year : 2011 4273 results

West Seattle Wednesday: SW District Council, and a Blue Angel

[View from Alki Beach]

(Taken from Alki by SapphiraFey, shared via the WSB Flickr group pool)
West Seattle’s first major community-group meeting of the year is tonight – Southwest District Council, 7 pm, South Seattle Community College board room. Two major topics: First, an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct project (just as the tunnel contract is about to be signed); second, the Department of Neighborhoods changes that will directly affect the council’s operations – as first reported here Monday, DON director Stella Chao will be at the meeting to explain. … If you hear a hint of a familiar summertime sound in the sky this afternoon, no, you’re not hearing things – as noted on Tuesday, Blue Angels jet #7 is coming to Seattle for Seafair winter meetings today and tomorrow, and expected to fly into Boeing Field (which might mean a West Seattle sighting) early this afternoon … Check the WSB West Seattle Events page for tonight’s entertainment highlights; have a great day!

Won’t you be … a donor? Mister Rogers Sweater Drive @ PCC

(YouTube clip with the opening sequence from a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” episode)
In honor of the TV legend who always started his show by trading a suit jacket for a comfy sweater, the Mister Rogers Sweater Drive is about to begin at all nine PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) stores, including West Seattle (2749 California SW). Starting next Monday, you’ll be able to donate sweaters at PCC to benefit Wellspring Family Services and Northwest Center. They need kids’ sweaters the most – new or “gently used” – but will accept adult-size sweaters too. The drive, a legacy of Mister Rogers himself (who started it six years before his 2003 death), continues through February 13th and is co-sponsored by KCTS 9; PCC’s full announcement is here.

West Seattle Little League in-person registration days away

(Panorama of Bar-S fields; photo courtesy West Seattle Little League)
Now that the New Year has arrived, spring and baseball don’t seem as far away as they did just days before the old year ended. One reminder comes from West Seattle Little League, which is days away from its first of two in-person registration events. Players can register January 11th and 18th, both at West Seattle High School‘s library (3000 California SW), both 6-8:30 pm, says WSLL president Mark Terao, who shared details of what you need to bring, as well as other important league-related information – read on:Read More

Tuesday night notes: Pho Aroma, Locöl … and Eddie

PHO AROMA CLOSED TILL FRIDAY: So says a note on the door of the Delridge restaurant, according to a photo sent by WSB contributor Ellen Cedergreen. The note says the closure is because of a “family emergency.” We’ll make a note to check back Friday if Pho Aroma indeed reopens – let us know if you see them open sooner.

LOCOL OPENING THIS WEEKEND? If you’ve driven by the in-progress beer/wine/food spot Locöl at 35th and Kenyon lately and seen people inside – those are still “soft open” events for friends/family, according to proprietor Kyle Duce. We checked in with him again this afternoon to ask about an official grand-opening date. He says they should know tomorrow, and are hopeful it will finally be this weekend. Here’s our most recent story.

HAPPY NEWS FROM THE WSB PETS PAGE: With so many lost cats reported and never found – all the coyote activity in West Seattle, among other things, can lead you to fear the worst sometime. But tonight we have just received word of a lost cat posted on the WSB Pets page, finally found after six weeks. At left, that’s Eddie, posted on the Pets page on Thanksgiving. Tonight, we got a note from someone whose friend had spotted a similar-looking cat, and in short order, we heard from Eddie’s owner Melissa, who said he was finally home. We’ve also added several more lost/found pets to the page, which is among the WSB features we’ll be improving in the months ahead – low-tech as it is, it’s helped reunite many pets and owners in its three years of existence, so if you have a lost/found/sighted pet to report, please let us know. (And if you don’t see it on the page shortly thereafter, do send a reminder – our mailbox gets a little bollixed sometimes – working on that too.) P.S. Just noticed tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day we launched the Pets page — January 5, 2008. Thanks to everyone for helping the dogs, cats, birds (and a few others) get safely home.

