schwarz, who caught Steve Vodopich and Kenan Cetincelik, lifelong West Seattle buddies, working on the first Big Mouth orders of the day. Three patties! But it isn’t the biggest burger at Zippy’s; that would be the King Lou Lou (added ahead – see somebody try one of those!).

Read More

West Seattle business: Volleyball ace prepares to open BioJunction

Story and photos by Stephanie Chacharon
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Lora Clothier is getting ready to open her own business; but first, she has a championship to win.

She’s come a long way since taking up the game of volleyball at age 12. After playing ball for Eastern Washington University’s Division I program, Lora has continued to build her skills both on the court and in the sand. During the indoor season, she plays through USA Volleyball (USAV), one of the world’s leading organizations for the sport.

Today, Lora is flying to Dallas, where she’ll join other elite players for the 2011 USAV Open Championships. The tournament marks the end to her indoor-season involvement — when she returns home, she’ll switch focus to her beach game, which she says is her new favorite.

But it won’t be just beach volleyball that’s on her mind when she’s back home in West Seattle. Come mid-summer, Lora’s first entrepreneurial venture, BioJunction Sports Therapy, will open for business at Charlestown Center (on the NW corner of SW Charlestown and California SW).

The clinic will occupy the long-vacant ground-floor corner unit of the building, directly below West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor). Lora, an experienced physical therapist who specializes in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy, has big plans for the clinic. “I want to do it right,” she told WSB. “I love working with people, and I love making people better.”

Read More

West Seattle Tuesday: Highlights for the final day of May

May 31, 2011 7:59 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Tuesday: Highlights for the final day of May
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Steller’s Jay, photographed by Danny McMillin)
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

LAST DAY: Bring a package of diapers for WestSide Baby to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor, 5612 California SW), get a free coffee drink.

LAST DAY: Food drive to feed needy kids during the summer months – drop off non-perishable food donations at PCC Natural Markets‘ West Seattle store (WSB sponsor), 2749 California SW.

FIRST DAY: Zippy’s Giant Burgers opens at 10:30 am in its new location, 9614 14th SW in White Center.

FESTIVAL CONTINUES: SIFF with films at the Admiral Theater for all three weeks this year. Tonight, two films will be screened, “Do You See Colors When You Close Your Eyes?” at 7 and “Tilt” at 9:30 – more details and ticket links here.

‘LIVING INTO LIFE’: Learn about building your Personal Safety Net at a workshop tonight, 7-8:30 pm at Alki Arts (2820 Alki SW), call 206-659-0665 to check if there’s still space.

AT THE LIBRARIES: West Seattle’s public libraries host baby, family, and toddler story times today as well as a citizenship class – all listed here.

NIGHTLIFE: Among tonight’s options: Rock trivia (every Tuesday night!) at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm.

Holiday-weekend extra: WSB news tidbits, and a request

As a blessedly safe, quiet holiday weekend closes, a few bits of WSB news to share – and a request.

First, if you didn’t see our note in the WSB Forums: We are proud to announce the latest award for WSB, because this one, like the national award last fall from the Online News Association, is much more about you than about us. When the Society of Professional Journalists announced its Regional Awards last weekend, WSB was honored for Best Online Community Engagement. (We’d drop that last word and simply say, Best Online Community … or maybe drop the “online” too!) Tough competition – our friends at KING 5 came in 2nd; 3rd-place honors went to Amy Duncan for, who presents news and information earnestly and thoroughly to, and with, her neighborhood. What was taken into account for this award was your participation and how we work together – comment threads that so often yield new information about stories; news that is a collaboration between your notes/tips and our research; user-to-user WSB Forums; the neighbor-alerting-neighbor heart of West Seattle Crime Watch coverage. Your daily involvement and caring is often breathtaking. (P.S. The SPJ awards also included one for our partners at the Seattle Times on behalf of a project with which we were involved, special coverage of the graffiti-vandalism problem – celebrated with an Innovation Award.)

