month : 12/2011 337 results

West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki on New Year’s Day 2012

Just announced by Mark Ufkes, who has long organized these swims:

West Seattle Polar Bear Club

Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10 am at Alki Beach in front of Duke’s Restaurant and Christo’s Restaurant. Both restaurants are strong supporters of this event.

Bring water shoes, a towel, a change of warm clothes and your friends and family. Over 100 folks will hold hands in a line and run into Puget Sound together. Hot chocolate will be provided.

This is a great way to wash away the complexities of 2011, and celebrate the new opportunities and challenges that await in 2012.

Followup: Alki Crab and Fish loses Seacrest contract appeal

(UPDATED 4 PM with more reaction added where the story previously ended)
Alki Crab and Fish has lost its appeal of the Seattle Parks decision ending its years of operating the concessions at Seacrest Pier. (If you missed previous coverage, we reported December 5th that Marination had been chosen, in a story that included links to both operations’ proposal documents; we reported on ACF’s protest on Dec. 6, and on a rally by supporters on Dec. 10.) Here’s the announcement just in; it’s from deputy Parks superintendent Eric Friedli:

We have completed the appeal process for the operation of the Seacrest Boathouse Facility. The original decision to award the operation to Marination has been affirmed following the appeal for reconsideration filed by Alki Crab & Fish Company (ACF).

After a careful re-examination of the ACF proposal, including their letter of appeal, the evaluation questions and the raters’ scores for each question, we did not find any compelling facts or reasons that would warrant or justify a reversal of the original decision. The RFP appeal committee consisted of Kathy Nyland of City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw’s staff, Roque Deherrera, of the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, Terry Holme, Seattle Park Board Chair, and Eric Friedli, Parks Acting Deputy Superintendent.

The appeal committee evaluated the ACF protest by raising several key questions related to the overall RFP decision making process:

Read More

West Seattle holiday help: AAA ‘Nickelsville’ collection update

Time’s running out to get holiday help to those in need around our area; some giving trees and collection bins are already packed up and gone, with early deadlines, but not all. Case in point – Alison Newquist and Ricky Toomey of AAA in The Junction are shown with some of what started as a “Soap for Hope” collection for the Family Promise homeless-families program, till it closed, and then became a collection of items needed by those living at the West Seattle encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville.” AAA is helping the local band 93 Octane put together a delivery of necessities for Christmas Eve day, and you still have time to get to their office on the southwest corner of 42nd/Alaska to drop off donations. The list of what’s needed is in our previous story;

Need a tree? FREE while they last at Holy Rosary’s lot

The Holy Rosary Tree Lot officially closed after Sunday but they have trees that MUST go – and we just got word that the remaining trees are FREE while they last. 41st/Dakota. (We’ll update here when we get word they’re all gone.)

Zatz a Better Bagel, with bagels and more: New WSB sponsor

(Zatz manager Jason, left, with staffers Brigette and Conner)
“Even many East Coast customers mention how pleased they are by our quality,” says Zatz a Better Bagel owner Don Nolan. Zatz a Better Bagel, in the Admiral District, is one of our newest WSB sponsors, and we’re welcoming Zatz today with the customary chance for a new sponsor to tell you more about their business:

Zatz bagels “are carefully crafted locally and made with the highest-quality, all-natural ingredients,” says Don. “They are baked fresh every day, all day. You only need to see and taste them to figure out why we are often reputed as the best bagel in the area.” And beyond – Don adds, “Our customers come from all over the state to get our products.” He’s proud not only of the quality, taste, and consistency, but also of the fact that Zatz a Better Bagel is a regular donor to local charities “including the West Seattle Food Bank, which we have been doing for many years on a daily basis.”

Zatz isn’t just about bagels (by the way, theirs come in gourmet flavors like pesto, as well as the classics). As you can see on the menu posted to the Zatz website, there’s challah bread on Fridays, and takeout tubs of spreads (“shmeers”). Plus – for taking out or eating in – sandwiches, bagel dogs, breakfast “scrambagels,” soup, and espresso. Zatz a Better Bagel is a proud member of the new Admiral District Business Association. Find Zatz online at and in Admiral at 2348 California SW; call-in orders are welcome at 206-933-8244. (Holiday-season P.S. – See two special Zatz freebies here!)

We thank Zatz a Better Bagel 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.