New members invited to join West Seattle Community Orchestras

January 4, 2011 8:56 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

(12/15/2010 video of Westside Symphony performing “Nutcracker” selections)
From Rob Duisberg with West Seattle Community Orchestras – one week from tonight, your chance to join!

The West Seattle Community Orchestras are beginning their spring season on Tuesday evening, January 11th, at Chief Sealth International High School at 2600 SW Thistle.

The orchestras welcome all musicians. There are three different orchestras to suit your individual skill level, from our beginning strings ensemble to the Westside Symphony playing the great standard orchestral repertoire, and each group is open to all ages.

We are particularly interested in recruiting string, double reed and percussion players. So if your instrument has been in the closet too long, make this New Year the time to reconnect with the joy of fine music-making in a fun, inclusive atmosphere!

Visit us at and click on the Registration Page, or e-mail us at, or call Toni Reineke at 206.243.6955 for more information.

Tagging cleanup under way at boarded-up Boren School

Seattle Public Schools is in the midst of cleaning up a particularly prolific outbreak of tagging on the boarded-up ex-Boren Junior High School building (5950 Delridge Way), vacant after two years of serving as interim home to Chief Sealth International High School. Some had worried the building would become especially attractive to spray-paint vandals once boards went up over the Boren windows three months ago (WSB coverage here). Delridge-area advocate Pete Spalding noticed the many tags on the building over the holiday weekend and called it to the district’s attention. We took a partial “before” photo of just one of the many tagged areas (tags mostly blurred, as per our editorial policy) before it was covered up on Monday:

One issue that arose before the cleanup: If you see something like this — or any other maintenance problem/damage at a vacant school building, where neighbors will likely be the first to notice – how do you report it? ? Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Tom Redman provides this phone number: 206-252-0550. (He also says that the initial covering-over of the tagging vandalism was just the first phase; the boards will be painted over, too.)

Two West Seattle Elvises now in the running for a King-ly crown

If you go play trivia tonight at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), wish Charlie Beck luck at the upcoming 14th annual Seattle Elvis Invitationals. He’s the second West Seattleite to enter the Kingly fray, according to Marlow Harris, who notes that Charlie not only hosts Tuesday night “Entertainment That Rocks” trivia at The Feedback, he also performs with the popular local band Memphis Radio Kings. According to Marlow, he’s got a hunka-hunka “Burnin’ Love” on tap for the contest. At left, she provided a photo of him from The Feedback’s Elvis Death Day event last August. Also contending, Bret Wiggins, who came in second last year – here’s video from that almost-winning performance. You can see them face off (along with more than two dozen other Elvises – or if you prefer, Elvii) — fringe, sequins, sideburns and all — at Club Motor in SODO this Saturday – the day The King would have turned 75. Marlow notes that the treats on sale will include fried peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches (“with and without bacon”).

High school sports: Chief Sealth basketball team in Hoopfest @ UW

January 4, 2011 3:13 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

A big game at a big venue is ahead for the Chief Sealth International High School boys’ varsity basketball team: They’re playing at the University of Washington‘s Hec Ed Pavilion on the second day of the King Holiday Hoopfest, Monday, January 17th. Sealth is just starting to get the word out; that day is the officially observed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday, and schools are closed. The Sealth boys will play Bellevue High School at 11 am. You can buy tickets – with proceeds going to two nonprofits – by going here, where you’ll also find the full schedule of 11 Hoopfest games over two days.

