month : 05/2012 328 results

Chief Sealth 40-year reunion: Help find the ‘missing’

It’s reunion season! For the Chief Sealth High School Class of 1972, this year marks their milestone 40th class reunion, and while it’s not until September 22nd, they’re getting a jump on things by looking for classmates they haven’t heard from in a while – maybe you know what happened to one (or more) of them. First, the reunion details: Saturday, September 22nd, 2 pm school tour, then the reunion activities 5 pm-midnight at Rainier Golf and Country Club (11133 Des Moines Memorial Drive S.) You can join the Facebook group at Click ahead for the list of missing classmates:Read More

West Seattle sunsets: WSB’ers’ view of tonight’s show

(Photo by DC)
A sunset to remember, after that crazy out-of-the-blue (and gray) evening downpour … more people have e-mailed to share sunset photos than we’ve seen in a while – thank you! This one had it all – dramatic clouds, splashes of color … and Alki was the place to see it:

(Photo by Cheryl Nellis of Cnellis Photography)
Here’s another view with the Bremerton ferry passing Alki …

(Photo by Valerie)
And even without the color, the Olympic Mountains made for a beautiful show …

(Photo by Debra Salazar Herbst)
But then – some of them were suddenly gone in the clouds:

(Photo by Russ Walker)
Thank you to everyone who shared sunset views. Photos welcome, from weather to wildlife to breaking news to events to … any time: (or via the WSB Facebook page).

West Seattle Crime Watch: 4 reader reports

Four West Seattle Crime Watch reports from the past few days – one prowling report, one burglary, and two car break-ins, all reported by WSB’ers. Read on for their firsthand reports:Read More

West Seattle traffic alert: Highland Park Way tree trouble

7:18 PM: At Highland Park Way and Othello, a few trees came down – apparently concurrent with the downpour about an hour ago – and right now, one downhill lane is closed.

7:33 PM UPDATE: Cleanup crew is on scene. Photos added.

Update: Small boat fire by Alki Point, put out by those on board

ORIGINAL 6:31 PM REPORT: A large Fire Department response has headed for Alki Point in response to a reported boat fire. So far, though, they’re not finding anything.

6:41 PM UPDATE: Per scanner, the Coast Guard has found a boat that had a small fire “put out by occupants.”

7:22 PM UPDATE: Beach Drive Blog has published a photo of what looks like the boat in question getting a tow or escort.

7:30 PM UPDATE: Our crew is back at HQ and we’ve added their photo atop the story. No injuries reported in all this, by the way.

Denny students and staff mark MSP success with school carnival

May 25, 2012 4:13 pm
|    Comments Off on Denny students and staff mark MSP success with school carnival
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark is famous far and wide for his suits – especially the bright blue one. He wore something darker to get dunked during a school carnival in honor of the recent state-mandated testing (same round for which they made another “inspirational music video”). Patricia Rangel from Denny shares the photo, and this report:

To celebrate the best performance of the students during the MSP, the Washington State Exams, the Denny International Middle School Staff hosted a school-wide carnival including dance, face-painting, and dunk booth. Principal Jeff Clark took his turn in full suit and tie while students aimed fire at the bullseye. Last year Denny International 8th graders saw more growth in their MSP scores in math than any other middle school in the city. They are expecting similar results this August when the 2012 scores are announced.

West Seattle scene: In Highland Park, a sign of gratitude

May 25, 2012 3:35 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle scene: In Highland Park, a sign of gratitude
 |   Highland Park | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

If you live near the Highland Park home where longtime community advocate Martha Mallett and son Brian escaped from a fire in early May, you’ve probably already seen this – but in case you were among those who came to the post-fire neighborhood benefit from other parts of West Seattle, a neighbor sent us this photo to share, to be sure everyone who helped knows they’re appreciated. (We haven’t heard how the fire survivors are doing now, but we’re checking.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Beach Drive safety walk June 1st

May 25, 2012 12:51 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Crime Watch: Beach Drive safety walk June 1st
 |   Beach Drive murder | Crime | West Seattle news

As first reported by Beach Drive Blog yesterday, Seattle Police have finally set the date for the Beach Drive safety walk they have been promising. Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis has just confirmed that the safety walk will be at 6:30 pm next Friday, June 1st. He explains, “This will be an opportunity for police, other city agencies and the Alki /Beach Drive community to partner, walk and discuss crime prevention topics and strategies relating to their neighborhood. We will muster at Emma Schmitz Park and canvas a portion of Beach Drive, completing our walk at Me Kwa Mooks Park.” The area, of course, has been under scrutiny since the as-yet-unsolved murder of 51-year-old Greggette Guy in March, whose car was found at Emma Schmitz, across from Me-Kwa-Mooks, where her family says she had gone to take a walk the night before her body was found in the water half a mile north. In the weeks since, Seattle Parks has cleared some of the shrubbery blocking street visibility at the viewpoint, and Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams has spoken to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council about overall park safety.