From the West Seattle Holidays page: New Year’s Eve dinner

December 21, 2011 11:13 am
|    Comments Off on From the West Seattle Holidays page: New Year’s Eve dinner
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle restaurants

Even if you’re not planning to party all night on New Year’s Eve, going out to dinner seems to be a growing tradition, so the NYE section at the end of the WSB West Seattle Holidays page has a growing list of who’s offering special menus that night around here. We have five so far and room for more, if you are a restaurant owner/employee, or know of something special at your favorite West Seattle/White Center eatery, please let us know so we can add it! (We’re building the list of “who’s open Christmas Eve/Day” too.) – thanks! We’ll also take the opportunity to remind you about the one-week-old WSB West Seattle Restaurant Guide; thanks to those who are adding comments to their favorite eateries’ pages (advice on favorite dishes/drinks particularly welcome). And thanks for the feedback; we’re working on additions and other tweaks.

West Seattle Wednesday: Solstice sunset; Santa; road/bridge work

December 21, 2011 10:32 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Wednesday: Solstice sunset; Santa; road/bridge work
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

In holiday mode yet? Much of what’s on the list today is from the WSB West Seattle Holidays page – well, and then there are the road and bridge alerts (our photo above shows the still-under-construction 1st Avenue South ramp to the WS Bridge):

ROAD WORK ON 35TH SW: Repaving work is scheduled to wrap up today on 35th SW between Myrtle and Othello – details here.

ROAD WORK ON 48TH SW: Road repair work is scheduled to start in the 6500 block of 48th SW – details here.

WESTBOUND SPOKANE STREET VIADUCT CLOSED OVERNIGHT: 9 pm-5 am, which means no entrance to the West Seattle Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill, and during that same time frame, the 1st S./Spokane surface intersection will be closed. This is part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project.

FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY: A third night of 9 pm-5 am closure of the west end of the bridge is also on the schedule (though we are checking with SDOT to be sure these two bridge closures really are happening the same night).

THREE CHANCES TO SEE SANTA: He’s scheduled to be at JF Henry Kitchenware, Tableware, and Gifts (4445 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 11 am-2 pm; West Seattle Thriftway, 3-7 pm; Westwood Village till 8 pm.

HIGH TIDES: They’re really high – the so-called “king tides” – for much of the rest of the month. While the peak here will be the two days after Christmas, today’s is 12.2 feet at 12:46 pm. Here’s the chart for the month.

GRAND OPENING: At 35th/Henderson, new salon CoCo & Co. will be having a Grand Opening and Holiday Party. They invite you to visit between 4 PM to 8 PM to “meet the staff, eat some snacks, enjoy the music and get the grand tour. We will be providing cupcakes from Stuffed Cakes, appetizers from Von’s Roast House, coffee from Bird on a Wire Espresso and music by Sphinx Akashaa Duncan.

SOLSTICE SUNSET VIEWING: Winter solstice arrives at 9:30 pm our time – and tonight brings a sunset-viewing event at Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW) with Alice Enevoldsen of Alice’s Astro Info, be there by 4:05 pm (if not sooner).

HANUKKAH CONTINUES: Second night of Hanukkah – local events tomorrow night and Friday night, as listed on the WSB West Seattle Holidays page.

NO DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT, BUT … DNDC leadership announced a potluck/community mixer at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 7-9 pm. Bring something to share.

INFO NIGHT FOR ‘GET FIT WEST SEATTLE‘: From West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor):

Ever wanted to run or walk a 5K? A 10K? A half marathon? Ever wondered how you would get in shape for one of these and didn’t know where to start? Maybe you have never run before or just want to get in better shape? Well, then this is the program for you! A fully supported, free training program that takes you from never running or from low mileage running to running/walking a half marathon in 23 weeks. This program will allow you to miss some weeks and still be on track to run/walk the Rock and Roll Seattle Half Marathon in June of 2012. The training starts very slow and builds gradually, ensuring you don’t get discouraged with your progress and trying to keep injuries down to a minimum. There will be races added along the way to keep it interesting, including a 5K (or 2, or 3), a 10K, a 15K, and ending with the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, June 23rd. (All race entry fees will be paid for by the participant). It will also introduce you to others from the area, as there will be weekly group runs. There will also be information nights were you will learn about nutrition, injury prevention, stretching, cross training ideas, proper footwear and apparel, and others we will add along the way. So come out, enjoy yourself, get healthy and meet your neighbors! 48 Half Marathon finishers in 2011, let’s double that in 2012!

7 pm tonight at WS Runner (California/Charlestown) – same time 12/28 and 1/4, if you can’t make it tonight.

ONSTAGE AT ARTSWEST: Final week – ArtsWest presents the Seattle premiere of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. 7:30 pm, ticket info here.

