day : 16/06/2011 16 results

West Seattle scene: Merrill Gardens raising $ for the USO

June 16, 2011 11:56 pm
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(Cindy and new general manager Dan, photographed tonight @ Merrill Gardens-West Seattle)
Some may recall hearing about the USO and its troops-supporting work primarily in the context of past wars. But the USO is very much alive and well and still at work today to help Americans serving in the nation’s military. Right now, Merrill Gardens retirement centers have a companywide series of USO fundraisers under way, and one was held tonight at Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (4611 35th SW in The Triangle) – not just collecting donations, but also including dinner and a performance by the West Seattle Big Band. There’s also a USO fundraiser coming up at Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (which like the 35th SW location is a WSB sponsor) on Saturday, at noon, with lunch and a presentation on the life and times of Eleanor Roosevelt – RSVP to 206.938.3964.

West Seattle coyotes: One by The Mount, one by the beach

Two coyote sightings have come in over the past five days – first one, the coyote Mary saw last night on Providence Mount St. Vincent property:

This isn’t a very good photo … but we spent about 20 minutes watching a coyote who was hanging around the parking lot at Providence Mt. St. V. near Hudson and 36th. S/he definitely spotted us — we were walking our two mastiffs who completely were clueless about the coyote — and s/he kept a close watch on us from a small hill as we observed from across the street. I’ve been wanting to see one since we moved over here — behind a fence and across the street suits me fine! And since our dogs are bigger than it was, we weren’t worried about that. This was about a block from where Karen Berge of the Hansen View Blockwatch reported a coyote in a staredown with a cat.

Ahead, a report earlier in the week from Linda in the Alki area, and coverage of a coyote clash in Colorado (in a link shared by a WSB’er):Read More

Busy smolts-and-students season wraps up at Fauntleroy Creek

(Amaya, Morgan, and Sam got to see how much the fish they released into Fauntleroy Creek last spring had grown. The large fish in the bucket is a coho smolt, on its way to saltwater, and the small fish are fry the Little Pilgrim School students released this year.)
By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog

May was an especially busy salmon-release season on Fauntleroy Creek. A record 641 students – most from West Seattle – came to Fauntleroy Park as part of 17 field trips,and released just shy of 2,000 coho fry into the creek.

Just over 80 percent of the youngsters, preschool – fifth-grade, had reared their fish from eggs as part of the Salmon in the Schools program. The other 20 percent released fry reared by watershed volunteers for students to have a “salmon-lite” experience.

As those fish were getting used to running water, coho smolts were heading for nearshore habitat in Fauntleroy Cove after a year in the creek. For the first time, volunteers documented smolts in a soft trap as they left the park and as they passed through the fish ladder downstream near the beach.

A surprising 147 smolts left the park between late March and the end of May, showing that tributaries in the park provided healthy habitat for more than 7 percent of the fish released there. (Survival in the wild is estimated at 1 – 2 percent.)

Only 36 of those smolts, however, reached the lower trap. That number is typical since trapping in the lower creek began in 2003. The watershed council is working with state and city partner agencies to pinpoint the cause of such high attrition.

West Seattle Trader Joe’s: ‘Anniversary’ today

Today is a semi-momentous anniversary for a certain devoted group of WSB’ers: Exactly one year ago today, Trader Joe’s announced it’s opening a West Seattle store. (Here’s our original June 16, 2010, report with the news release and comments from property owner Steve Huling; we’d been watching the site since the previous April, when a city website mentioned the possible TJ’s.) As noted here 3 weeks ago, construction is under way – inside before outside, though now that all the permits are finalized, there’s exterior work too, and the banners with contractor information for J. Hughes Construction are brand-new today.

If you’ve missed our last few updates – though the company’s plans on file with the city mention a six-month construction schedule, a TJ’s spokesperson would say only that they’re expecting to open “in the fourth quarter” of this year.

Across the Sound in Kitsap County, TJ’s fans are counting the hours till 8 am tomorrow, when their first Trader Joe’s opens in Silverdale; just like here, some people are saying, “What’s the big deal?” so a Kitsap Sun food writer set out to break down that question.

Bright Horizons-West Seattle: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor

(Bright Horizons team: L-R standing – Janice, Melody, Lindsay, Krys, Laurie, Helen, Michelle, Jasmine; in front, Patrick)
Today, we welcome a new sponsor, Bright Horizons, whose new West Seattle child-care center recently opened on the first floor of the Link Apartments building in The Triangle, and has a Grand Opening celebration this Saturday. Here’s what they would like you to know: Bright Horizons offers child care for infants through preschoolers. Bright Horizons works on each part of the development of each child, be it the mind, body, social self, or character. Children are encouraged to explore their surroundings, while their parents are given up-to-date information about children, education, child care, and development. Bright Horizons‘ goal is to create competent, life-long learners who will do well during their upcoming school years. Infant, toddler, and preschool programs are offered, along with limited part-time care for preschoolers. Tour appointments are accepted year round – just call 206-932-0820.