East of West Seattle: New transfer station’s dedication next week

(Photo by Hal Tangen)
As Seattle Public Utilities‘ massive new South Transfer Station has gone up just east of West Seattle, on the west side of South Park, it’s brought double takes and questions – especially when a paint problem caused its partial dismantling last year – and photos. Today, the city announced it’s finally about to open. Mayor McGinn and City Councilmembers Jean Godden and Richard Conlin are scheduled to dedicate it next Wednesday morning. From the media advisory, some factoids you might not know about it:

Features of the New South Transfer Station:

Reduced dust due to a misting system that can also be used to reduce odors.
A rainwater collection system that stores rain in a cistern to be used for washing.
Automated weigh-and-pay station for better efficiency, shorter lines and wait times.
Increased safety inside the station for customers and employees; a separate entrance for commercial collection trucks for added safety and efficiency.
Hydraulic compactors to optimize loads for efficiency.
High-quality architecture that meets the gold standard in environmental design.
Public art that features salvaged street signs and parts from the old South Park Bridge. Other artwork made from recycled plastic forks and spoons.
Niches for station staff to display “interesting items” that are found in the trash.
A viewing room for tour groups, individuals to safely see the activity on the sorting floor.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the station is on South Kenyon right alongside Highway 509.

Followup: Conversation with Lafayette’s new principal

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A letter to families, or a news release, only says so much – so after news came in Thursday afternoon about the new principal hired for West Seattle’s most populous elementary school, Lafayette in the Admiral District, we asked for a chance to speak with her.

The announcement of Shauna Heath‘s hiring pointed out that she is a West Seattleite.

Not only does she live here, she told WSB in a Thursday-evening phone conversation, she lives less than a mile from the school she will be leading as of July 1st.

“My child said, ‘We could ride our bikes to school together'” if she worked close to home, instead of in Kent, where Heath has been principal of Sunrise Elementary for two years. (Her son is an Alki Elementary first-grader right now.)

Making a school community also feel like a “home”/”family” community is one of the goals Heath says she has strived for, wherever she has worked.

Read More

What’s happening elsewhere this weekend? SDOT’s traffic-alert list

May 25, 2012 10:22 am
|    Comments Off on What’s happening elsewhere this weekend? SDOT’s traffic-alert list
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | West Seattle news

Summer weekend with lots of events – and that means SDOT has created a list of the events that are drawing crowds around the city and potentially affecting traffic. It’s just arrived; read on!Read More

Madison’s Music in the Parks success, & West Seattle concerts ahead

(Click for full-size image)
Congratulations to the musicians at Madison Middle School, back from an out-of-state festival with some major honors. Music teacher Clark Bathum shares photos and a report, plus word of their upcoming concerts here at home:

Last weekend 100 Madison Middle School band and orchestra students and 16 brave parents, grandparents, and staff had a fantastic time on their annual 3-day trip to the Music in the Parks Festival in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

All of our groups represented West Seattle well against some extremely tough competition. Madison’s string orchestra and concert band both finished second in their divisions, receiving ratings of “excellent.” The Jazz Band won their division and also earned an “excellent” rating. Madison 7th grade saxophonist Logan Schiller played fantastically and continued a dominant Madison win streak becoming the 9th straight Madison student to win the Outstanding Middle School/Jr High Jazz Soloist Award:

After the competition on Saturday morning students had a great time riding rollercoasters and attending the awards ceremony at Silverwood Theme Park.

Congratulations to all of our young musicians for representing Madison and your community so well on and off stage!

With our trip behind us all of the Madison music groups have thrown themselves into preparation for our upcoming spring concerts so come and check them out. Our spring band concert will be on Tuesday, June 5 and our orchestra and jazz concert will be on Thursday, June 7. Both concerts will start at 7:00 pm in the Madison Commons. We would love to see you there.

(We’re adding those dates to the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar, which always welcomes listings for school events and already has lots for the weeks before school lets out – just please e-mail us with as much lead time as possible! Thanks!)