Second – We are overdue in telling you about a nationwide grassroots campaign we have helped found, Authentically Local. Authentically LocalWe are founders along with more than two dozen other independent, community-collaborative, local online-news publishers around the country. We all decided to start it because our “industry” is currently under siege from megacorporations that are moving into communities with one-size-fits-all operations to try to templatize and commoditize neighborhood news/information. The attraction for them is twofold: Once they have hundreds of sites, they can sell space to the highest-bidding national advertiser, and/or try to save their own failing old-media businesses through amassing small-business ads. But Authentically Local isn’t just an awareness campaign for those of us who do news; our counterparts in New Jersey at the nation’s first successful grass-roots independent online-news site, Baristanet, who hatched the idea, have suggested it might be appropriate for other types of businesses too. Check it out here.

To the localism point, two links that might be of interest. Your editor here offered perhaps-radical thoughts in a recent interview with Street Fight Magazine, a new national online publication looking at the “business of hyperlocal” (the latter is the shop-talk term for “neighborhood”; we don’t like it, so we don’t use it). And the inherent localism of WSB has drawn attention across the Atlantic: Gretchen sent a note pointing to this Financial Times (London) article about a wave of “localism” sweeping Britain – it seems some aspects of what we take for granted in civic life are wholly new ideas there. The sidebar story to the right of the main text column leads off, for some reason, with a quick summary of “Localism, Seattle style,” with WSB as exhibit A – noting recent WSB discussions on schools and transportation, and commenters’ tendency to question authority.

NOW, OUR REQUEST FOR YOU: Four questions we’d love to have you answer, if you can spare a few minutes, as we look to the future. Your answers can be short, long, or somewhere inbetween – just go here. Thanks in advance!

Video: West Seattle Memorial Day military flyover

We’re not sure exactly what the mission/destination is/was, but just in case you wondered if you were hearing things – yes, two military helicopters (Chinooks, we think) flew over Fauntleroy and points east a little while ago, and then one headed back west – that’s the one we got on video. Before they headed this way, we had seen the two over Vashon, headed north, and Twitter talk includes Eastside sightings too. (And thanks to Howie for mentioning a forum discussion at

MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Patty at Roosiehood, one of the other neighborhood sites that reported on the chopper flyover last night, talked to the Army today and learned it was just a training flight.

Zippy’s Giant Burgers ready for long-awaited reopening tomorrow

That photo of Zippy’s Giant Burgers co-proprietor Blaine Cook (left) in the kitchen of the new Zippy’s location – 9614 14th SW in White Center – reminds us a bit of one we took three years ago, with Blaine in the kitchen of his original location in Highland Park. (It’s in this 5/1/2008 WSB story and on the ZIppy’s home page.) The location isn’t the only thing changing between their 1st opening day, and tomorrow’s grand reopening. Among other changes: They’ll have beer and wine, and they’ll take plastic. And – as this next photo (with Zippy’s co-proprietor Rahel Cook at left) reminds us – they’ll have more space:

As announced last Thursday, the doors are scheduled to swing open at 10:30 tomorrow morning, six and a half weeks after the final burgers were served at Highland Park, and almost four months after we broke the news about the new location. (When we stopped by the new digs this afternoon, the Zippy’s crew was getting ready for a test run; while some marked Memorial Day with a cookout, they were having a cook-in.)

West Seattle Memorial Day 2011 service: ‘For us, they fell…’

(Kristen Rasmussen from the West Seattle Big Band plays Taps, as Walt DeLong from American Legion Post 160 holds the flag)
For this year’s Memorial Day service at Dignity Memorial-Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) in West Seattle, American Legion Post 160 Commander Chris Shea paid tribute to two anniversaries: The sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War (which has two veterans buried at Forest Lawn), and 10 years since 9/11. Shea also mentioned that the last surviving World War I veteran recently died.