This Saturday (June 18th), you’re invited to the Grand Opening festivities at Bright Horizons-West Seattle (4530 38th SW), 10 am-1 pm – with activities, a chance to enter a drawing for gift-stuffed bags, and more. Here’s the schedule:
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – State Senator Sharon Nelson 10:45 a.m.
Storytelling with Professor Watermelon 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Live performance by The Not-Its! 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Face Painting with Colorific Kids 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Scavenger Hunt, Food, Fun, and Festivities all day long

We thank Bright Horizons-West 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 Crime Watch: Car, package thefts reported

(5:08 PM UPDATE: The car’s owner just heard from SPD – their car’s been found)
This afternoon’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup has two theft reports – a car (whose owner hopes you can help find it) and a package. Details after the jump:Read More

West Seattle schools: Arbor Heights Elementary’s new principal

A new principal has been announced for Arbor Heights Elementary School, less than one month after current principal Dr. Carol Coram announced she’s moving to an assistant-principal job at Denny International Middle School. From the letter going home with AH students today, from West Seattle’s executive director of schools Aurora Lora:

I am excited today to announce the appointment of Christy Collins as your new principal, effective July 1. Ms. Collins comes to Seattle Public Schools from the Lake Washington School District and brings more than 29 years of experience leading faculty and students. She is an instructional leader and has made a lifetime commitment to quality education. She is well-known for her work in building partnerships with the community and I know she will be a great fit for the Arbor Heights families, students and staff.

Ms. Collins served as principal of (McAuliffe) Elementary in Sammamish from 1999-2006 and was principal of Rockwell Elementary in Redmond from 1993-1999. Most recently, she served as Special Education Coordinator for the Lake Washington School District for the past four years. In this role, she guided and directed all aspects of administration of special education programs for the district.

She started her career as an elementary special education and general education teacher, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in K-8 education from Western Washington University and a Master of Education in Education Administration and Principal Certification from Western Washington University.

Ms. Collins was selected after a hiring process that included input from staff and families in the Arbor Heights community. The selection team committee was impressed with her curriculum expertise, special education background, and experience with Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. Please join me in welcoming Christy to Arbor Heights and Seattle Public Schools!

According to the AH PTSA website, Collins will be at the school tomorrow morning to meet parents. Also changing principals for next school year is Lafayette Elementary, as reported here yesterday.

First donated harvest for Community Orchard of West Seattle

(Photo by Laura Sweany)
The Community Orchard of West Seattle continues taking shape on the north side of the South Seattle Community College campus, and just marked a milestone, according to this report from Patrick Dunn (who’s in the photo above with fellow orchard Steering Committee member Narcissa Nelson):

I’m pleased to report that The Community Orchard of West Seattle delivered its first small harvest of spinach and lettuce to The West Seattle Food Bank (Wednesday) for (that evening’s) distribution. As our newly planted orchard comes of age, this will be the first of many future produce donations to support local food security programs.

Since The Community Orchard broke ground in January at South Seattle Community College, hundreds of neighbors have joined in to sheet mulch the plot, build pathways and trellises, and plant a vast array of edibles. In the process, those neighbors have not only improved the future of our local food security but they’ve also formed a great Orchard community that’s growing right along with the plants.

And we hope to continue meeting more our neighbors through our monthly work parties, socials, and free classes. Next month’s free class on July 16th will be “Tracking Critters in the Urban Garden,” taught by local tracker Pete McGlenn. For more information, please visit:

Power surge/flicker? Here’s what it’s about

Notice a power surge/flicker in the past hour? Apparently at least one rippled throughout the region (though we didn’t notice anything here at WSB, we’ve received at least one note and seen other reports via Twitter) because of an explosion/fire at a substation in Redmond. Our friends at KING 5 are covering it online.

Delridge District Council briefing reveals target dates for the biggest Alaskan Way Viaduct closure of all

(From the updated “interactive simulation”: Red marks the Viaduct section to be demolished during late October closure; green shows how new section will be connected to detour)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you are thinking about a fall vacation – October 21-31 might be an excellent time to consider. That has just been announced as the time frame WSDOT is projecting for the biggest Alaskan Way Viaduct shutdown required by the south-end replacement project, according to its director, Matt Preedy.

His Viaduct-project briefing was the biggest presentation at last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, and included other new information of interest to West Seattle drivers/bus riders/etc. – such as, what is being planned to keep our area out of total gridlock during that time.

Details ahead:Read More

West Seattle schools: New home for Lincoln Park Co-op Preschool

After many years at Seaview Methodist Church, Lincoln Park Cooperative Preschool decided to seek a new home – and has just announced it has found one for next school year: The Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse at 9131 California SW, you’ll recall, is in its first year of a new life as a nonprofit-owned-and-operated community facility, and is continuing to add new tenants; this is the latest one. Lincoln Park is part of the South Seattle Community College cooperative-preschool family, with a format that includes parents working in the classroom one day a week. It offers classes for ages 1-5, and has a few openings – e-mail Judy at

Update: Runaway West Seattle teen no longer missing

An update from Brody Webster‘s mom, in the comment section following the original report about the search for him: He’s been found, she writes, adding, “Thank you for keeping an eye out for him. Hopefully this time we can get him back on track.”

