day : 25/03/2012 9 results

Followup: Closer look at old ‘orchard house’ on Puget Ridge

(Click image for larger view)
Tonight, another look at an old Puget Ridge farmhouse that apparently sparked a fair amount of curiosity and imagination last weekend, after we published a photo Mike Gerber took during the St. Patrick’s Day snow showers. He sent three more photos this weekend and explained:

A surprising number of people asked for some additional information on the old house in the photo you ran last Saturday. Here’s a better angle of it. As for it being the oldest orchard house in Seattle, there’s very little in the historical record about this particular section of West Seattle and so it’s difficult to date it.

The area was covered in enormous old growth forest prior to the 1870’s, and the very valuable and spectacular trees were cut and turned into a hodgepodge of small farms and orchards and over the next 20 years. The construction is consistent with that era and it would seem logical that the trees growing closest to Elliott Bay would be the first to go.

I also met a wonderful and very credible old guy a number of years ago who had lived next to the orchard at one time. He said the house had been built in the 1880s, but that it had been vacant since the Depression.

During the construction of our home we came across four piles of very old lumber that turned out to be the collapsed remnants of small shacks, probably where orchard workers once lived. Under one of them we found two perfectly persevered ‘skat’ playing cards that were made in Germany in the early 1900s, where many of the workers came from.

Skat is considered the national game there and is played everywhere.

It would be interesting to know if any other readers have anything to add to the history of this relatively little-known area.

The location is described in the comment section following last weekend’s story.

Reader reports: Scooter stolen; suspicious visitor at the door

2 reports of note tonight – one definitely a crime, the second one, hard to tell:

SCOOTER STOLEN: Sonia reported this one on the WSB Facebook wall. She and her daughter were at Lincoln Park late today when someone made off with her daughter’s scooter: “It was a Barbie scooter. My daughter was playing on the logs and I was taking pictures of her. We were by the construction area (Colman Pool).” If you find one abandoned somewhere, contact police, and tell them you know whose it might be.

CENSUS WORKER? OR WOULD-BE BURGLAR? Tanya had a visitor at her door along Fauntleroy in the Morgan Junction area, asking about her neighbors:Read More

West Seattle wildlife: Sick raccoon caught in Fauntleroy

The reader report and photos are from Rebecca in the Fauntleroy Cove area:

Early this afternoon, I discovered a raccoon wandering around the property; it was daytime and I thought it strange that a raccoon would be out and about.

After watching him for a minute I realized he was either very sick or dying. Turns out he had distemper, which is highly contagious and can kill off an entire colony of raccoons, not to mention infect dogs and humans.

I called Seattle Animal Control and they were on the scene in about 20 minutes, quickly caught the little guy, and took him off in a cage. If he isn’t too badly infected, he will receive treatment; otherwise he’ll be euthanized.

We are fortunate to have a diverse population of wildlife in West Seattle and it’s important to keep an eye out for abnormalities that could be a threat to them, us or our pets.

Distemper signs to look for: Conjunctivitis in the eyes, mucous discharge covering the eyes. Wandering around in circles, disoriented, falling down, slower than normal movement. For more information check out Distemper in Raccoons. The number for Animal Control: 206-386-7387

Happening now: ‘Hand Up for Mike’ with big-name auction items

That’s the team you’ll find in the back room at Feedback Lounge (6451 California SW; WSB sponsor) till 4 pm today, with an amazing array of items for the “Hand Up for Mike” silent auction/party. (Mike’s the guy at front and center.) Till we saw the lineup for ourselves, we didn’t realize how many cool auction items they’d rounded up – here’s just a few things:

You might notice the Full Tilt logo. And there are gift certificates from Zippy’s Giant Burgers, Meander’s Kitchen, photos/merchandise from people whose work you’ve seen on WSB (Machel Spence, Jim Clark, and of course Christopher Boffoli and his now world-famous “Big Appetites”), and great stuff from folks you may not have met yet (but should!). The live dessert auction – emceed by Teri Ensley, who you might know from Furry Faces Foundation – promises to be a winner too, and that’s coming up at 3:05 pm:

If you don’t know Mike and haven’t read about him here before – in a nutshell – what happened to him is an all-too-common situation: A health crisis cost him his job, and his apartment, and suddenly he was homeless. After months at Nickelsville, he is now in transitional housing, and working hard to get a new start and get stability, with a new place to live, work, and more. This event is to get a little seed money for him … that “Hand Up.”