West Seattle Friday: Gardening; teen talent; lots of music

(Great blue heron south of Alki Point, photographed by Zane F. Ware)
Welcome to the holiday weekend! Here’s some of what’s up if you’re NOT taking flight and leaving town:

WEST SEATTLE GARDEN CLUB’S MAY MEETING: The Garden Club meets 10 am-2 pm and you’re invited to all or part of the meeting, which includes a presentation about lavender. Full details here; you’ll find the club at Daystar (2615 SW Barton).

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P COFFEE: Never seen Bob “Bobcat Bob” Rice perform? Not to be missed. See him tonight at C & P (WSB sponsor), 6-8 pm (5612 California).

DINNER JAZZ AT LA ROMANZA: Music with your meal? Friday nights you’ll find it at La Romanza Bistro Italiano (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, starting at 6.

WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL TALENT SHOW: The WSHS junior class is presenting the talent show as a fundraiser, 7 pm, $5 with an ASB card and $7 without (3000 California SW).

LIVE MUSIC AT SKYLARK: Nightrain, Punk Funk Mob, Pony Time, Orca Team, starting at 8 at Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW).

LIVE MUSIC AT FEEDBACK LOUNGE: “Funkiness” is promised in tonight’s performance by The Flat 5 at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 9 pm (6451 California).

LIVE MUSIC AT THE BENBOW ROOM: Blackline and Prelude 2A Pistol, 9 pm, Heartland Café’s Benbow Room (4210 SW Admiral Way).

West Seattle Weather Watch: More sun ahead!

That’s Venus setting last night, behind “some rain that didn’t reach the ground,” as John Hinkey described it. The forecast looks good for at least today and tomorrow – so you might see something just as, if not more, beautiful tonight.

Update: New setback for Marination at Seacrest

(UPDATED 3:55 pm Friday, with information from Seattle Parks)

At first, it looked like possible progress for Marination‘s Seacrest Boathouse restaurant project when today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin arrived, with word that the land-use permit had been approved. But when we checked in with Marination owners Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton this morning, we found out that instead, they’re dealing with a new delay, and facing a fall opening, at best, compared to the mid-to-late summer estimate when they visited the Alki Community Council last month (WSB coverage here).

“Although Land Use has issued its decision, we just recently heard that we are still nearly 2 months away from getting a building permit,” Edison replied. She explained that the decision announced today will require the city to “inform the Department of Ecology in Olympia,” which then has up to a month to review and make its own decision. Even if it gives thumbs up, she continued, “then there is another mandatory period for public comment, 21 days. Only after this public comment period – again assuming no objections – will the Seattle DPD issue a building permit.”

She says Marination was “not informed of this secondary level of review when all this began.” And it’s not a promising timetable: “Our estimates, with this newly revealed process and our most hopeful build-out timelines, would have us opening in mid- to late September – just in time to watch the leaves turn color.”

So are they considering abandoning the project? We’re waiting for a reply to that followup question, and will also be checking up on where the city Parks Department believes everything stands. If you are just coming in on this ongoing story – the city chose Marination’s bid to operate Seacrest, over a bid by the previous concessionaire, Alki Crab and Fish. Then it was revealed that the site had never been formally approved for restaurant operations, and the city Department of Planning and Development was initiating a separate review on that.

ADDED 3:55 PM FRIDAY: We took our followup questions to Karen O’Connor in the Seattle Parks communications department, and she tracked down the people who could answer them. First, she confirmed that they have not yet finalized a lease with Marination, but said they are “close to a final lease agreement.” O’Connor said Parks has a more optimistic view of the timetable, while affirming what Marination’s Edison told us, that the state now has to issue its approval, with “a 21-day public involvement period that follows that. Then it goes back to DPD who issues the final permit. We hear that DOE often rules pretty quickly. It is still possible for a mid- to late-August opening, if things move along as we hope.”

Finally, we asked about the status of an official community meeting with an update on where things said, which Parks had previously promised for “late spring.” O’Connor says, “We will have some signage on the building by the end of next week and still plan to have a community meeting when we have definite dates that we can share with the community.”

West Seattle development: 4724 California clears 1st round of Design Review

(WSB video of tonight’s entire Design Review meeting)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Not much drama in the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 7-story project proposed on the ex-Petco site, 4724 California.

After an hour and 20 minutes and just four members of the public commenting, board members gave their approval for the proposal to move on to the next review round, which also means the project team can apply for a key city permit.

Two of the commenters were a resident and manager from Mural, the three-year-old building immediately east of this project’s site; the board also heard from Rich Koehler, whose thoughts on the project were featured in this WSB story, and from Rene Commons, a community advocate and Junction Neighborhood Organization member who had also been active in speaking out during the Design Review process for the ex-Conner/Equity Residential project on the boards for California/Alaska/42nd, north of this one and Mural.

