West Seattle, Washington
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 MyGreenLake.com, 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. We 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!
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 MyBallard.com.)
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.
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.)
(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.
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.
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.)
(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
*Luna Park Cafe
*PCC Natural Markets
*34th District Democrats
*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.
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
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.
LIQUOR STORES: Open.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: No mail.
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.”
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”…
| 4 COMMENTS