day : 20/05/2011 13 results

West Seattle filmmaker close to goal for documentary project

We last mentioned local filmmaker Leah Warshawski‘s Rwanda documentary project last November, when she was a featured artist during the monthly West Seattle Art Walk. (In the photo above, she’s second from left in the center row.) We’ve just learned that her project “Film Festival: Rwanda” has been raising money via Kickstarter, and has 10 days left to reach a goal that’s still a few thousand dollars away. Here’s how the project is explained in a news release:

More than three years in the making, Film Festival: Rwanda follows the efforts of five Rwandan filmmakers to produce their own films and screen them in remote villages for thousands of people, on a 40-foot inflatable screen since electricity is still a scare commodity in many villages.

For many Rwandans, this is the first time they’ve seen a film, let alone one in their local language. It is this determination to display their country’s progress that drew Leah Warshawski, a veteran television and documentary producer, to document the efforts of the young filmmaker.

“Rather than re-examining the past, these young storytellers are using film to project a positive vision of their country’s future,” said Warshawski, executive producer. “Their motivation, energy and creativity inspired us to document their efforts to show the progress their country has made since the end of the atrocities.”

Once the project makes its $29,000 total, they can finish their rough cut, a critical milestone. You can chip in – even $10, we’re told, and you’ll be listed on the credits – by going here. To find out more about the project, you can check out the site for the production company, Inflatable Film.

Video: Holy Rosary community’s gift to Holy Family

May 20, 2011 10:06 pm
|    Comments Off on Video: Holy Rosary community’s gift to Holy Family
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Last month, at the annual auction for West Seattle’s Holy Rosary Catholic School, attendees not only raised money for their own school’s needs, they also reached deep down to lend a hand to White Center’s Holy Family School – as reported here the next day, courtesy of journalist Gregg Hersholt, who emceed the HR auction that night. Now, a followup: Last night, Holy Family’s principal Frank Cantwell was invited to the Holy Rosary Parents Club‘s meeting for a check presentation. And as you can see in our clip above, it turned out to be not just the $20,000 announced the night of the auction – but a total of $25,000.

The Parents’ Club event also provided an introduction to Holy Rosary’s new principal, Michael Cantu, who is coming here from St. Francis School in Sherwood, Oregon. Current principal Dr. Randal Peters explains to WSB:

I’m leaving at the end of the school year to become a professor in the School of Education at my alma mater, Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s been an extremely difficult decision to leave Holy Rosary and West Seattle, as I’ve really come to love both the school and community, but my wife and I have aging parents and large, extended families in the Midwest and moving back seemed to be the right thing to do at this point in our lives.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Viking Bank robbery photos

An FBI agent was in the area near Viking Bank on the eastern edge of The Junction (40th/Alaska) earlier today, according to WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli, continuing to search for evidence in yesterday afternoon’s robbery (WSB coverage here), and showing surveillance photos. We had sent a request to FBI’s local media unit this morning, hoping such photos would be made available; they have just arrived in the inbox.

There’s no additional descriptive information today – just From the FBI news release: “A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered to anyone with information leading to the identification and capture of these subjects. Anyone with information regarding these subjects is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS, the 24/7 anonymous tips line of the Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.”

By the way – unless we’ve missed something, our archives indicate this was the first West Seattle bank robbery in almost nine months, since one at Westwood Village last August. The bank hit yesterday was also robbed in June of last year. (The June 2010 Viking Bank stickup was believed to be the work of the so-called “Mrs. Doubtfire” robber, so dubbed because authorities weren’t sure whether it was a man dressing as a woman; earlier this year, 54-year-old Kristen LeClaire was arrested in connection with that robbery spree, and we just looked up her status – she remains in jail, now charged with 9 counts, with her next status hearing set for May 31st.)

Highway 99 Squeeze, week 1: WSDOT’s assessment

From an end-of-week e-mail sent by WSDOT:

Thank you, drivers. We’ve reduced SR 99 from three to two lanes between the West Seattle Bridge and Seattle’s sports stadiums. While drivers using the West Seattle Bridge in the morning can expect to add an average of 15 minutes to their commute, we have yet to see any significant backups southbound on the viaduct.

Drivers on the West Seattle Bridge looking to avoid traveling on the viaduct should consider using the Fourth Avenue S. off-ramp. WSDOT contributed funding to this project in order to keep people and goods moving during south end construction. This ramp provides eastbound drivers on the West Seattle Bridge with direct access to downtown Seattle.

How does the “15 minutes longer in the morning, but afternoon comparable” (our paraphrase) compare with your experience?

