month : 12/2012 327 results

West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas spotted here again

“We live at Alki Point and spotted a family of Orcas this morning at 8:30 am heading south,” reports Jeff Morgante, sharing these photos (thank you!).

According to comments on the Orca Network‘s Facebook page, two groups of orcas have been sighted off Vashon/Maury Islands in the past few hours – this was likely one of them. As always, if you’re near the water, keep an eye out, since they’ll have to head back north sometime!

ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: Alisa Lemire Brooks recorded this video as one group headed back north in Colvos Passage, between Vashon’s west side and the Kitsap Peninsula:

She shared it via the aforementioned Orca Network page.

Sealth soccer players to coach younger students at camp next week

December 29, 2012 9:00 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Middle-school or 9th-grade soccer player in the house? Next Wednesday-Friday (January 2-4), they’re invited to join a student-athlete-led soccer camp at Chief Sealth International High School. The camp, to run 9 am-noon each of those three days, is intended:

… to prepare younger students for the level of play that high-school soccer requires. It will cover basics, fitness, and what it’s like being a high-school athlete. The camp will be directed and coached by current Chief Sealth Varsity Soccer players, and supervised by a member of the coaching staff. These player coaches will be able to demonstrate the drills and actively coach and play alongside the kids.

The camp is being organized by Sealth varsity-soccer team member Mori Tsuchiya, and it’s for both boys and girls, with the fee just $10 for all three days, according to the official brochure, which contains many more details. Since the camp is just days away, please RSVP by e-mail to Sealth athletic director Sam Reed at as well as to the student organizer at – you can sign up the first morning of camp, but they want to know you’re coming!

West Seattle Saturday: 2012’s final weekend takes off

December 29, 2012 6:30 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Surfbirds on Alki Beach 2012.257

(Alki surfbirds, photographed last weekend by Danny McMillin, shared in the WSB Flickr group)
While you get ready for New Year’s Eve/Day celebrations (checked the Holiday Guide yet?), it’s a semi-quiet weekend, but still some activities/options:

TWO BLOOD DRIVES: If you can donate, this is the time of year when your blood donation is needed more than ever – and today, it’s convenient, with the Puget Sound Blood Center‘s Bloodmobile in The Junction 9 am-3 pm, 4700 block of 42nd SW (break 11:30-12:30) and at Holy Family‘s Tice Hall (18th/Roxbury), 10 am-4 pm (break noon-1 pm).

2 SHOWS ON ‘WINTER WONDERETTES’ 2ND-TO-LAST DAY: Tomorrow’s the final performance of “The Winter Wonderettes” at ArtsWest, but you have TWO chances to see the show today – 3 pm and 7:30 pm (tickets online here).

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Legend Heart performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 6-8 pm tonight, 5612 California SW.

‘BLUES, BALLADS, BOOGIE WOOGIE’ AT KENYON HALL: 7:30 pm, with Orville Johnson & Casey McGill – e-mail Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW) for a reservation ASAP,

‘WEST SIDE GLORY 4’: 8 pm tonight at Skylark Café and Club, billed as “a queer variety show,” for 21 and over. The performer lineup’s on the Facebook event page.

THE BOURBONITES AT THE FEEDBACK: Rock out, Americana-style, at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 6451 California SW, 9:30 pm tonight with The Bourbonites.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Hit-run; construction-site thefts; rack gone

Three reader reports in Crime Watch tonight. First:

That’s the spot near 21st and Roxbury where a truck knocked down a pole early this morning. The WSB’er who shared that photo and the next one heard it happen: “It sounded like someone dropped a dumpster from a 747,” he recalls. Looking around to see what happened, he saw a truck crashed into the pole, airbags deployed – and then, driven away before police arrived. Later, checking around the neighborhood, he discovered the suspect truck hadn’t gotten far:

Police, of course, were called again. Driver still on the loose, last we heard. Ahead, two other reports – thefts big and not-as-big:

Read More

West Seattle New Year’s Eve: Walk the Fauntleroy labyrinth!

December 28, 2012 6:01 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | Holidays | West Seattle news

(Fauntleroy Fall Festival 2012 photo of The Hall’s labyrinth, by Nick Adams for WSB)
Another unique New Year’s Eve event in West Seattle: The Hall at Fauntleroy‘s Labyrinth Walk (see the flyer here). It’s 6-8 pm Monday in The Hall’s space on the south side of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW). The suggested donation, $5/person ($20/family if 4 or more), is to benefit the “Raise the Roof” capital campaign for the schoolhouse (now a nonprofit-owned community facility that’s had $1 million-plus in repairs, such as roof work, to deal with). To find out more about the labyrinth itself, go here.