And baby makes 89: New calf for oft-seen Puget Sound orcas

(October 2010 photo by Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales)
Orca pregnancies are said to last up to 17 months – so when southern resident killer whale J16 was photographed by West Seattle whale educator/researcher Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales 14 months ago, she just might have been carrying the newborn calf that’s with her now. The new baby orca was announced in Orca Network‘s Tuesday night e-mail newsletter (see it here if you haven’t already). S/he may not even be a week old yet. The baby, known as J48, is in this photo. Writer Candice Calloway Whiting says this is only the second baby born to the southern-resident orcas this year, and that they now number 89 with J48’s arrival. Reports so far do not say where researchers saw and photographed the newborn orca last weekend.

Seen these bikes? Three stolen from West Seattle family’s porch

Lilith e-mailed WSB, wondering if you’ve seen any or all of the bicycles stolen from her porch.

Last Friday night someone stole three bikes off our front porch. We live between Genesee Hill and Alaska Junction. No, they weren’t locked. (Though some of the ones that weren’t stolen were locked–yes, we have a lot bikes.)

We actually heard the noises on the porch about 3:00 am, but initially thought it was our nephew getting his bike to go to work. They made a big crashing noise when they took the second and third ones, though, and didn’t come back for more since we came running out. They must have ridden them away, because we didn’t hear a car or footsteps.

These bikes really have no resale value, so I can’t imagine they were stealing them to sell. They are probably in someone’s alley or at a park. We have looked, but are hoping that someone else may have seen them.

Photos and more information ahead:Read More

High-school basketball: Chief Sealth girls defeat Evergreen

Another basketball showdown between neighboring high schools – this time, Chief Sealth International High School and Evergreen High School (White Center), in a girls-varsity game tonight at Sealth. The home team won big; more details and photos ahead:Read More

West Seattle Christmas lights: Not always about the brightness

We had set out to check an Admiral District tip “around 37th/Hanford” but might have been too early – didn’t see the lights in question. However, we found these two homes nearby, at Belvidere/Hanford, and though neither is completely awash in lights, each had a distinctive feature – the luminarias above, and the non-plastic, non-inflatable creche scene below:

We’ve added that corner to the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map – and will keep adding at least through Christmas Day; tips still welcome at – thanks to everyone who’s helped so far (especially the display creators themselves!)

Happening now: Admiral Theater’s 2011 free Christmas movie

December 20, 2011 7:56 pm
|    Comments Off on Happening now: Admiral Theater’s 2011 free Christmas movie
 |   Admiral Theater | Holidays | West Seattle news

Long before night fell, we photographed the marquee for posterity (and reminders via Twitter and via Facebook) … Tonight’s the night the doors to the Admiral Theater swung wide open for a free holiday treat, a hot ticket indeed:

Those are some of the moviegoers now watching “A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie,” courtesy of The Admiral and its fellow Admiral District businesses. And look who was there to help Admiral boss Dinah Brein share the holiday cheer (and collect donations for the Humane Society):

We have it on good authority that Santa, in this case, likely arrived via two wheels, rather than eight tiny reindeer. P.S. If you feel like a movie Christmas Day, the Admiral will open at 4 pm Sunday (after closing following the matinees on Christmas Eve).

West Seattle Crime Watch: 3 in custody after burglary attempt – plus news of other arrests

3:47 PM: Thanks to everybody who called/e-mailed about a major police response in Highland Park, in the 16th/Trenton vicinity. It started with an attempted burglary, according to officers at the scene – including today’s tweetalong-ing Officer Scott Luckie, who hadn’t even gotten a chance to put the news on Twitter yet. Three people in custody, and one vehicle under investigation (in photo above). If/when we get more details, we’ll add them here. (added – one of Officer Luckie’s later tweets, with a photo)

Also via Twitter, the officer says two of the suspects were found in that vehicle, one “hiding in the bushes” at the targeted house.

ADDED 4:15 PM: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen tells WSB the suspects in this case are “2 males, 1 female,” and are indeed suspects of which police were “aware.” Moments before we asked him about this case, he had sent this update on the overall burglary situation in West Seattle:

As I have stated previously, since Thanksgiving, the West Seattle community had experienced a significant increase in residential burglaries. The men and women of the Southwest Precinct have made apprehending the suspects in these crimes their major priority. Each time a suspicious circumstance call is dispatched, multiple officers have been dropping what they had been doing and rushing to the area.

In the past 3 weeks, we have identified 20 individuals as well as many vehicles. A number of these individuals have been committing burglaries in other Puget Sound communities. We have been collaborating with a number of police agencies who have experienced similar trends and suspects. Most if not all of the suspects are not from the West Seattle community. To date, we have arrested 8 in the past couple of weeks. Our residential burglaries have been reduced by half just within the past week. We will continue to locate and develop probable cause for the outstanding suspects.