Followup: Fauntleroy dogs’ 2nd police encounter leaves 1 dog dead

We promised a followup on a story first reported here last week – police shooting one of two loose dogs in Fauntleroy. The original report has generated 60 comments, including two from someone claiming to be the dogs’ owner, writing that one of the dogs later died (not the one that was shot). We have since confirmed that with police, who have provided other details of the incident, which unfolded in two encounters with officers over the course of New Year’s Eve morning/afternoon/evening – read on: (FRIDAY UPDATE: Photo at right, sent by dogs’ owner)Read More

West Seattle real estate: Arbor Heights building sold for $2 million

January 4, 2011 12:29 pm
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 |   Arbor Heights | West Seattle news

(Photo by Cleary O’Farrell)
Just announced by McQuaid Commercial Real Estate – they’ve sold a 24-unit West Seattle apartment building, Sound Crest at 3515 SW Ocean View Drive (map) in Arbor Heights, for $2,050,000. The announcement quoted broker Michael McQuaid as saying, “We are pleased to get this property closed in 2010, after an exhaustive marketing effort over many months.” The firm adds that this is the first-ever sale of the building, built in 1979; they identify the buyer as local investor David Katt, who they say plans to spend $200,000 on the building for “deferred maintenance and upgrades.”

SIDE NOTE: We just checked the current commercial listings to see what other apartment buildings are on the market in West Seattle right now. Top of the price list is Ivy Court in Morgan Junction, 6525 California SW, listed for $5.6 million – 33 units and three commercial spaces (currently bicycles, mailboxes, fitness).

West Seattle coyotes: Gatewood, Sunrise Heights sightings

Two West Seattle coyote sightings to share. First, this is just out of the WSB inbox, from Paul and Karen:

We would just like to let you know that we saw a coyote walking south down 44th St. at the intersection of Portland St. (Gatewood area) this morning about 10:15 am. It was a very healthy-looking animal, maybe 35 lbs. It trotted to the dead end of 44th just south of Portland [map] and disappeared down the slope toward Lincoln Park. Beautiful animal!

Via Twitter, James reported a coyote sighting on New Year’s Day – 27th/Othello vicinity (map). He says, “They were going after cats. I threw rocks at them.” (That is part of the official advice offered on this federal-government webpage.)

Heads up: Blue Angels jet in Seattle tomorrow and Thursday

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli, after Blue Angels’ August 2010 arrival in Seattle)
Just in from Seafair – a heads-up for tomorrow, for those who love the Blue Angels and those who don’t:

The familiar summertime roar of a U.S. Navy Blue Angel may be heard over the skies of Seattle Wednesday as Blues Jet #7 visits the Northwest for the annual winter planning meetings. While in Seattle the Blue Angels will meet with Seafair and air show officials, laying the foundation for the 2011 Boeing Air Show in August.

It’s Blue Angels Jet #7, with #7 Lt. David Tickle and #8 Lt. Todd Royles on board, expected to arrive between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. Seafair spokesperson Melissa Jurcan says the jet will be at Clay Lacy Aviation (not on public display) while here till Thursday, when it’s scheduled to take off around noon. As the announcement reminds us, the Blue Angels are helping mark the Centennial of Naval Aviation this year, and the Seafair air show/fleet arrival are part of the yearlong event, which starts in San Diego on February 10th.

Lafayette ‘Play It Forward’ playground project now in Pepsi Refresh

With less than one month left to reach its latest fundraising goal – required for a city matching grant – the playground-improvement project at West Seattle’s most populous elementary school is in a new phase: Lafayette Elementary has made it into the latest monthly Pepsi Refresh grant competition. In order to have a chance at one of this month’s $50,000 grants, they need a lot of votes between now and January 31st, and you can vote daily. There are two ways to vote: Online, by going here (which requires registration), or texting, which doesn’t: Text 105273 to Pepsi (73774).

For background on the project – here’s our story from November about the push to match the $100,000 city grant by the end of this month, or lose it. We checked in this morning with Deborah Hazlegrove, one of the project co-chairs, who says the fundraising total is getting close to the goal, but it’s still coming down to the January 31st wire. The project’s “Play It Forward” website has more information about other ways they’re raising money, including a current anonymous offer to match all cash up to $5,000 donated between now and January 15th.

