month : 08/2011 341 results

Lafayette playground update: Help needed tomorrow

You can almost hear those kids thinking “Can’t wait to get in there!” as they peer through the fence at the Lafayette Elementary playground, now in the final stages of the latest upgrade phase, with less than two weeks to go till more than 500 kids start the new school year there. Yesterday, volunteers from ING Direct Investing pitched in – and Lafayette parent volunteer Luckie shares these photos of some of the results:

Tomorrow, they could use all the community help they can get for tasks including painting, moving wood chips (you can see the pile in the background of Luckie’s photos), weeding, and washing, at various spots around the playground/school. Just show up at California/Lander and they’ll put you to work – even if you can only help for part of the time they’ve blocked out from 9 am to 4 pm. They are planning an art project for kids, too.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 burglaries, 2 car crimes

A car theft, two burglaries, and a car break-in are among the West Seattle Crime Watch reports that have come in over the past day/night – so here’s a longer-than-usual roundup.Read More

9-day Viaduct closure dates to be announced Monday

(WSDOT photo of Viaduct south-end-replacement progress, via Flickr)
Been waiting to plan a vacation till you hear the dates for WSDOT‘s planned 9-day October construction closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct? Back in June, south-end project boss Matt Preedy told the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council that they were TENTATIVELY targeting October 21-31. Will those indeed be the dates? Or something different? We’ll find out Monday morning – when WSDOT will make the official announcement at a media briefing.

9/11 anniversary events: West Seattle and White Center

Just a little more than two weeks till the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – and two three tributes are now planned in our area:

(Photos by Alki photographer David Hutchinson from September 2001 and September 2009)
STATUE OF LIBERTY COMMEMORATION: The Statue of Liberty on Alki became an unofficial touchstone/gathering place for mourners in the nights and days following the 2001 attacks. The date held significance in later years, including the unveiling of the recast statue on 9/11/07. And this year, a tribute is planned at Liberty Plaza, according to word just in from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Please join the community to memorialize the fallen as well as survivors and families of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. On Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 7 p.m. there will be a candlelight vigil at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza (pending permission from the Seattle Parks Department).

A 9/11 memorial exhibit can be viewed from 12-7 p.m. at the Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave. SW on Sunday, September 11.

Added note: Parks permission is now granted, as of 8/30/11.

WHITE CENTER OBSERVANCE: Once again this year, the Holy Family Church and School Street Fair will coincide with the 9/11 anniversary, and there will be a remembrance program. The street fair is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 10th-11th, just west of the school and church at 20th/Roxbury (more information here), and the remembrance will be on Sunday (we’ll update when we know the exact time).

(added) CONCERT AT HOLY ROSARY: After reading our original mention of two events, Michael sent information on another one: Cantaré Vocal Ensemble and other groups plus the “Voices of 9/11” in a memorial concert at Holy Rosary, 3 pm on September 11th, with a portion of ticket proceeds benefiting the Twin Towers Memorial Fund. Full details here.

West Seattle road ruts: ‘Spot paving’ planned on California SW

Good news for everyone whose teeth (and alignment) rattle while traveling California SW south of The Junction. Natalie shares word from SDOT that “spot paving” is planned to fix its rut-ravaged section from Erskine to Hudson. (They also say resurfacing is planned for a section of Highland Park Way before year’s end.) Natalie originally e-mailed SDOT to plead for repaving all the way south to Morgan; Benjamin Hansen from SDOT’s Street Maintenance Division replied with word that the California work from Erskine to Hudson, described as “large patches across some of the worst areas,” is planned next month. He told her he wishes they could do more, but they don’t have the money right now – though, he wrote, “we included (California south to Morgan Junction) on our Paving Needs List that was recently presented to the Seattle City Council for future funding consideration.” Meantime, he wrote, keep reporting potholes. (206-684-ROAD, or online.)

West Seattle whale watching: Orcas sighted off our shores!

(ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: Three more photos here!)

(Top photo added 1:44 pm, taken by Craig Savey from Pier 17 on Harbor Island; photo below added 9:40 am – WSB photo by Patrick Sand, from Me-Kwa-Mooks)

8:15 AM: First sighting of the season – just got a text (thanks!) that orcas were seen from the West Seattle Water Taxi this morning. Checking Twitter and the Orca Network Facebook page, it doesn’t seem to be an isolated sighting. (Added: We’re getting LOTS of notes now – definitely something many are seeing, including from downtown!) Keep an eye out and please share if you get them on camera.