Key points of discussion: Whether the building’s upper stories will be set back enough that, from the California SW streetfront, it will not appear to be a 7-story building; also, the width and character of the “midblock crossing” on the north side of the building, envisioned to connect with the passageway alongside Mural, and to the crosswalk on California.

ADDED EARLY FRIDAY: Full details, ahead:Read More

Spokane St. Viaduct update: 4th Ave. ramp to reopen May 30th

The good news is, the city expects to reopen the 4th Avenue S. offramp from the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct next Wednesday, May 30th. The not-so-good news is, as previously warned, that means the 1st Avenue S. ramp will close temporarily, as rehab work continues on the old deck of the widened SSV. Here’s the latest about that and other project-related changes/closures for next week (plus another warning about the June 9-11 westbound closure) from project spokesperson Paul Elliott:Read More

Stand-up paddleboard rentals at Alki Beach, starting Saturday

Just announced by Greg Whittaker, proprietor of Mountain to Sound Outfitters and Alki Kayak Tours, a new venture right on the beach!

Mountain to Sound Outfitters has finalized a permit for Stand Up Paddleboard Rentals on Alki Beach with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

The concession will be located off of 55th Ave SW and Alki Avenue at the human-powered launch area of Alki Beach. This Saturday, Mountain to Sound Rentals will be open and renting Stand up Paddleboards (SUP) for the sunny weather and to start setting up the season’s program.

Mountain to Sound Rentals will also be providing sit-on-top kayaks, skates, and longboards as the season progresses.

Come by and check out the new expansion Saturday, and hop on a Stand Up Paddleboard, or just swing by and say hi.

West Seattle food/drink: Charlie’s plan changes; Chaco’s $2.50 Tuesdays

Two food/drink notes this afternoon:

CHARLIE’S BUNS CANCELS DELRIDGE PLAN: Veronica Weaver of the Charlie’s Buns ‘n’ Stuff food truck confirms she has scrapped her plan for a bricks-and-mortar burgers/cheesesteaks location at 5214 Delridge Way SW. We checked in with her after a new coffee stand opened in the complex (more on that, to come) and a WSB’er asked us if the coffee place was the space Charlie’s was supposed to be taking. No, says Weaver, she had signed a lease for the space next to that one – but she says she canceled the lease because things weren’t working out – “There were issues having them do the improvements necessary to have the space be a restaurant.” But, she says, “We are currently still looking for a space to occupy, hopefully in West Seattle. We will see, what may come our way.”

$2.50 TUESDAYS AT CHACO CANYON: Just got word from Chaco Canyon Organic Café (WSB sponsor) proprietor Chris that they’re starting something new next Tuesday – “organic beer, wine and cider only $2.50 from 3 pm to close!” Chaco Canyon is the vegetarian/vegan café at 38th/Alaska, on the ground floor of Link.

Lafayette Elementary’s new principal announced: Shauna Heath

Just in (thanks to those who forwarded it), a letter from Seattle Public Schools to families at Lafayette Elementary, whose first-year principal Jo Lute-Ervin announced three months ago (long before the investigation that has made news this week) she would not be returning for a second year:

Dear Lafayette Elementary community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Shauna Heath as your new principal, effective July 1.

Ms. Heath comes to Lafayette from the Kent School District, where she served as principal of Sunrise Elementary for the past two years. Ms. Heath is not only a great educator, but she lives in West Seattle and will be an excellent fit for the Lafayette community.

Ms. Heath started her career as a special education teacher in King Salmon, Alaska and then as a special education teacher for the Shelton School District in Washington. She was the assistant principal for Tillicum Middle School in Bellevue from 1998-2002, served as an elementary school principal in Clinton, Tennessee, and was a middle school principal in Riverdale, Georgia. Before moving back to Washington state, she was the pre-kindergarten through 5th Grade Instructional Services Director for City Schools of Decatur, Georgia.

Ms. Heath holds a Washington State Administrative Certification from the University of Puget Sound, and a Master of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts from Evergreen State College. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in K-12 Leadership through Walden University.

Ms. Heath was selected following an interview process that included a school-based screening by members of the Lafayette Building Leadership Team and family community. She was interviewed by the school-based hiring team and also completed an instructional school walk through with Executive Director of Schools Aurora Lora. The selection team was particularly impressed with her knowledge of curriculum and instruction, her years of experience as a school and district administrator, and her dedication to the West Seattle community as a resident and parent.