(The Labyrinth Walk is one of many New Year’s Eve/Day West Seattle/White Center events spotlighted in the WSB Holiday Guide (where you’ll also find the lists of restaurants/coffee shops/grocery stores open on NYE and/or NYD) – more to be added if you let us know what we’re missing!)

Southwest District Council: New time, new West Seattle location

December 28, 2012 4:16 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Starting with its January meeting – coming up next Wednesday (January 2) – the Southwest District Council is changing meeting times and locations. The council will continue meeting on first Wednesdays – but it’ll be at 6:30 pm, earlier than before, and the new location is the Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool building (2801 SW Thistle), Room 2. The agenda for next Wednesday includes presentations by West Seattleites applying for Neighborhood Street Fund grants – three proposals are from Morgan Junction, one from Admiral, and one from Arbor Heights. SWDC meetings are always open to the public; council members represent community councils and other organizations from around what the city has designated as the “Southwest District” – mostly western West Seattle (here’s the citywide map of districts). See next Wednesday’s full agenda here (PDF).

Memorial service tomorrow for Alma Dines, 1929-2012

Longtime West Seattle resident Alma Dines will be remembered at a service tomorrow. Her family shared this announcement today:

Alma Julia Dines, 83, born October 27, 1929, passed away on December 16, 2012. She attended Centralia High School and Centralia Junior College before moving to Seattle in 1949 to attend the University of Washington where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

Alma married Alec Dines in July 1954 and they settled in West Seattle. Alec passed away in 1969. After several years as a stay-at-home mom, Alma went back to work at Western and Southern Life Insurance Company. She then worked for Providence Hospital in Seattle (now Swedish Cherry Hill) as a Patient Account Representative until her retirement in December 1994.

Alma was an avid walker and could often be seen walking in the Admiral area where she lived in a condominium. She had a wide circle of friends; always close to her heart were her friends at the West Seattle Baptist Church.

Alma was predeceased by her parents, husband Alec, and sister Amy. She is survived by her brother Lee Harrah of Hutchinson, Kansas, her daughter Diana (Phil), son Alec (Jeannie) and grandchildren Kyle Hamilton (Sherry), David Hamilton (Kelsey), Melanie Hamilton Reed (Brian), Joe Dines and John Dines; and great grandson Alex Hamilton.

Memorial service Saturday, December 29th, 11 am, at West Seattle Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name to West Seattle Baptist Church, 4157 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

West Seattle road work: Avalon/Genesee signal milestone

Milestone for those awaiting the new traffic signal at Avalon and Genesee: We’ve seen crews working at the intersection almost daily, and this afternoon, the actual stoplight fixtures are installed. No activation date announced yet (we’re checking); the installation is running a few months behind what SDOT had announced earlier this year – installation work finally began in October.

West Seattle development, mapped: 2,000+ planned units

View Major active/upcoming West Seattle development, updated for December 2012 in a larger map

Looks like 2013 will be “The Year of the Crane” in West Seattle. We have finally finished updating the latest version of the development-in-the-works map, first published in August (separate from a version we updated repeatedly back during the 2008 boom) – click any marker to find out more about the project at that site. Just as well we didn’t publish it earlier, since this week has brought more updates. A three-block stretch of California SW’s east side will have three projects under way by spring, if current plans come to fruition, including Wednesday’s announcement about The Blake.

When we published the previous version in August, we counted about 1,500 units either under construction or on the drawing board; now, with a few additions and a few subtractions (noted below), we count more than 2,000. A few notes:

-In addition to what is visible in the map window above, our current list has one more development on the map, but it’s out of view because it’s in south West Seattle at 9051 20th SW – you can grab the map to manipulate it to see that 41-apartment project (or click the small blue link below the map to see it full-size on Google Maps); otherwise, everything of note is concentrated in the area shown by default – the Junction/Triangle/Avalon area.

-Two buildings from the August edition have been removed, because both are now leasing – NOVA (WSB sponsor) and The Residences at 3295.