West Seattle Thursday: SSCC, USO, WSHS, Duwamish cleanup…

(Wednesday night moon photo by Bill Bacon)
It’s a time of extremes – the full moon, and the tides it brings:

(Wednesday midday photo of Seacrest Pier pilings by Patrick Sand)
Again today, Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists will be at Lincoln Park and South Alki to assist with low-tide explorers. Low tide is -3.0 at 11:54 am. Also from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

CONGRATULATIONS, SSCC CLASS OF 2011: South Seattle Community College commencement, 2:30 pm Benaroya Hall downtown.

USO BENEFIT: Hosted by Merrill Gardens (WSB sponsor, 4611 35th Avenue SW). This benefit event is to support our troops through our local U.S.O. Attendees will enjoy dinner between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. with entertainment provided by the West Seattle Big Band from 7 – 8 pm. Active and inactive service members will be on hand to share their experiences and memorabilia. Minimum donation is $10 per attendee. Call 206-932-5480 to RSVP.

PUBLIC MEETING ON DUWAMISH RIVER CLEANUP SITE: Tonight the EPA is hosting a meeting to ask for public comments on the cleanup of the polluted area known as Jorgensen Forge (adjacent to Boeing Plant 2). Doors open 6, public comment starts at 8, South Seattle Community College Georgetown Campus, details and background here

COMMUNITY CENTERS’ FUTURE: The second of two city meetings – not in West Seattle, but the official one for the “south” side of the city including WS – is tonight, 7 pm. Here’s our preview from last night.

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: ACC’s monthly meeting, 7 pm, Alki UCC (6112 SW Hinds), agenda details here.

WSHS MUSIC: West Seattle High School Music Department presents the 2011 Spring Concert at the WSHS theater at 7 pm, admission is free! Donations appreciated.

BENEFIT SHOW AT THE BRIDGE: The Gifted Program performs tonight at 8:30 at The Bridge in West Seattle, as a fundraiser to recover from a recent fire in Tukwila that destroyed some of the band’s equipment. More details on this Facebook event page.

‘Happy Löwman Bräu Day!’ Brew’s debut, report #2

(Our first round of photos from the communitywide LB debut is here)

Story by Stephanie Chacharon
Photos by Christina Chacharon
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

It was really only a matter of time before West Seattle had its own branded beer. Enter Löwman Bräu, a summery Kölsch-style beer that unapologetically boasts: “It’s a West Seattle thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

LB is the hops-filled lovechild of Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) proprietor Jeff Gilbert and master brewer Alejandro Brown of White Center’s Big Al Brewing (both pictured below with Feedback co-owner Matt Johnson). To celebrate the release of this local legend-in-the-making, ten neighborhood bars tapped their kegs at 7 pm Wednesday night — serving up frosty pints that both taste good and do good.

The Feedback Lounge was filled with neighbors bellied up to a pint (or two) of Löwman Bräu, many wearing the beer’s signature t-shirt, created by Modern Dog Design. Proprietor and LB-instigator Jeff greeted guests with a handshake or a cheerily raised glass, calling “Happy Löwman Bräu day!” to the steady crowd in front of the T-shirt table.

Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Window in the crosshairs

From a Fauntleroy resident who doesn’t want to be identified:

I wanted to report that someone shot at our front picture window in the 9400 block of 45th Avenue SW (Wednesday) evening around 8 pm. Southwest Precinct responded and is investigating. We aren’t clear what was shot, since it’s at least 30-40′ from the street to our window. But our own research shows that BBs can’t shoot more than 15′. We have a double pane picture window, and only the outer pane was pierced, with a tiny dent on the inside of the inner pane.

Needless to say, we are distressed and frustrated. And our kids are spooked. Thanks, just wanted to let our neighbors know.

Video: New developer’s presentation on Oregon 42 changes

The new developer/architect team for Oregon 42 – the proposed development at 42nd/Oregon in The Junction, a couple lots north of QFC/Capco Plaza – explained project changes to community members last night. In case you couldn’t be there, we recorded the 1-hour meeting on video. We detailed the changes here earlier this month, after Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits announced the project’s new leaders had contacted her to talk about the changes. Primary among them: The project has dramatically downsized its planned retail space, switching to more apartments instead. Karlovits raised issues on behalf of nearby neighbors, including parking and construction noise, but no conflicts or unaddressable concerns erupted. If the city signs off on the changes, the developers say they hope to start work by the end of the year; they believe construction would take about a year and a half. The deadline for comments on the project is June 29th (more in this story).