(iPad photo courtesy Trileigh Tucker – orca off the downtown docks)
8:56 AM UPDATE: Reported off the Alki business district as of minutes ago. (Moved on by the time we got there, though. Not sure if headed south or north from Alki Point, but Beach Drive, keep an eye out!)

9:20 AM UPDATE: Multiple reports indicate they are headed south – BD, Fauntleroy, Arroyos, be on the lookout. And thanks again to the MANY people who have texted, e-mailed, called, Tweeted, posted/commented on the WSB Facebook wall.

9:40 AM UPDATE: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand caught up with West Seattle’s resident whale-watching experts, Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail and Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales, at Me-Kwa-Mooks. With their guidance, he caught some on camera – we’ve added one photo atop this story and one atop this paragraph. Donna is sharing binoculars from the new Whale Trail whale-watching kits.

She says they’re “transients” – not the orcas that live year-round in the Puget Sound/San Juans area.

10:03 AM UPDATE: Talked to Jeff by phone a few minutes ago. He says they’ve moved out of range, south of Brace Point, and confirms that the Center for Whale Research says they’re transients (this explains how orcas are ID’d), more than 20 of them. (But what heads south, must come north, so more sightings are possible later!)

ADDED 11 AM: Video clip above this line is from the Water Taxi this morning (thanks to Patrick P!) – watch the top left for spouts. And KIRO TV’s chopper video is here.

ADDED 1:48 PM: KIRO’s video is not embeddable, so we can’t show you the player here, but KING 5 now has video and theirs is:

KING reports that was shot off Maury Island.

West Seattle Friday: Free concerts; outdoor pools; bingo…

August 26, 2011 7:49 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Friday: Free concerts; outdoor pools; bingo…
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts | WS miscellaneous

(African Children’s Choir photo courtesy West Seattle Christian Church)
The weather’s summery and so are our highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

WADING POOL EXTENSIONS: Delridge and E.C. Hughes are the West Seattle wading pools that will be open today even though their schedules were originally ending earlier – details here, and there’s more wading-pool info here.

CLOCK’S TICKING FOR COLMAN POOL: Only one more week for Colman Pool‘s 7-day-a-week summer operations (followed by one “post-season weekend”), so if you haven’t been to West Seattle’s only on-the-beach public salt-water pool yet, you don’t have too many more chances; swimming starts at noon (pool schedule/other info here)

FINAL ‘OUTDOOR CONCERT AT THE MOUNT’: Last Friday night in August and that means the fourth and final outdoor concert at Providence Mount St. Vincent (WSB sponsor) – tonight it’s world music by the Selam Band, with dinner/wine/beer on sale at 5:30, music (free!) at 6 pm, free popcorn/snow cones too. It’s on the south-side patio at The Mount, 4831 35th SW, bring your own chair/blanket.

RAINBOW BINGO: It’s back at the Senior Center of West Seattle tonight, with a tropical theme, hosted by Sylvia O’Stayformore. The night starts with food at 6, entertainment at 6:30, bingo at 7. More details in our preview from last week.

OPEN-AIR OPEN MIKE: Encore presentation of Cultivate Open Mike in White Center, right next to Dubsea Coffee. Bring your shades, lawn chairs and blankets, and come enjoy talented local artists 7 pm at Greenbridge Plaza, 9910 8th SW (just south of SW Roxbury).

AFRICAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR: Young singers and dancers from Uganda, internationally renowned as the African Children’s Choir, are touring the region and will present a free concert tonight at West Seattle Christian Church activity center on 42nd south of SW Genesee, 7 pm (**updated time**).

Hiawatha tonight: Caspar Babypants onstage, Conan in the crowd

Famous as tonight’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha headliner was, he was a bit upstaged in terms of crowd buzz, by the TV celebrity who’s now been sighted twice in West Seattle in the past three nights – Conan O’Brien. Tuesday, it was his visit to Cactus on Alki (as seen on Facebook); tonight, “Coco” (dad of 2) was among the hundreds going gaga over Caspar Babypants, who got a jump on things:

Yes, we have video too:

Without concertgoers even realizing they had a chance at an extra celebrity sighting, Team Babypants drew perhaps the biggest crowd ever for the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s hot series of free concerts:

Mr. Babypants was of course joined offstage by his wife/creative partner, artist Kate Endle, whose work is on his CD covers (among other collaborations, plus her own solo projects):

One more Hiawatha concert – next Thursday, 6:30 pm, another very hot ticket, Star Anna, who you might recall rocked Easy Street Records in The Junction earlier this summer. Free – come early, and bring your own blanket/chair. (WSB is proud to be among the series co-sponsors, as we have been for each of the series’ three seasons.)