-Though they are not apartments in the classic sense, we include the 66-unit DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project in North Delridge and the early-stage proposal for a “50-60-unit Alzheimer’s housing” project in The Junction, as both are of significant size and neighborhood impact.

-We’ve used a variety of methods – maps, databases, city webpages, driving around, etc. – to keep watch for new projects. But it’s possible we’ve missed something – so if you know about an early-stage proposal on a site not mentioned here, please let us know!

West Seattle Friday: On the eve of another 4-day holiday weekend

December 28, 2012 11:09 am
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 |   West Seattle news

With New Year’s Eve on Monday and New Year’s Day on Tuesday, it’s a second consecutive four-day holiday weekend. From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and our regular calendar, a few notes:

METRO: As noted in today’s transit/traffic tracker, buses are on the “reduced weekday” schedule, and will be again on Monday, with New Year’s Day running a Sunday schedule.

TRASH/RECYCLING: While it’s been on one-day delay since Tuesday – if you have MONDAY pickup, it should happen on the regular day next week, then Tuesday-Friday will be on one-day delay again, according to the city.

SID LAW AT C & P: Live music at C & P Coffee House (WSB sponsor; 5612 California SW) tonight with Sid Law, 6-8 pm – find out about his music at

BARBIE ANAKA AT SALTY’S: Live music in the café/bar at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), no cover, with Barbie Anaka, 7-9 pm – find out about her music at

PEOPLE TANK, YEAR OF THE SERPENT AT SKYLARK: Live music at Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm, with People Tank and Year of the Serpent.

INTISAAR AND LUSH TONES AT BENBOW: Live music tonight at the Heartland Café’s Benbow Room (4210 SW Admiral Way), 9 pm, with Intisaar and Lush Tones.

For New Year’s Eve/Day events, check the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide ASAP – and if we’re missing something in West Seattle or White Center, including restaurant/lounge/bar special menus/midnight toasts/etc., please let us know ASAP so we can add it before everyone finalizes their plans –

West Seattle Crime Watch: Robber sought in store stickup

December 28, 2012 9:37 am
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 |   Crime | Highland Park | West Seattle news

Seattle Police are trying to solve an armed robbery at a local store. Via SPD Blotter, police say a man walked into El Quetzal, which is in the Arrowhead Gardens complex in the 9200 block of 2nd SW, around 7:30 last night, and pointed a black revolver at the clerk. The robber ordered the clerk to lie on the floor; then the robber opened the register, took cash, and left. He was last seen walking southbound. The clerk, who was not hurt, described him as “a Hispanic male, between the age of 18-20, 5′8″ tall, 200 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black jacket, and gray pants,” according to SPD; no arrest so far.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates, and 2013’s first alert

(Refresh page for newest image from west-facing West Seattle Bridge cam; more cameras here)
“Reduced weekday” for Metro again today – scroll down this Metro webpage to see which routes are normal, which are reduced, and which are canceled.

TRAFFIC ALERT FOR THE FIRST WEEKEND OF 2013: One month ago, we had first word of the Spokane Street Interchange Vicinity Special Bridge Repair project, starting in early January, with various weekend ramp closures planned; now, the first closure is almost here, so we’re reminding you: 10 pm NEXT Friday 1/4 through 5 am Monday 1/7, two ramps will be closed – Columbian Way (Beacon Hill) to West Seattle Bridge, and Southbound I-5 to West Seattle Bridge. Here’s the detour map. Again, that’s NEXT weekend (full list of all project closures, here).

10:22 AM: More trouble today on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Here are the latest updates from the WSF alert system:

Due to necessary repairs on the Klahowya, the 11:35 am Southworth departure will only sail to Vashon. The 11:55 am Vashon to Fauntleroy sailing and the 12:20 pm Fauntleroy to Vashon sailing are canceled.

West Seattle Weather Watch: Of rainbows and rainfall

Just before sunset on Thursday, north West Seattle enjoyed a beautiful rainbow view. We received two photos from Alki – top, from Russ Walker; below, from Ginny Trethewey:

A few hours later, the Seattle office of the National Weather Service shared some stats on this year’s rainfall:

Today was the 176th day this year with measurable precipitation at Sea-Tac. This is the 8th-highest total on record at Sea-Tac. The record is 194 days in 1950. The least number of days on record at Sea-Tac – 120 days in 1987.

Since October 1st there has been 21.78 inches of precipitation at Sea-Tac. 5th-highest October 1st to December 31st total. The record is 25.06 inches, set in 1955.