His annual speech also told the story of three Medal of Honor recipients and their acts of bravery. And along with the traditional “Taps” (see top photo), music included patriotic songs by Seattle Opera mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann – our video has the entirety of the 35-minute service:

At the conclusion, that’s David Salove of Forest Lawn thanking attendees, who were greater in number than we recall from the recent years:

At the start of the service, bagpipe music echoed a short distance away. That wasn’t part of it – it was the Maccray family, Colin, Barbara, Finlay, and Ken, who come each year to remember, and to play:

Toward the end of his Memorial address, Post 160 Commander Shea exhorted those on hand to not only remember our military veterans – “they fought for us, and for us, they fell” – but also to keep the Midwest and South tornado victims in their thoughts as well.

ADDED: As a commenter reminds us, Boy Scout Troop 284 also plays a major role in this annual remembrance – by placing flags and crosses on veterans’ graves at Forest Lawn.

Next Saturday: Benefit car wash for WSHS girls’ volleyball team

May 30, 2011 3:59 pm
|    Comments Off on Next Saturday: Benefit car wash for WSHS girls’ volleyball team
 |   How to help | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

One more to put on your radar for next Saturday: The West Seattle High School Girls’ Volleyball Team will be at the West Seattle Produce lot (10:30 am-2 pm) to wash your car. They need to raise money for new gear and fees for next season, and your donation in exchange for car-washing will be more than welcome. WSP is on Fauntleroy just south of Alaska (map); the WSHS volleyball coaches point out you can shop for produce or dine at the Beloved Mexico truck while you wait for your (shiny) car.

New hours this year for West Seattle’s Kitty Harbor

All together now … “awwwww.” (Or, write your own LOLcat caption.) The photo is courtesy of Kitty Harbor, which opens for the season this Saturday (June 4th) at its 3422 Harbor Avenue SW location (just north of the West Seattle Bridge). On behalf of Kitty Harbor, Anna sends word of new hours this year – noon-6 pm Saturdays, 2-6 pm Sundays – and says more than 60 kitties are already awaiting their forever homes. (See more of them here.)

West Seattle Grand Parade 2011: Thanks to donations, it’s on!

(WSB photo from July 2009 parade)
Hours before one of the major events that American Legion Post 160 sponsors/co-sponsors each year – the Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor), 2 pm – there’s good news about another one, the West Seattle Grand Parade. Because of city budget cuts and changes, Post 160 has to pay the estimated $3,000 bill to block off California SW, as reported here in February; the parade has no entry fees, so Post 160 asked for donations to make sure the parade could go on. In April, they added a link for online donations. And this morning, Post 160’s Dave Vague sends word they have reached the goal:

You did it, West Seattle! Thanks to the sponsorships and donations by our generous West Seattle community, the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 will be hosting the 78th annual Grand Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2011, at 11:00. Thank you so very much West Seattle Blog for getting our message out, and to all of your readers for their support! We could not have done this without the generous support from the following:

*West Seattle Christian Church
*West Seattle YMCA
*Illusions Hair Design
*Ventana Construction
*Luna Park Cafe
*Ivars Inc
*PCC Natural Markets
*34th District Democrats
*Sheila Boyer
*Kiersten Lovejoy
*Jennifer Hedge
*Julie Gramm
*Dorothy H Wickland
*Explorer West Middle School
*West Seattle Blog

Thanks to all for helping to continue with this cherished community event. More news about the event will follow as we get closer to the parade date.

(The Y, Illusions, Ventana, and PCC are also WSB sponsors.) If this is your first summer in West Seattle, the parade runs from California/Lander in the Admiral District to California/Edmunds in The Junction (here’s a map). It’s preceded by the Kiddies Parade, sponsored by the Rotary Club of West Seattle.

West Seattle filmmaker Ellen Frick chronicles ‘Patriot Guard Riders’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

On this Memorial Day, a unique American group serving fallen heroes and their families is the focus of a West Seattle filmmaker’s newest work – which is days away from its first Puget Sound screenings.