I know you are all eager to get to know your new principal. She will be available to meet staff and families before the end of the school year. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Heath to the Lafayette community!


Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent

(The website to the new principal’s current school is here.)

Remembering West Seattle civic activist Margaret Ceis, 1925-2012

(Photo courtesy ArtsWest, whose Kongsgaard-Alhadeff Award honored Ms. Ceis in 2005)
Friends, family, and political/civic leaders around the area are remembering longtime West Seattle activist Margaret Ceis today. She passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Her community service included being a founding member of the ArtsWest board, serving on the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners – for which she was honored in this 1996 City Council resolution – the Alki Community Council, the Harborview Medical Center Board of Trustees, and more.

Her leadership skills and perseverance were legend; when former mayor and current Secretary of State candidate Greg Nickels spoke at the memorial last year for another longtime community activist, Vivian McLean (WSB coverage here), he mentioned Ms. Ceis as, along with Ms. McLean, one of the local activists “you never say ‘no’ to.” Ms. Ceis was the mother of former deputy mayor Tim Ceis. We asked King County Executive Dow Constantine, one of many local leaders that she inspired, for his thoughts:

Our community lost a genuine champion with the passing of Margaret Ceis.

A lifelong community organizer and political activist, Margaret led the 34th District Democrats, the Alki Community Council and the League of Women Voters, among many other groups. She helped to create and promote the landmark 1989 King County Open Space bond issue, chaired the Seattle Parks Board, co-founded ArtsWest, and co-chaired the Three Projects/One Community campaign in Delridge.

It was Margaret who introduced me to grassroots Democratic politics. Her endorsement was without question the most coveted in West Seattle. In 1996 she was the co-chair of my successful campaign for the State House of Representatives. Without the coaxing and mentorship of Margaret Ceis I might never have sought or been elected to public office, and I will be forever grateful to her.

My condolences to Margaret’s family and friends, and to the entire West Seattle community, which she changed time and again for the better.

No word of memorial arrangements for Ms. Ceis yet, but they are expected to be made through Howden-Kennedy. We expect to add more to this story as the day goes on.

ADDED 11:38 PM: The Seattle Times (WSB partner) has published a story tonight about Ms. Ceis, for whom a memorial is planned at 2 pm June 2nd at The Hall at Fauntleroy.

Springer the orphan orca: Alki anniversary party planned

(Springer, photographed in 2002 by West Seattle-based researcher Mark Sears)
It was a wildlife drama with a happy ending, and much of it played out just outside West Seattle waters, in 2002. Now the 10th anniversary of the rescue of Springer the orphan orca will include a celebration on Alki, led by West Seattle-based advocacy/education group The Whale Trail. Read on for details!Read More

West Seattle Thursday: Development; music; art; wine …

Thanks to Bob Bussman for sharing photos of an eagle getting takeout at Lincoln Park. (Several WSB’ers have sent photos lately of eagles dining; a few were a bit gory.) We’ve added one more of his images at the end of this story. But first – here’s what’s on the events/activities menu today:

WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: The WSDW monthly meeting is at midday today – starting with the 10:30 am discussion group. Full details on discussion and lunch, here.

SCHOOL CONCERTS: More orchestra concerts at local schools today, as previewed in our report on Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras‘ coaching program: According to the SYSO list, Arbor Heights Elementary concerts are at 1:30 and 6 pm, Gatewood Elementary concerts are at 2 and 6 pm.

ARTIST RECEPTION AT THE MOUNT: 4-6 pm, Providence Mount St. Vincent‘s Intergenerational Art Show and Sale continues with an artist reception. Details here. 4831 35th SW.

2 WINE TASTINGS: At West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor), 5:30-8 pm, German wines are in the spotlight – and the bottles, and the glasses. Free. Full details in our calendar listing; 6026 California SW … At Bin 41 (4707 California SW), 6-8 pm, it’s all about Chardonnay tonight – details here.

4724 CALIFORNIA PROJECT, 1ST DESIGN REVIEW: Five weeks after our first report on this 100-unit project proposed for the former Petco storefront, it goes to the Southwest Design Review Board for “early design guidance.” Public comment is welcome. 6:30 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). Our preview from last night is full of info-links, including our previous reports and even the “Community Guide to Design Review” if you haven’t been to a DRB meeting before.

And now, another eagle-with-fish photo from Bob:

Thanks to everyone who shares photos for potential WSB publication! You can e-mail us any time – or share via the WSB pages on Facebook or on Flickr.