And yet it also has been a year with a record dry spell – the longest period in which only .01 inches of rain was recorded – 81 days in late summer/early fall.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Car full of donations stolen

Another stolen car to watch for. Mike has been traveling and got bad news just as he was getting ready to head home:

Our son, who is taking care of our house in Highland Park, reports that his car was stolen from in front of our house in the last 24 hours. It’s a gold 1993 Saturn SW2 wagon, license plate ABE0639. Its front left quarter panel has a large crack in it (it’s a plastic car). It was loaded with donations for Goodwill, probably worth more than the value of the car. My son has notified SPD.

And they in turn tweeted the info earlier tonight. As the @getyourcarback tweets always say – if you see a car reported as stolen, call 911.

Make snowflakes for Sandy Hook @ Young at Art on Sunday

December 27, 2012 10:19 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle news

Another way to reach out to the survivors at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut: Theresa Anderson, proprietor of Young at Art (now at 5962 Fauntleroy), invites you to stop by between 10 am and 2 pm this Sunday to help make snowflakes to decorate the school that Sandy Hook students are now attending (the project is explained on this Facebook page). Share hot cocoa with neighbors and some warm wishes for those far away – Theresa says you can drop in any time during those four hours on Sunday.

Guilty plea for Skyler Gronholz in traffic-stop attack on police

Checking the online files on various crime/court cases we have been following – we just discovered a guilty plea in one recent case: That of 28-year-old Skyler Gronholz, gavel.jpgcharged with third-degree assault for the attack that left two officers and a Good Samaritan injured after a traffic stop last month at 42nd/Charlestown. (A week later, we covered a Southwest Precinct event in which the citizen was formally thanked for helping the officers.) At the time of Gronholz’s arrest the night of that incident, he also was wanted on a warrant related to a burglary/stolen property case in which he had pleaded guilty earlier this year; court documents say that case is being folded into this one. He pleaded guilty to the November assault charge last week; prosecutors are recommending a 3 1/2-year prison sentence when he is sentenced on January 11th.

Memorial service next week for Dick Fullington, 1930-2012

A memorial service is planned one week from tomorrow for Dick Fullington, a former longtime West Seattle resident and physician. His family shares this remembrance:

WARREN RICHARD (Dick) FULLINGTON, 82, of Olympia, born May 12, 1930, passed away on December 10, 2012. Son of Harold and Mildred Fullington, Dick was born in Parsons, KS, and graduated from Bremerton H.S. in 1948. After completing the U.W. School of Medicine in 1956, he married Lois Lundberg the next day. Following residency, he served in the U.S Army from 1961-64 in Honolulu. Warren practiced at South Seattle Women’s Clinic and at Riverton and Highline Hospitals until 1989.

Dick loved his savior Jesus Christ. Married to Lois for 56 years, she remained the love of his life. Their love shone as a beautiful example to his four sons and many others. Gentle and kind, Dick’s passions included reading, learning, football and salmon fishing with Lois and son John at Sekiu. An avid Husky fan, he rooted for the Cougars when his grandson John joined the team. Preferring to get to know people individually, apart from large gatherings, he always made you feel special and important.

Survived by his wife Lois, sons Rand (Laurel), John (Sue), Mark (Maciana) and Craig (Andrea) and 12 grandchildren, he is greatly missed. A memorial will be held at Hope Community Church Friday January 4, 2013, in Olympia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hope Community Church Building Fund.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

West Seattle traffic alert: Fauntleroy/California signal trouble

5:08 PM: Once again, the Fauntleroy/California signal is having evening-commute trouble – steer clear if you can.

5:28 PM: Just checked back – still not working – north-south was stuck on green, east-west on red, vehicles trying to get through in 4-way-stop mode.

6:54 PM: Via Twitter, Marcia reports the lights are fixed.

West Seattle New Year’s Eve: Highland Park reveals details

December 27, 2012 4:00 pm
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 |   Highland Park | Holidays | West Seattle news

(New Year’s Eve 2011 video by Randall G. Hauk for WSB)
For the past three New Year’s Eves, the Highland Park “Not-So-Silent Night Parade” has been West Seattle’s liveliest all-ages way to ring (and drum, and shout…) out the old year. We knew a fourth annual parade was in the works, followed by the “Sage Comet,” but now we know what else is in store at the Highland Park Improvement Club next Monday night – starting shortly after 7 pm, the first-ever New Year’s Eve “Corner Bar” :

Live music from
Sedagive: eclectic, centering around rock, roots rock, classic stuff
Justin Hoffman: original folk rock with a reggae punch
Woody Moses & friends: jam session, starting around 11 pm until after midnight. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to sit in.