ADDED FRIDAY: A couple more Conan-at-the-concert photos from WSB’ers:Read More

Reader report: Man in car leaves runner concerned

Out of the inbox, from a woman we’ll just identify by her first initial, “C.” No crime appears to have been committed, so this isn’t a Crime Watch report, but she says the same man has approached her three times, twice in a car while she runs, and once in person, and she wanted to get the word out. Here’s her account of what happened:Read More

Video: Tiny Tribe ‘flash mob’ at West Seattle Thriftway

Never mind “cleanup on aisle 5” — this was “flash mob on aisle 5!” Well, we forgot to note the exact aisle number, but you couldn’t miss the flash mob – little singers and dancers from West Seattle’s Tiny Tribe preschool/day care. Tipster Toddy explains that Tiny Tribe has summer camp for its graduates, and as part of their travels this summer, they came up with a flash-mob routine, since the kids love music and dance, and they performed it last week at Pike Place Market – right next to the famous fish-throwers. Then they wanted to do it for a hometown crowd, and West Seattle Thriftway didn’t mind, Toddy explains, so they turned up in the produce department at 4:30 this afternoon, campers and tween-age Junior Counselors, surprising shoppers. Here’s the group shot:

Some of Tiny Tribe’s other adventures are chronicled here.

Chief Sealth Class of 1961 reunion: Dinner, tour, golf, more

August 25, 2011 7:43 pm
|    Comments Off on Chief Sealth Class of 1961 reunion: Dinner, tour, golf, more
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

They’ve made it half a century since high school, and the Chief Sealth Class of 1961 is ready to celebrate. What you see above is a special placemat designed for the celebrations coming up in just two weeks; Jim Stapleton shares the photo and the information about the specific events that are planned – from golfing, to touring the renovated Sealth campus, to a reception, a picnic, and a dinner. They’re all listed ahead, along with locations and in some cases contact information for people you need to RSVP to, ASAP – read on!Read More

West Seattle traffic alert: Viaduct congestion reroutes buses

6:15 PM: Just got word from Metro that “Southbound Routes 21 Express, 54, 55, 56, 113, 120, 121, 122, 125 traveling on Alaskan Way Viaduct are being rerouted due to traffic congestion. Westbound on Columbia St & 2 Ave stop will be missed. Use stops along 3 Ave between Pike St & Cherry St.”

6:49 PM UPDATE: Metro says the buses are back to their regular routes. Still not certain whether there was a specific cause of the “congestion” – nothing on the 911 log.

Bushaw murder case in jury’s hands: The closing arguments

(UPDATE: No verdict on Friday; the jurors continue deliberating Monday.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Seven women and five men are now deciding the fate of the two defendants on trial for the murder of Steve Bushaw, a West Seattle native shot to death in the middle of California SW on Super Bowl Sunday 2009.

Before the case went to those jurors on Wednesday afternoon, they were the audience for impassioned arguments from the three lawyers in the case – King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Baird, defendant Brandon Chaney‘s lawyer Jim Roe, and defendant Bryce Huber‘s lawyer Tony Savage.

All three are veterans, decades in their profession, countless cases. Yet for them, for the jurors, for King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque and her staff, for the defendants, for their families, for the victim’s families, for those who have observed, this trial has consumed the final month of the summer of 2011.

As each lawyer in turn faced the jurors on Wednesday to make his last pitch, the spectators in the courtroom sat as rapt as the jury, listening, watching. Who would deliver the knockout blow? Who would tie together the complex evidence – from cell-phone records to relationships involving key yet uncharged figures in the case – to render the most believable version of, this is what really happened in the weeks, days, hours, minutes before gunfire in the middle of California SW cut short a man’s life at just 26?

For the jury, of course, the task was different – simply, did the prosecution prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Chaney and Huber are guilty of murder, though two other men have pleaded guilty to firing the deadly shots?