Two days till West Seattle 5K: Last-minute details

It’ll be a sea of orange along Alki on Sunday morning – at left, it’s this year’s official T-shirt for the West Seattle 5K, organized by and benefiting the West Seattle High School PTSA, coming up Sunday morning. Denise Lathrop e-mailed to remind you that, “You can still register for the 5K and pick up your bib, shirt and timing chip in person on Saturday [tomorrow] between 1 PM and 4 PM at West Seattle Runner, 3727 California Ave SW, Suite 2A (map). Packet pick-up and registration is also available on the day of the event, starting at 8:00 AM.” You’ll find that registration form here. Questions? E-mail Denise at or Andy at (And yet another reminder – the race closes Alki Avenue from 63rd SW to Don Armeni from 9-11 am Sunday, and then it’s closed only from 56th SW to 63rd SW, a change from past years, 11 am-5 pm for the Seattle Summer Streets party.)

Update: West Seattle’s only motel gets a new name – The Grove

Another update today as the new owners of West Seattle’s only motel (36th/Alaska) continue working to renovate it and leave its troubled past behind: Spokesperson Lynn Sweeney tells WSB they have chosen a name: “The Grove, West Seattle Inn.” She adds, “The name was chosen in part to reflect the rejuvenated location as a peaceful, comfortable and friendly environment, and over time, our goal is to enhance and grow the natural landscape as well.” They announced the renovation plan five months ago and are aiming to reopen in early summer. You might recall that while at one point they had hoped to stay open while renovating, the SWAT-team incident in late March accelerated matters, and they closed shortly thereafter. The Grove has a website already too, with a logo and some hints at what they’re aiming for –

Followup: Where to get help with a pet emergency

Last Friday, we published the story of a dog hit by a driver who didn’t stop, and the helpful people who did stop or in some other way help. Much discussion ensued in the comments, including information from the owner’s mom, who identified the Lab as Asia and later reported the dog had a dislocated hip. We don’t have a new update from Asia’s family, but we do have something that might help other pets and people in the future, courtesy of one of the people who assisted last Friday, Doug. He offered to compile a list of resources in case you need to find emergency care for an animal, so that we could link it from the WSB Lost/Found Pets page. We wanted to let you know that it’s at the top of that page now; Doug’s list includes clinics around the metro area, north to south. (If you have anything to add, we will do our best to keep it updated – e-mail the information to Thanks!)

So you think you know who’s at Nickelsville? Read Mike’s story

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Shortly after the encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” returned to West Seattle a week ago, two longtime WSB Forums members e-mailed with news that another longtime member and WSB site participant, whose many comments have provided humor and history, Mike aka “miws,” was among its newest residents; they helped him get set up there after he was evicted from his Morgan Junction apartment. We have met Mike several times over the past few years; we knew he was struggling, but didn’t know he had become homeless. We were glad to hear they wanted to tell his story, provided he gave his permission, which he did.)

Story by Joanne Brayden
Photos by Kevin McClintic
Special to West Seattle Blog

On Monday, Mike, who posts on the West Seattle Blog Forums as miws, became a resident of Nickelsville, the tent-city encampment that recently made news as it moved out of a city-provided shelter at old Fire Station #39 and back to an empty field in the industrial area along the Duwamish River at the eastern base of West Seattle, without the city’s blessing.

By Wednesday, Mike had already worked one shift as Security and voted in camp meetings that will determine the future of his new home. He hasn’t just settled in, he has become part of the community, and can’t stop telling everyone how lucky he was that Nickelsville moved back to West Seattle so there was space for him when he needed them.

Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowlers apparently busy

Perhaps a good-weather phenomenon – we’re getting more than a few car-prowl reports. One from Arbor Heights on the WSB Facebook page, mentioned in passing, then another from AH just came in via e-mail – that’s after the jump, along with reports from other West Seattle areas (NOTE – 1 “suspicious person” report, added 12:04 pm):Read More

West Seattle Friday: SIFF; hike; bingo; theater; tunes …

SIFF AT ADMIRAL THEATER: Though the festival technically started last night, the first Seattle International Film Festival screenings at the Admiral Theater are today/tonight, starting at 4:30 pm (today’s schedule here) – with West Seattle’s venue on the schedule for all three weeks this year!

SEE A MOVIE IN HIGHLAND PARK: Movie night at Highland Park Improvement Club (1116 SW Holden), doors open at 6:30 pm, movie at 7pm.. Free admission. We will be selling snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. There will be folding chairs for seating, or feel free to bring blankets and pillows or non-floor-scratching chairs. Our movie copyright license does not allow us to advertise the movie title so here’s this month’s hint: Michael J. Fox does a little time travel in this 1985 sci-fi comedy.

RAINBOW BINGO: Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon Street) presents Rainbow Bingo. “Fiesta!” is the theme. Doors open 6 pm, Bingo starts 7 pm.