Again, I would like to thank our West Seattle community for their assistance in reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods…Their observations and 911 reporting have had a tremendous impact in helping us apprehend these individuals which in return have made their neighborhoods safer.

West Seattle Water Taxi ridership skyrockets: Not just ‘Viadoom’

(WSB photo from October 24, taken at Seacrest Pier)
We were asked recently about West Seattle Water Taxi ridership since the week-plus Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Found the answer hiding in plain sight on the Water Taxi website. Even after the late-October closure, ridership ran way above last year, according to this month-by-month chart, which reports 9,734 rides last month – close to quadruple the 2,578 rides in November of last year. According to both the King County Ferry District‘s online budget documents and discussions we’ve had with the staff of County Councilmember Joe McDermott (who chairs the Ferry District’s Board, another set of hats the council wears), the 2012 plan for the Water Taxi includes a 50-cent fare increase in the spring as well as ongoing planning for new vessels to take the place of the leased boats that have been in use on the WS and Vashon routes. (Most of the cost of those boats will be borne by grants from the federal government.) One more note: No Water Taxi service on the two upcoming “official holiday” Mondays, December 26 and January 2.

Virtual ridealong: Officer Luckie tweets from the streets

Southwest Precinct Officer Scott Luckie admits he wasn’t using Twitter till he was “volunteered” for today’s “tweetalong,” the latest in a series that Seattle Police have done around the city – first one in West Seattle. Until 8 pm, he is “tweeting” what happens during his shift patrolling eastern West Seattle and South Park, starting with the routine – a mention of roll call (11 am, just before we stopped by the precinct to talk with him – the photo at right is the one WE took for Twitter), followed by this:

What will the rest of the day bring? You can follow along at Officer Luckie told us calls he answered in the past few days including a man trying to break into a house by using a chain saw. (We’re looking for the report on that one.) He has some ground rules to follow, including no photos of suspects’ faces, but otherwise, he’s the one doing the tweeting (which surprised us – we figured he might have someone from downtown along for the ride, helping out).

West Seattle Crime Watch: Doubly difficult decoration theft

From Cyndi and Steve:

Just a heads-up – last night after 9:00 two of our large outside Christmas decorations were stolen in the 5400 block of 49th Ave SW [map]. One was a a lighted polar bear & the other was a lighted Christmas stocking with presents.

What makes this more difficult is that we lost both of my parents this year as well as other things & we were not going to put anything out but we did it for the neighbors.

West Seattle schools: Seattle Lutheran’s pre-vacation giving

Just before winter break, Seattle Lutheran High School students and staff “hit the streets,” as SLHS’s Bil Hood put it, for their traditional community service “to say Thank You and Merry Christmas to this community which has blessed us through the years.” He shared these photos of their work, from food-bank/church/school volunteer projects to quilt-making and cookie-baking – plus yard work “for homeowners who cannot get out themselves.”

(P.S. Though it’s winter break, there’s still activity at the SLHS campus on the north end of The Junction today – basketball games this afternoon vs. the visiting team from Concrete.)

West Seattle Tuesday: Hanukkah; Admiral movie; road work…

Among the road work continuing today/tonight, the repaving of a block of 35th SW, where we photographed that crew by former Fire Station 37 on Monday. That’s part of what’s on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar and Holidays page for today/tonight:

FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: Hanukkah, the eight-night Festival of Lights, begins tonight. No West Seattle events on the calendar tonight, but there’s one on Thursday and one Friday – see the Holidays page.

FREE CHRISTMAS MOVIE AT THE ADMIRAL: Tonight at the Admiral Theater, “A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie,” 7 pm, presented by the businesses of the Admiral District. Bring donations for the Seattle Humane Society/Animal Shelter, updated details here. Santa’ll be there too.

SPEAKING OF SANTA: You’ll find him at West Seattle Thriftway 3-7 pm today (California/Fauntleroy) and at Westwood Village (in the breezeway between Bed Bath Beyond and Jamba Juice) 10 am-8 pm.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS RUN: As previewed here last night, the folks at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) are inviting you to join a 3.5-mile “slow” run to see some of the area’s lights tonight, starting at the store (California/Charlestown – meet at 6 pm) and ending at the Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular a few blocks east.

CHRISTMAS TREES: Updates to the list on the Holidays page – Stop n Shop at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon) – which just sent the above photo – now has trees for $10. Also, as noted yesterday, West Seattle Nursery has cut prices by 33 percent and West Seattle Produce by 25 percent.