The day began with the official instructions to the jurors:Read More

West Seattle restaurants: ‘Experienced restaurateur’ buys Bohemian

WSB’ers are graced with sharp powers of observation, clearly! We’ve received a near-deluge of notes (thank you!) from people who saw the SOLD sign go up over the FOR SALE sign at the ex-Bohemian (3405 California SW), which closed last December. Public records yielded no information, so we checked with the listing broker, Jason Miller at Ewing and Clark. Here’s what he could tell us: The sale just closed yesterday. Miller – who lives in West Seattle – says the buyer does not want to be publicly identified yet, but is an “experienced restaurateur.” Miller says the sale took a while for reasons including, he says, it’s tough to get financing for restaurant projects right now – and unlike some properties on the market, this one involved purchasing the entire building, not just the restaurant business. More info when it’s available!

Still speeding: Latest West Seattle notes from SPD

The Seattle Police website SPD Blotter has just published another of its occasional roundups on what the Aggressive Driver Response Team is up to, and it’s West Seattle-focused, like many in the past. The furthest-over-the-limit speeder noted this time is 73 mph on the 45 mph West Seattle Bridge; see the full SPD Blotter report here.

Big day for Lafayette Elementary playground; your turn’s next

The upgrade-in-progress playground of West Seattle’s most populous elementary school, Lafayette, are swarming today with hundreds of volunteers in bright orange shirts. The ING Direct Investing team members are working on playground components including maps of the world (top photo) and the U.S., and the new play structure itself:

They’re also painting, and planting, in and around playground walls:

And they’re helping install the bricks that helped raise money for the project, which is using a combination of community donations and city matching funds:

Next step: This weekend, a community work party, which might stretch to a second day if needed. Here’s the announcement from one of the project chairs, Holly Grambihler:

We still need your help to finish our project. Our next big Lafayette volunteer work party is scheduled for Saturday, 8/27. We will start work at 9 am and will work until 4 pm. We’re hoping to once again to complete our tasks on Saturday and work on Sunday 8/28 only if needed. …

The main objectives of the weekend work party are to put the final touches on the playground. We’ll be spreading fresh wood chips around the new big toy, and completing any planting and weed pulling. In addition, we will be working on finalizing any of the interior painting projects (we’re painting the front lobby, around the classroom doors and in the new portables), and helping move the teachers into their portables.

Please bring work gloves. Also, we are in need of: wheel barrows, shovels & rakes, tarps to help carry the wood chips, and planting/weeding tools. Please make sure to have your name on your tools. … Please bring snacks/lunches. We’ll provide waters.

Kids are okay to bring – but there will still be a fence separating the satellite play area, and they will not be able to play on the new big toy yet. We may have a special project or two for the kids!!

The playground’s grand opening is set for September 6th, 5-7 pm – on the eve of the first day of school.

West Seattle traffic alert: SW Spokane Street paving Sunday

August 25, 2011 8:42 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle traffic alert: SW Spokane Street paving Sunday
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

If you’ve seen the portable messageboard on Admiral flashing an alert about SW Spokane Street – this is what it’s about. Just in from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation will be working Sunday, August 28, on the eastbound street level of the 2600 block of SW Spokane Street. The work … will not impact motorists entering the West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street Viaduct eastbound; however, eastbound street level traffic will be detoured via southbound SW Avalon Way, eastbound on SW Genesee Street and then northbound on SW Delridge Way. Detour signs will be posted to direct traffic. The crews will begin removing the surface layer of the street at 7 a.m. and finish the paving work by 5 p.m. During the construction, all sidewalks will remain open.

Also note that Sunday is the Alki Beach 5K Run/Walk, which will close Alki SW to Anchor (Luna) Park for about three hours starting at 8 am – still time to sign up and be part of it!

Now official: ‘Mobile Chowdown’ will be in West Seattle next

Food-truck fans, mark your calendars: Exactly one month after we first reported that the next “Mobile Chowdown” food-truck roundup was likely to be in West Seattle, organizers say they’ve finally finalized the plan, and the trucks are on the way. October 2nd is the date, The Junction is the place – open to all ages, unlike some past Chowdowns. We’ll be checking today for any additional details; organizer Michi Suzuki told us last month that they hoped for more than 20 trucks. California will close for the occasion, Edmunds to Oregon.