West Seattle Tuesday: Road reminder; trivia times two …

(Anchor/Luna Park photo by Flickr member Nakean, from the WSB Flickr photo pool)
Part of today’s look ahead is warmer, if cloudier, weather – last night was the last subfreezing night expected for a while. Also, one more road reminder, if you haven’t already been through it, today is the day 1st Avenue South is down to one lane each way by the stadiums until April, because of Alaskan Way Viaduct south-end replacement work, which also brought southbound changes to some Metro routes that previously used 1st Ave. S. in that area, including a few serving West Seattle. Besides that reminder, the schedule’s light today; folk-rocker Abi Grace is onstage at Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor) tonight at 9 (heard about their menu changes yet?), and it’s trivia night at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor).

NON-WEST SEATTLE P.S. In case you are interested in seeing this: The Seattle Fire Department has sent word that the traveling Patriot Flag, a 9/11 memorial, will hang between two 100-foot ladder trucks at Seattle Center between 2 and 2:30 this afternoon, south side of the International Fountain. It’s traveling between fire departments across America (previous stop: Olympia), final destination New York City for the 10th anniversary this September.

West Seattle food growing: Orchard launch; online trading

January 3, 2011 11:47 pm
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 |   Environment | Gardening | How to help | West Seattle news

(Photo of orchard-to-be site at SSCC, courtesy Aviva Furman)
From Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle‘s Aviva Furman, two announcements tonight: First, she confirms the deal is finally official for creating the Community Orchard of West Seattle on the south end of the South Seattle Community College campus, and COWS needs your help at a work party to really launch the effort:

Come be a part of an exciting new urban agriculture project here in West Seattle: The *Community Orchard*! With a generous grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and the contract with South Seattle Community College finalized, we are ready to begin.

The orchard will be a demonstration site for growing fruit sustainably in our climate. COWS will hold the 1st design session and work-party on Saturday, January 15th. We will be learning from permaculturist, Laura Sweany, about the elements of site analysis. In the afternoon, we will be sheet mulching the garden beds and creating wood chip paths. Come see how quickly a site can be transformed! Future classes in February will focus on plant selection.

January 15th
10-12:15 Design Workshop (FREE)
12:15-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Sheet Mulch Work Party
Please RSVP [here’s the link]. All are welcome to the afternoon session, but space in the morning session is limited.

Second announcement – imagine being able to trade produce with neighbors/friends/community members so you’re not, oh, say, eating zucchini cookies, zucchini soup, stuffed zucchini, etc., all summer. Aviva says an online system is on the drawing boards and they’d like your input:

*Got kale…want carrots…*

While plants are dormant in these short days of winter, Community Harvest is busy germinating ideas. Have you ever had a bumper crop of zucchini? Lettuce bolting faster than you can eat it? Maybe you are one of those lucky ones with an Italian Plum tree in your yard. We are planning an online system for people to trade or sell their surplus produce with their neighbors, as well as a simple way to donate to food banks. We need your input. If you are a food gardener, or someone who enjoys eating locally grown produce, please take a few minutes and fill out this survey. Help shape Veg-eBay. Create a P-Pod in your neighborhood.

Memorial service planned Saturday for West Seattle’s Matt Durham

Tonight we have details on the memorial service planned this Saturday for 45-year-old Matt Durham, the West Seattle photojournalist, firefighter, and father of two who died last week after a three-month battle with melanoma. From Woodinville Fire and Rescue, the department where Matt worked for more than a decade:

A Memorial Service has been announced for Woodinville Firefighter Matthew Durham. Durham died on December 30 after a short battle with Melanoma Cancer related to his work as a firefighter. A public memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 8th, at 1:00 p.m. The service will be held at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond. The service will feature a fire service honor guard and Eastside Pipes and Drums. The public is welcome to attend the service and show their support to the Durham family and the Woodinville Fire & Rescue District.

Overlake is at 9900 Willows Road; here’s a map. If you are wondering about a procession, WFR spokesperson David Weed explains there will be a “static processional” at the church: “A static processional is where emergency vehicles are staged in the parking lot and the deceased and family arrive and drive past the vehicles as they arrive.”