We spoke with Ellen Frick earlier this spring. Today seems like the perfect time to tell the story of her documentary, “Patriot Guard Riders,” because of the holiday, and because of showings coming up Saturday in Tacoma and Sunday on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

The Patriot Guard Riders’ members, hundreds of thousands strong, are motorcyclists – mostly Vietnam veterans, Ellen explains, who first came to fame for protecting fallen soldiers’ families from the hate-spouting Westboro Baptist Church, which has sent representatives to funerals to claim the soldiers died because of America’s failure to outlaw homosexuality.

“I read about it in TIME magazine, the bikers in Oklahoma who started going to the funerals nad blocking the protesters. I thought, wow, this is really odd bedfellows … you don’t think of bikers as coming to the rescue so much,” Ellen recalled. “I started looking into it and didn’t know if it was really a film. (But) the story is so rich,” with the motorcyclists going on to expand their mission.

First, some of her backstory – which itself is multifaceted:Read More

West Seattle Memorial Day 2011

That photo is from Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) east of High Point, after flags and crosses were placed on veterans’ graves last Thursday. That’s also the site of today’s WEST SEATTLE MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE, 2 pm, presented by American Legion Post 160 and Forest Lawn, everyone welcome. More notes for today:

TRANSIT SCHEDULES: Metro is on a Sunday schedule, as is the West Seattle Water Taxi and its shuttles (no Vashon WT today). For Sound Transit, Express buses (including Route 560) are on a Sunday schedule; no Sounder train service. For Washington State Ferries, the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on its regular weekday schedule.

SOLID-WASTE PICKUP: Normal schedule for Seattle Public Utilities.

LIBRARIES: Seattle branches closed, King County branches closed.

COMMUNITY CENTERS: City-run centers are closed.



BANKS: Almost all closed (except possibly an in-store branch here or there).

SCHOOLS: Seattle Public Schools are closed.

COLMAN POOL OPEN: Second day of the season for West Seattle’s city-run outdoor pool starts at noon, though the water’s still likely to be a bit cool!

LOCAL BUSINESSES/RESTAURANTS: Sorry, no list of who’s open/closed – we did some spot checks and plans seemed to vary widely, some open, some not. (If your business is open, post a comment below!)

LIVE MUSIC! C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) is open, and Pk Dwyer will perform from 11 am to 1 pm, with an eclectic repertoire described as “everything from folk & blues, to cow punk, cabaret, movie soundtracks, and good old fashioned rock & roll.”

Followup: Christopher Boffoli’s mini-scenes get mega-exposure

A week and a half ago, we reported longtime WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli‘s sudden international fame, when United Kingdom news organizations spotlighted his quirky photos and captions chronicling miniature figurines’ adventures on full-size food (and other items). Over the ensuing week, Christopher reports, photos from his series “Disparity have been showcased in 27 countries, as well as by cool-stuff showcasers in the U.S., among them avid tweeter Guy Kawasaki and design magazine Dwell. And these are more than link-shares – Christopher’s been asked for so many interviews, he said, “I don’t feel like I’ve had a decent night’s sleep in the past week.” A sample: Ignant (Germany), HBVL (Belgium), MTV3 (Finland), Ngoi Sao (Vietnam), Terra (Peru), News247 (Greece – screengrab above), and the list goes on. Brings to mind the classic Disneyland-ride soundtrack, “It’s a Small World, After All”…