Southwest Pool: Last chance to swim before 3-week closure

March 25, 2012 2:06 pm
|    Comments Off on Southwest Pool: Last chance to swim before 3-week closure
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

After public swim at 4 pm and lap swim at 5 pm today, Southwest Pool (2801 SW Thistle) is closing for 3 weeks of maintenance. That reminder comes from assistant coordinator Matt Richardson:

During the closure there are several major projects. The first week, March 26-April 1, will be comprised of the gymnasium floor refinishing project. This requires the use of materials that put out a fair amount of volatile organic compounds. The Pool, Teen Life Center and EuropaKids will not be in operation during this week.

The last two weeks are the Pool’s regular preventive maintenance closure. The work includes draining and acid washing the plaster shell, replacement of some valve seals, filter repairs and other items that require the pool to be empty. It takes nearly two days to drain the pool , two to fill, and another two to heat the pool back up to its normal 85-degree operating temperature. The Pool reopens April 16th. To register for lessons during our closure, participants can contact any other Seattle Parks Pool or Community Center.

After the pool reopens, there are a couple big events –

-Our Grand Re-Opening (celebration is) on April 17th. The schedule of events is

11:30-12:30 Dedication and refreshments
12:00-1:30 Free Adult Swim
3:00-4:00 Free Public/Teen Swim

-April Pools Day on Saturday April 21st, 10:30 am to Noon. There will be water safety demonstrations and practice stations, free swimming, and prizes. Children under 18 must be accompanied into the water by an adult.

West Seattle businesses: Fleurt moving to bigger new location

Sam Crowley, proprietor of Fleurt in The Junction, is excited today – and not just because it’s sunny and that will likely put even more people in the mood for flowers. She is excited because she’s moving to a bigger new location – the Junction storefront recently vacated by Knows Perfume:

“Due to the overwhelming support of the local community, we are excited to announce that starting mid-April, Fleurt will be moving to a bigger and better location. We are not going far; we are moving right next door to Menashe & Sons Jewelers, 4536 California Ave.

The larger space will allow us to expand our flower offerings and services, in addition to having more unique gifts and creative workshops. We thank everyone for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at our new location.

Besides drop-in service at her storefront as well as “unique gifts and home decor,” Sam notes that Fleurt “offers daily deliveries of flowers, as well as flowers for events and weddings.” She’ll have something else to celebrate next month besides the new storefront – April is also when Fleurt will celebrate its second anniversary in The Junction.

West Seattle Sunday: Viaduct closure; ferry-schedule changes; ‘A Hand Up for Mike’; more

That’s the latest image from the camera watching the West Seattle Bridge eastbound. It was backed up much of Saturday during the first day of the Viaduct/Highway 99 closure, so it’s worth checking as the closure continues today; that’s one of the transportation notes topping our list of highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT/HIGHWAY 99 CLOSURE CONTINUES: The stretch of 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge is scheduled to remain closed until 5 am Monday. These closures sometimes end early; if this one does, we’ll publish an update here as well as on the WSB Facebook page and in the WSB Twitter feed.

STATE FERRIES SWITCH TO SPRING SCHEDULE: The new Washington State Ferries schedule takes effect today, and it includes the return of three-boat weekend service on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route.

WEST SEATTLE GEAR SWAP, DAY 2: Winter gear of all types. Mountain to Sound Outfitters is presenting the swap/sale, with more details here. 11 am-3 pm at the VFW Hall, 3602 SW Alaska.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Today and every Sunday, 10 am-2 pm, 44th/Alaska.