Your favorite local beer on tap, wine by the glass and the return of the awesome Sangria – all for $3 each. Non-alcoholic drinks $1 each. Peanuts and pretzels for all! Champagne toast at midnight. No cover charge – but bring some dollars to support the bands.

P.S. For the parade, HPIC reminds everybody, “Bring noisemakers, flashlights, lanterns, umbrellas – whatever is necessary! Parade starts when everyone is ready!” (Around 6 pm – 12th and Holden.)

P.P.S. More New Year’s Eve/Day events in the WSB Holiday Guide!

2 extra weeks to comment on 4755 Fauntleroy: Deadline now January 23

Update since we first reported six days ago that the signs were up and the comment period had opened for the 370-apartment 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW project’s land-use permit application: The deadline’s been extended two more weeks, to January 23rd. In our December 21st report, the project’s assigned DPD planner Bruce Rips had pointed out that the extension was available on request, and he confirms to WSB this afternoon that (as commenter Steve noted here) it’s been requested and granted. To comment on the project by January 23rd, e-mail him at Meantime, the project awaits its third Southwest Design Review Board meeting; no date set yet, though the project team has told us they hope it’ll be within the next month or so.

West Seattle restaurants: Sugar Rush Baking Company (Coffee to a Tea) remodeling – and adding!

If you’ve been through The Junction the past few days, you might have noticed the windows papered over at Sugar Rush Baking Company (aka Coffee to a Tea). Several people have e-mailed to ask if they’ve shut down. We just reached owner Jodi Baker – who says NO, they have NOT shut down – it’s a remodel.

Actually, more than “just” a remodel.

After eight years in business, Baker explains, it was time for “updating … a fresh new look.” And that means new offerings, too. After reopening on January 2nd – next Wednesday – they will offer lunches “sandwiches and soups, salads, and we’ll continue to do quiche – grab-and-go type (food). … We have a chef now.”

Beyond that, she says, they are applying for a beer and wine license, and planning to bring back music on the weekends. And they might even branch out into roasting their own coffee. “We are incredibly excited,” she told WSB.

Parents who appreciate Sugar Rush for its extensive kids’ area need not worry – it’s staying – but Baker says “we’ll have more food for the kids, too.”

West Seattle Thursday: What’s up today/tonight

Whalebone bridge

(Along Longfellow Creek; photo by Ryan Schoeb, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
Counting down to New Year’s Eve – and still adding to the NYE/New Year’s Day listings in the WSB Holiday Guide (let us know if something’s missing! – but in the meantime … here are a few notes for today/tonight:

NEW E-READER? NEED HELP? Another drop-in clinic today for anyone interested in downloading e-books and audiobooks. It’s at Southwest Library (35th/Henderson), 2-4 pm.

WINE TASTING AND SALE: 5:30-8 pm, it’s the weekly free-tasting night at West Seattle Cellars (WSB sponsor), featuring January Collector’s Club wines. Also – the year-end sale is on.

‘WINTER WONDERETTES’: Final week continues for this year’s holiday musical at ArtsWest in The Junction, 7:30 pm.

LIVE MUSIC AT SKYLARK: Avenue Music, The Horticulture Club, Chelle Epiphany, and The Black Tones, 8 pm, at Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW).

TRANSIT/TRAFFIC TODAY: Between-holidays Thursday

(Refresh page for newest image from west-facing West Seattle Bridge cam; more cameras here)
We’re expecting another lighter-than-usual traffic day, though probably not as light as Wednesday. One important transit note:

METRO CONTINUES ‘REDUCED WEEKDAY’ SCHEDULE: With Metro on this schedule again today and tomorrow (Friday) as well as Monday, then on a Sunday schedule for New Year’s Day next Tuesday, weekday service won’t return to normal until January 2nd. Scroll down this Metro webpage to see the lists of which routes are normal, which are reduced, and which are canceled.

9:25 AM: Multiple reports in comments and texts say at least one stalled vehicle is to blame for backups on 99 northbound.