West Seattle Thursday: Caspar Babypants, late shopping, more

(WSB photo from last Thursday’s concert @ Hiawatha)
Perfect weather for an outdoor concert – which is one of the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

CASPAR BABYPANTS AT HIAWATHA: Second-to-last show tonight for this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, and the headliner is the hottest act in kids’ music, West Seattle’s own Caspar Babypants! Free concert, 6:30 pm, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association and a long list of co-sponsors (listed on the right side here); bring coins to donate to Wellspring Family Services (whose kids’ coin drive is under way, with a custom CB song up for grabs).

NEW SEALTH PRINCIPAL AT COMMUNITY SAFETY MEETING: It’s the first major community-meeting appearance for new Chief Sealth International High School principal Chris Kinsey, 6 pm tonight at 9421 18th SW, during the South Delridge/White Center Community Safety Coalition meeting, also expected to take up topics including last week’s WC murder of 23-year-old Sweetheart Failautusi and the proposed reopening of the White Center nightclub formerly known as Club Evo, to be known as Club Reventón.

GO SHOPPING TONIGHT: The final August edition of Shop Late Thursdays in The Junction, until 9 pm; here’s the list of which shops are participating.

WINE TASTING: Two tonight – a special tasting from 6-7:30 pm at Bin 41 wine shop in The Junction, 4707 California SW; join Christopher Chan, executive director of the Rainier Club, as he shares a medley of the top wines awarded Double Gold status at the annual Washington Wine Awards. … At West Seattle Wine Cellars, 6026 California SW, it’s Rhône Wines, from C&G Wines, 5:30-8 pm.

WHAT’S UP AT YOUNGSTOWN: From DNDA, we get word of a ong list of happenings tonight and other Thursdays at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center – 4408 Delridge Way SW
9:45 – 10:45 – Ultimate Hardbody Workout – Allyson Elzea, certified instructor – 206-437-0873 or
Noon – West Seattle Nooners (Building Business one Lunch at a Time) – More info at
6 pm – West Seattle Aikikai Aikido – Call 206-235-5100
7:30 – Cabiri (aerialist classes). For more information contact –

(added) WEST SEATTLE PHOTOGRAPHER’S EXHIBITION: This evening 6 – 8 pm, long-time West Seattle resident and fine arts photographer Rick Bringolf opens his exhibition titled “Waterway” at Glazer’s Photographic Gallery, 517 Dexter Avenue North (photographic rental building). Featuring large-format, black and white images of the Port of Seattle, this event is open to the public. “Waterway” runs through October 13th.

Followup: 250 checked at Nick of Time heart screenings

The Nick of Time Foundation says 250 young people came to the Galleria at Chief Sealth International High School on Wednesday for free heart screenings, and 14 needed followup. The organization offers the screenings in hopes of detecting hidden heart problems that can be deadly, as was the case for its namesake, 16-year-old Nick Varrenti.

Update: Big response but small fire on Fauntleroy Way

(Photo by Patrick Sand for WSB)
10:06 PM: Just in case you heard the sirens (we did) – the fire response is in the 8900 block of Fauntleroy Way SW. Scanner says it’s a kitchen fire that’s already reported “tapped.” But because the (standard for a house-fire call) response is so big, Fauntleroy will be blocked for a bit till units are canceled. We’re on our way to doublecheck.

10:18 PM UPDATE: Our crew at the scene says two engines remain; firefighters are investigating just to be sure the fire didn’t “extend” into the walls or other parts of the structure. The house is a few doors north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock and Cove Park entrances. Fauntleroy Way is no longer blocked, since most of the units have been sent back.

West Seattle scene: Late-summer sunset

Thanks to those who sent photos of tonight’s truly amazing sunset. That one’s from Debra Salazar Herbst.

And a slightly different angle, from Tina Doherty:

Video: Almost-done Delridge Skatepark gets a test drive

Went over to Delridge Skatepark – set for dedication during Delridge Day on September 17th – after getting a tip that somebody was skating the almost-finished park. “Somebody” turned out to be crew members from Grindline, the West Seattle-based company that designed and is building the park, just trying it out. (Important to note – they’re working on the project; this remains a CONSTRUCTION SITE, **not** open to the public.) Major construction work’s been under way for a little more than four months. P.S. To keep up with what else is planned for the Delridge Day festival, in addition to the skatepark opening, you can “like” its official Facebook page.