GIVE A DOG A HOME: Dog-adoption event today, 11 am-2 pm, at Mud Bay West Seattle (2611 California SW in the Admiral District). In partnership with Homeward Pet.

A HAND UP FOR MIKE: Friends of Mike, aka “miws” in the WSB Forums and site comments, are inviting you to a silent auction/benefit in his honor today, 1-4 pm, at Feedback Lounge (6451 California SW; WSB sponsor). Mike is climbing out of homelessness triggered by a health crisis that cost him his job and then his apartment; he’s in transitional housing and working toward permanent housing and stability (read more about him here), but “a hand up” from friends, neighbors, and community members can make a big difference. Full details in the event listing page from the WSB calendar. (Special request from organizers: “While there will be PayPal available for donations and auction payments, we’re asking for cash and checks to minimize the PayPal fees.”)

OPEN HOUSE: Unified Outreach invites you to an open house today at Ginomai Art Center in The Junction to find out about its free “industry-level cartoon and animation training using Adobe Flash.” 3-5 pm at 4401 42nd SW; meet volunteers and students, and enjoy snacks/beverages. Find out more about the program at

LIVE MUSIC: Mike Buchman at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW, 3-5 pm … Note that Skylark Café and Club has NO music tonight – it’s closing after brunch for repair work.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire on Alki; suspect arrested

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:17 AM: Police have stopped what they believe to be a suspect in a case of gunfire reported on Alki a short time ago. No injuries reported at this point, but it is still an active investigation with at least two locations – where the gunfire happened, and where the suspect was stopped.

12:30 AM UPDATE: WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli is at the scene where police stopped the suspect in his car, which matched the description we’d heard via scanner, a Subaru with spoiler. They also reported recovering a .45-caliber handgun. Back in the 2800 block of Alki SW, they are looking for evidence of gunfire.

1:08 AM UPDATE: Police have published a short summary of this on SPD Blotter. One additional detail from their report: This involved two people in “an altercation” outside, not IN a bar. We heard scanner traffic regarding the reported target of the gunfire saying it happened in the alley behind Cactus; one officer reported finding a “live round” in the area.

In the SPD Blotter item, Gang Unit detectives are mentioned, and Christopher indeed said he saw them at the arrest scene, which was near Salty’s.

ADDED SUNDAY AFTERNOON: A few followup details from Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams: The suspect is 26 years old and had been escorted out of an area bar before all this happened, following a “disturbance.” Lt. Williams also clarifies that while Gang Unit detectives were investigating, that unit “investigates incidents of this nature even if there is no indication that those involved are associated with gangs” – so don’t assume that just because the Gang Unit shows up, it’s definitely gang-related.

ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: The SPD Blotter report also now includes these additional details, and one new one: The man who was shot at was 28 years old. We can’t confirm whether the 26-year-old suspect is still in jail, since at this point we don’t have his name, but we’ll look into that tomorrow.

Video: Music for & by all ages, @ Big Band Dinner Dance

Our video features the Denny International Middle School Jazz Band, the first of three student groups directed by Marcus Pimpleton that performed Saturday night for the Big Band Dinner Dance; the two others were from adjacent Chief Sealth International High School – here’s the Jazz 1 group:

Last night’s benefit combined what had been the Denny Jazz Dinner and the Sealth Big Band Dinner Dance, in this first year of the two schools sharing a campus (they had already been sharing a “pathway“). The above photo and the next one are courtesy of Denny principal Jeff Clark, who also shared these words:

Congratulations to Denny and Sealth Jazz musicians on an outstanding night of music. The dance floor has filled as guests are dancing to the sweet sound of jazz. Thank you to our amazing volunteers, families, and staff for making this event possible. A special thank to the West Seattle Big Band for joining us!

The WSBB has long supported student music programs.