Loving Day celebration at Youngstown Arts Center on June 12th

May 29, 2011 9:04 pm
|    Comments Off on Loving Day celebration at Youngstown Arts Center on June 12th
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge has played host to events of citywide importance – and another one is coming up on June 12th. The nonprofit foundation MAVIN, which works to raise awareness about individuals/families of mixed heritage, is sponsoring a gathering to celebrate Loving Day. That’s not just about love – it’s about the anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Loving vs. Virginia, which led to the end of the nation’s remaining laws against interracial marriage. MAVIN (explained here, including its name) is a national organization, based in Seattle, that continues working against racial prejudice, particularly as it affects multiracial people, families, and communities. The June 12th party is planned for 1-3:30 pm at Youngstown (4408 Delridge Way SW), with entertainment – including singer/songwriter Jessica Porter and Wade Colwell-Sandoval of Funkamentalz – refreshments, kids’ activities, and a “short presentation.” There’s no admission charge, and you’re invited. (If you would like to RSVP via Facebook, the event page is here.) Questions? E-mail Mary Lingenfelter,

Successful 1st weekend for West Seattle’s new Cairdeas Winery tasting room

Big smiles from Cairdeas Winery owners Charlie and Lacey Lybecker when we stopped by their new West Seattle tasting room at mid-afternoon: Grand-opening weekend was going well, despite the lack of sunshine to bring a massive flow of traffic past their Harbor Avenue front door (southernmost street-level storefront at ActivSpace, just north of the West Seattle Bridge). The wines they’re pouring/selling now are all West Seattle-made, from their first winery on Delridge; they’ve since moved home base to Bryn Mawr, but their fondness for West Seattle led them to launch their tasting room here.

If you missed their opening weekend, catch them next weekend and future Saturdays-Sundays, noon-5 pm Saturdays and Sundays. (Wondering about the name? As explained online, it’s pronounced “car-dess” and: “Cairdeas is an ancient Gaelic word meaning friendship, goodwill or alliance. We believe in all three.”)

Golf/dine Friday for a cause: 1st Chief Sealth benefit tourney

May 29, 2011 5:14 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Get out and play golf this Friday – and help make sure that hundreds of local students can keep having fun, staying healthy, and representing our area by playing sports. With days to go till next Friday’s first-ever Chief Sealth International High School Athletics-benefiting Golf Tournament, and you can still get a spot – for a full day/night of golfing and dining, including an awards dinner with some hot items on the auction block. Here’s a news release just in with the newest details:

This Friday, June 3, 2011 is the date for the first Chief Sealth Athletics Golf Tournament at Rainier Golf and Country Club. All proceeds will benefit the student-athletes at Chief Sealth International High School. There are still limited spaces available for both individuals and foursomes to participate in the fun and fundraising. Reservations can be purchased here.

Individual participation is $150, while foursomes can still be reserved for $500. The tournament will be a scramble with a shotgun start beginning at 10:00 a.m. The afternoon will conclude with a full dinner and auction featuring exclusive sport memorabilia and unique athletic experiences.

Auction items and prizes include:

• Signed balls from Hall-of-Famers Lenny Wilkens and Warren Moon.
• Autographed balls from Seattle legends Edgar Martinez and Kasey Keller.
• Signed 100th Anniversary University of Washington football and basketball posters.
• Autographed prints featuring Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor members drawn by acclaimed artist Michael Reagan.
• Oil painting by local artist Sanford Holien featuring Kasey Keller and other Seattle Sounders.
• Box seats to select Seattle Mariners games.
• Rounds of golf at area courses.
• Gift certificates and prizes from local West Seattle establishments including Husky’s Deli, Menashe & Sons, and the Brickyard BBQ.
• A custom-made Musty Putters featuring the Chief Sealth Athletics logo.
• Season tickets to Chief Sealth boys and girls basketball games.
• The opportunity to design and call the first play of a Chief Sealth football game.

Proceeds from the event will help fund a variety of departmental items, including “c-team” participation, transportation, new uniforms, equipment, off-season camps and leagues, and continuing education for coaches.

“I believe that high school sports play a very important part in developing success in the classroom and success in life. Responsibility, teamwork, and perseverance are traits that can serve one for many years to come. I ask you to support those traits and the growth of Chief Sealth athletics by considering participating in this event,” says Athletic Director Sam Reed.

To reserve a spot in the tournament:
For additional questions, contact Sam Reed, Athletic Director at 206-252-8603