35TH SW REPAVING: It’s scheduled to continue during the day today between Othello and Myrtle. Full details here.

FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY CLOSURE: The west end of the West Seattle Bridge is scheduled for more earthquake-safety work tonight, which means it’s closed 9 pm-5 am. Eastbound, you won’t be able to get on at 35th; westbound, you will have to exit at Delridge. Project details and detour map are here.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT ‘TWEETALONG’: Seattle Police have done this in other precincts, and today is the SW Precinct’s turn – they’ll be chronicling an officer’s entire shift on Twitter. Details here; to see the tweets, start checking the SPD Twitter feed after 11 am. (You don’t have to be a Twitter user to follow that link.)

West Seattle holiday help: A ‘giving tree’ that needs more giving

Many West Seattle businesses (and other places) make space for “giving trees” this time of year – usually decorated with cards listing gift wishes for people in challenging circumstances. Because of the time needed for distribution, some deadlines already have passed – but not this one. Natalie Dolci from the Salvation Army‘s Hickman House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children, says opportunities remain on their “giving tree” at CAPERS in The Junction:

If you wanted to come by the store get a wish list item for a child in need, there are three more days to do it!

If you have already committed to getting a toy or gift, there are three more days to drop it off.

Thanks so much, West Seattle, for being such a supportive community!

Any other giving trees awaiting gifts?

Seattle Police reviewing video posted by West Seattle crash victim alleging ‘unprofessional conduct’

(10/24/11 photo taken, and shared with WSB, by Mark)
Two months ago, WSB traffic updates on the first weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure nicknamed “Viadoom” included breaking news about a West Seattle man hit by a semi-truck while jogging to work east of the low bridge. Tim Nelson wound up in the hospital for more than a week with serious injuries, including broken bones, a collapsed lung, and lacerated kidney and spleen; friends raised money to help with his expenses.

Tonight, a new twist in the incident. Police are reviewing a video/audio recording showing the crash scene through the windshield of a Seattle Police car while insulting remarks are heard off-camera, apparently made by two people inside the car including a Southwest Precinct officer who responded to the scene. Nelson obtained the in-car “dash cam” video and posted an edited version on YouTube, adding music, captions, and his observations:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another doorstep package theft

This West Seattle Crime Watch reader report carries a warning that sadly needs to be repeated this time of year. From Kaela:

Just want to let people know that a package was stolen from my doorstep this afternoon, so be careful sending/receiving gifts and keep an eye out for your neighbors. I live in a townhouse on California just south of Morgan Junction. While I was at work, my neighbor saw a car with three women in it following a UPS truck. After the UPS driver dropped off my package, my neighbor saw a woman get out of the car, grab the package, and drive off, so called the police. The police found the car, which was apparently stolen, just down the street at the Subway across the street from Thriftway.

Read More

West Seattle Christmas lights: Snowmen tonight; run tomorrow

December 19, 2011 7:57 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Christmas lights: Snowmen tonight; run tomorrow
 |   West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

Two Christmas-lights updates tonight – first, this evening’s featured display:

Not only does the Campbells’ home at 7915 31st SW have plenty of lights – it has a dozen snowmen, too! That’s a cheery sight given this snowless and relatively rainless almost-winter. Thanks to Paul Campbell for sending word of his home’s bright display, which is now added to the others on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map (which you can also find on the Holidays page).

Second – Tim McConnell at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) says they’re leading a Christmas-lights run tomorrow night, based on some of the displays highlighted here. The run will leave WS Runner (California and Charlestown) at 6 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) and finish up at the Helmstetler Family Spectacular display (just a few blocks east of WSR). Tim says, “It’s a 3.5 mile course, we are going to go slow so everyone can see the lights … should be about 45 minutes or so. Holiday attire is encouraged, having some way of seeing and being seen is mandatory. All are welcome. Pets included.” (Not related to lights, Tim says WSR also is launching another “Get Fit West Seattle” series that’ll get you to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, first info night at WSR 7 pm Wednesday.)

West Seattle traffic alert: Water-main break on Alki Avenue

Just east of Alki Point, a section of Alki Avenue SW – from about 63rd SW to the point – is closed so crews can fix a water-main break. Thanks to Kenna Klosterman for the tip, and the photo above. We just went over to check it out; crews aren’t sure yet how long it’ll take to fix, but they say it was a relatively small plastic water pipe, and it’s affecting service to the homes on the water side of the street (north).

7:02 PM: That’s our photo from the repair site; on the WSB Facebook page, you can see a video Kenna shot earlier, while the crew was pumping water out of that section of the street.