FINAL NIGHT FOR ‘OKLAHOMA’!: After a special benefit last night, West Seattle High School‘s spring musical “Oklahoma!” closes tonight at the WSHS Theater. More info at

SECOND-TO-LAST NIGHT FOR ‘SHIPWRECKED’: 7:30 pm, catch “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment …” at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor).

GET OUT IN THE FOREST THIS AFTERNOON: Nature Consortium‘s monthly eco-hike, 1 pm, meet at 14th and Holly. Free, but if you can, RSVP to

GET OUT ON THE BEACH THIS AFTERNOON: Not as low as earlier this week, but still a significantly low tide around 1:40 today (here’s the chart).

GATEWOOD BENEFIT: Friends of Gatewood Elementary are hosting a concert at The Alki Tavern (1321 Harbor Ave SW). The music is being performed by parents of Gatewood students, who also happen to be in bands. There will be a casual Jam session starting around 6:30 PM. The actual sets will begin around 8. Suggested donations of $10 will be taken at the door and the hat will passed throughout the night. All proceeds from the night will be donated to the school.

ONSTAGE AT KENYON HALL: Northwest Blues, Funk, and Folk icons Alice Stuart and Anne Weiss in concert. Kenyon Hall (7904 35th Ave SW), 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 general admission, or 2 for $25. To make a reservation e-mail indicating show and number of seats.

RUMMAGE SALE: Didn’t get enough shopping done during West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day last Saturday? St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church‘s famous rummage sale continues, 9-3 today and tomorrow. Held in Parish Hall at 3050 California Ave SW and SW Hanford.

DANCE AT PEACE: Support the youth of Peace Lutheran Church (8316 39th Ave SW), 5:30 – 8:30 pm and dance the night away (or watch and eat dinner, if dancing isn’t your thing). We’ll have a wide variety of dances, from swing dancing to chicken dancing to Scandinavian folk dancing, and everything inbetween.

STORYTELLING TONIGHT: Storytelling event at the White Center Cultural Center (9421 18th Avenue SW) at 5:30 pm. Marwa Sadik from Iraq will be featured tonight.

JUMPIN’ JAMBOREE: From Hiawatha Community Center: “Jumping Jamboree for ages 3-12! Get ready for an action-packed event with our jump toy extravaganza. Youth will enjoy a multitude of jump toys! Light snacks and refreshments will be served. This event is sure to get everyone jumping! The event is from 6-8 p.m. The cost per person is $5!”

Happening now: West Seattle’s ‘Bike to Work Day’ station

At the west end of the “low bridge,” as part of the citywide Bike to Work Day (previewed here yesterday), BECU is sponsoring West Seattle’s “commute station” for bicyclists to check in. We stopped by for a photo in the early-morning sunshine; better weather than last year, and seemed busier as a result. Like the other “commute stations” around the city, this one is scheduled to be open till 9 am.

‘One last thing’ before new Zippy’s Giant Burgers can open

More than a month has now elapsed since Zippy’s Giant Burgers closed in Highland Park, hoping to reopen in White Center a week and a half later. We’ve updated you on the challenges they’ve faced with permits and upgrades. This morning, Blaine Cook from Zippy’s shared an update: “Well, yesterday we thought would be the last day for all of these last-minute details to be ironed out… But wait, no burgers for you. The radio system for the fire alarm calls for a permit and, yes, another inspection. Like all permits, this one will take a few days to be reviewed by the proper officials. Both the tech and the guy we deal with at the alarm company were both surprised that this last thing needed a permit.” But he feels hopeful that once this is past, “there should be no more hidden surprises/gremlins waiting for us.” In case you’ve lost track, the new location is at 9614 14th SW (map), and we’ll share the news immediately once there’s word it’s cleared to open.

Followup: Next steps in Arbor Heights Elementary principal change

Arbor Heights Elementary‘s principal Dr. Carol Coram is leaving to become assistant principal at Denny International Middle School, as reported here Thursday afternoon, after her letter to the school community was circulated. Thursday night, her departure was discussed at the Arbor Heights PTSA meeting, along with what happens next; Katie Meyer was there for WSB:

She reports that Dr. Coram received a bouquet after PTSA president John Christensen read a statement thanking her for “10-plus incredible years as our principal.” (He tells WSB there will be a more-official farewell/thank-you event toward the end of the school year.) Later in the meeting, the Seattle Public Schools official who manages West Seattle schools, Aurora Lora, talked to the PTSA about the “open hiring process” for new principals. She says the pool of candidate includes some “already in the district, some outside the district who’ve been principals in other districts and are hoping to move to Seattle.” Lora said they hope to make the hire before this school year ends, and laid out a timetable including a “paper screening” of applications next Monday, resulting in a list of five or six people to come to AH to meet the Interview Team. They’ll be called May 24th and invited for interviews the following week with a team including four parents and four staff members. That will winnow the field to three finalists, who will meet with interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield as well as Lora.