West Seattle restaurant followup: Avalon opens, artfully

(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen)
In our previous coverage of the new West Seattle restaurant Avalon, which officially opened this afternoon at 2940 Avalon Way SW in the Luna Park business district, we’ve talked about the food, and the coffee – but the art is part of the story, too. It’s all by Diann Sales:

She’s the sister of co-proprietor and head Chef Deborah Breuler – at right in this next photo with co-proprietor Mary Palmer (Deborah had answered questions about their plans in one of our earliest reports):

Diann’s work incorporated many repurposed materials found at the site (the photo above shows her in front of a collage done on an old door they turned up). More Avalon photos ahead:

Read More

City Light says 3 spots ‘giving off voltage’ found in West Seattle

Two companies hired by Seattle City Light are continuing citywide testing for potentially dangerous electrical current, ever since a dog was electrocuted on Queen Anne, and another dog’s behavior helped authorities find an “energized” pole in High Point (as reported December 8th). City Light has been publishing frequent updates on its Power Lines website, and tonight’s update brings word of three spots detected in West Seattle:

# a streetlight pole and utility hole cover near 56th Avenue SW and SW Bradford Street [map] with 103 volts. A crew repaired a connector that was touching the pole and energizing it.

# a water cap near Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Edmunds Street [map] with 97 volts. Power was cut off and crews are determining the cause to begin work on a repair.

# a utility hole cover near Marine View Drive SW and 42nd Avenue SW [map] with 84 volts. Power was cut off and crews are determining the cause to begin work on a repair.

In all, the city says it has found 12 cases of “contact voltage” around the city so far, including these three and the one in High Point, and has tested 18 percent of streetlights and “associated facilities.”

One Highland Park teen-beating/hate-crime suspect pleads guilty

gavel.jpgChecking court files early today for West Seattle crime cases carrying over into the new year, we discovered something that so far as we can tell, has not been reported yet, though it happened three weeks ago: One of the two suspects in last May’s Highland Park beating/hate-crime case has pleaded guilty.

Court records show that 23-year-old Ahmed Y. Mohamed pleaded guilty December 13th to both of the charges filed against him and 21-year-old co-defendant Jonathan Baquiring – one count of robbery and one count of malicious harassment. If you don’t recall the backstory – a bloodied, dazed 15-year-old found near 17th/Kenyon (map) the morning of May 25th told police he had been beaten, burned and robbed at the 14th/Holden (map) staircase by two “black and Filipino” men who repeatedly made remarks about his race (white). In his plea documents, Mohamed acknowledges that was the motive, writing:

… I maliciously and intentionally, because of my perception of his race, caused physical injury …

Mohamed also admits to robbing the victim:

… by stealing items from his pockets while threatening to cap him, whipping him with his belt, and burning him with cigarettes. We also displayed a knife with a several-inch blade, held it to his neck, and threatened to cut his throat. We targeted [the victim] because he was a different race than we are.

Police found Mohamed and Baquiring nearby that same morning and questioned but did not arrest them. They did get DNA samples, and almost four months later, after those samples were matched to other evidence in the case, charges were filed on September 20th. Baquiring was arrested the next night, as reported here; Mohamed, not until October 11th; both have been in jail ever since.

The plea agreement document in Mohamed’s case notes that all parties agree there was “different criminal intent” between the two crimes – robbery with use of a deadly weapon (the knife) and malicious harassment (hate crime). Mohamed, who has no felony record, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. But according to the plea-agreement documents, prosecutors plan to recommend 4 years in prison for the robbery count and 1 year for malicious harassment, to be served concurrently (update: plus 24 months for the weapons enhancement – because of the knife – on the robbery count; see comments). His sentencing hearing is set for January 21st. Court records for co-defendant Baquiring indicate that so far, he is proceeding toward trial one month after that, in late February.

Update: Sanislo Elementary reopens Tuesday, after heroes’ cleanup

January 3, 2011 1:47 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

1:47 PM: As first reported here this morning, a winter-break water break left West Seattle’s Sanislo Elementary School with a big problem to deal with today – so big, they wound up canceling school for the day. WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli has just been to Sanislo for a look at the problem and the cleanup – and principal Ernie Seevers told him about the heroes – the teachers who are spending this day managing an unexpected cleanup:

That’s Marilyn Tsuboi, one of two teachers, along with Saadia Ayoubi, in a big classroom used by 1st and 2nd graders. She told Christopher she’s heartbroken that books she had collected over the years were water-logged. But crews have been working to pack up everything that got wet:

Christopher says student desks are being moved to a large arts space that will serve as a temporary classroom for students while the damaged room is repaired.

One concern is that the damaged room’s wallboard seems to have wicked up some water. That means carpeting will have to be pulled out and everything will have to be dry before new flooring can be put down so students can move back into the room; no word yet how long that will take.

Principal Seevers said the school custodian – usually the first person who arrives to warm up the school before students and staff show up – discovered the damage. The district is hoping to reopen Sanislo tomorrow, but we’re still awaiting official word. 2:07 PM UPDATE: Just got that official word – district spokesperson Tom Redman says the school will reopen tomorrow, normal schedule, but the two classes displaced by water damage will meet temporarily in the aforementioned arts room.

New business update: Westwood 7-11 grand opening with freebies

We covered the actual opening last week, but the grand-opening news didn’t arrive till today: The new 35th/Barton 7-11 plans a grand-opening party 11 am-1 pm** this Friday (January 7th) with freebies, says the announcement: “…complimentary sandwiches, grill items, drinks, chips, and dessert, to name just some of the items. 7-Eleven will be giving away prizes for all visitors as well.” (We asked – the free drinks will include Slurpees.)

**Time changed since original publication.

Update: SDOT working to de-ice West Seattle trouble spots

In addition to the pothole-repair crews that have been out in West Seattle this morning (see our update here), SDOT tells us deicing work is under way on three major trouble spots from this morning. First, Highland Park Way – SDOT’s Marybeth Turner says they’re using brine and salt to work on ice that she says resulted from water that flowed down the hill when a nearby business’s sump pump broke. They’re hoping to reopen the lane as soon as possible. De-icing crews also have hit the dangerous patches on West Marginal Way. And they’re tackling the ugly patch on Beach Drive SW that we showed here yesterday – Turner says, “It will take several applications.” P.S. If you encounter a serious road hazard, whether it’s major ice, deep pothole, or something else, the city hotline is 206-684-ROAD.

Neighborhoods’ Chao returning to SW District Council to explain

Three months after she faced the Southwest District Council (October photo at left) to explain a proposed budget cut that would have had a major effect on West Seattle, city Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao will be back before SWDC members this Wednesday.

This time, they’ll be waiting to hear why, even though that budget cut was canceled, a significant change has been made anyway (as first reported here last week). The original proposal was to close the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction that serves the district – in essence, western West Seattle — and to eliminate the position held by its Neighborhood District Coordinator, Stan Lock. The council protested mightily – not just against losing the person who is a city liaison for them and for the neighborhood organizations and institutions they represent, but also against having the center shut down, since potential development does not seem imminent for the site it’s on. The City Council canceled the cut.

But three other district coordinator jobs were cut, meaning there are now 10 coordinators to serve 13 districts around the city, and Chao’s “interim” plan is to organize them into three teams serving regions of districts. Lock is being moved to a team that does not serve West Seattle; the Southwest District will be part of the region served by a team including Delridge District Coordinator Ron Angeles, and that entire team will be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. How is that supposed to work? That’s what the council will be asking Chao on Wednesday; their meeting starts at 7 and she’s expected around 7:45, board room at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW), all welcome.