month : 03/2013 351 results

Traffic alert: How tunnel machine’s arrival will affect bicyclists

Earlier today, we mentioned the Seattle Times (WSB partner) update on the upcoming arrival – probably Tuesday – of the Highway 99 tunneling machine “Bertha.” Tonight, WSDOT asked us to share an alert for bicycle riders regarding how its arrival will affect the shared-use path along the Pioneer Square waterfront:

The first change will come on Monday, April 1, when the crossover will shift a block south, from South Jackson Street to South King Street.

Once we start unloading Bertha in 41 pieces from a vessel docked at Terminal 46, the path will be temporarily closed at South King Street several times per day. This is necessary to maintain safe path access while we move large equipment across the sidewalk. Police officers will be on site to help direct traffic while we move Bertha’s pieces.

The sidewalk near South King Street offers a great view of Bertha’s arrival point, so we’re expecting that people will gather on the path to catch a glimpse of Bertha being unloaded. Please ride with caution and expect delays if there are crowds.

Video/photos: Seattle firefighters-to-be train at Lowman Beach

(Video and photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
You heard here about the plan for Seattle Fire Department trainees to practice their skills at the soon-to-be-demolished structures on the future Murray Combined Sewer Overflow storage-tank site across from Lowman Beach. Now, see (and in the clip above, hear Capt. Eddie Nelson explain) for yourself what happened. WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams shadowed them during the first day of their two-day training session:

That’s trainee Josh Milton readying his air pack. Next, trainee Ricardo Cuevas, putting on his breathing mask:

After getting geared up, trainees headed up to practice cutting a roof for “vertical ventilation:

More scenes from the firefighter trainees’ work – which comes about midway through their training – ahead:

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Remembering West Seattle resident Donald G. Markey, 1969-2013

Last Friday, we reported on a death at West Seattle Stadium the day before. Today, we know the man who died at the track was 44-year-old West Seattle resident Donald Markey; we have heard from his wife Leslie Markey, a native West Seattleite (who says old friends from WSHS/Madison/Alki would know her as Leslie Rhodes). She says her husband was in training for the upcoming physical exam to join the Seattle Police Department, and that she is thankful for SPD and Seattle Fire Department medics’ “beyond hope” efforts to save her husband’s life – “an unbelievable effort by our local fire and police.” Here is the remembrance she shared:

Donald Graham Markey, born March 8, 1969 died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 44 of a heart attack, on March 21, 2013. Son of Nancy Graham Markey (deceased) and John Cornelius Markey (deceased) of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Leslie C. Markey of Seattle; brother John Cornelius Markey, Jr. of Graham, North Carolina; Aunt and Uncle Steve and Cornelia Robinson of Charlotte, NC; and two beloved cats; Arnold and Abner.

Handsome, humorous, personable, and polite, Donald was smart, highly educated, motivated to be of service to others, and a man of faith. He was baptized a Christian in Anacortes in 2003. He was devoted to seeking a better understanding of God by exploring spirituality so that he could live in the sunlight of the spirit. He shared this journey with his wife. Donald’s relationship with Leslie began in 1999 and they then married in 2007 in Seattle, WA. He was blessed with a faith that worked, and it showed in the way he smiled, talked and loved.

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Followup: Plant pots donated for Arbor Heights’ tomato project

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Yet another great example of generosity: We wrote on Thursday about the call for one-gallon plant-pot donations for the tomato-growing project in which Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her students learn, teach, and share – and about an hour ago, that call was answered, big time! Our photo includes some of the donors as well as excited tomato-farming students. (We’ll be adding a few photos from parent volunteers who were there too – THANK YOU!)

West Seattle egg hunts! Thriftway, community centers, and more

(WSB photo from past West Seattle Thriftway egg hunt)
In addition to our list of Holy Week/Easter church services, we have had a variety of egg hunts listed on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar. Now, for your convenience, we’ve put them all in one list (which will be linked all weekend atop the sidebar TOP STORIES list in case you need to find it again):


WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY (WSB sponsor): 9 am Saturday, Fauntleroy/California/Morgan, ages 1-10 – indoor hunt but the line forms outdoors.

SEATTLE PARKS AND REC COMMUNITY CENTERS (WSB sponsor): 10 am Saturday at Alki, Delridge, Hiawatha, High Point, South Park Community Centers (addresses in calendar listing), ages 3-11

EGG HUNT @ LINCOLN PARK: 10 am Saturday; this is presented by Eastridge Church but it’s open to the entire community.

(added) BARNES & NOBLE EGG HUNT: 11 am Saturday, first-ever egg hunt in the Kids’ Department, in conjunction with the regular weekly storytime. “Little ones are encouraged to bring Easter baskets to hold their goodies,” says Melissa from B&N. (Westwood Village Shopping Center)


SALVATION ARMY: 9:45 am in the gymnasium (9050 16th SW)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-1 pm, eggs will be hidden hourly throughout the market. (44th/Alaska)

VILLAGE GREEN PERENNIAL NURSERY: 1 pm – info on the Facebook event page (10223 26th SW)

C & P COFFEE COMPANY (WSB sponsor): 11 am (5612 California SW)

COMMUNITY EASTER FESTIVAL: At noon, Admiral Congregational Church plans an egg hunt as part of its community festival (California/Hill)

OTHER CHURCHES: Check our list of services for listings and links mentioning egg hunts adjacent to churches’ Easter Sunday services

Highway 99 tunnel machine arrival update: Watch for it Tuesday

Time flies. Or, sails. It’s already been 10 days since the heavy-lift ship Jumbo Fairpartner carrying the Highway 99 tunnel machine left Japan (as noted here, with photo). Tuesday’s the day you’ll see it sail past West Seattle shores on the way into Elliott Bay, reports Seattle Times (WSB partner) transportation reporter (and West Seattleite) Mike Lindblom, whose story includes this tracking link. We’ll of course track it with specific viewing times as it gets closer! P.S. WSDOT is offering a launch-pit walking tour next Thursday.

Followup: ‘Smoking materials’ blamed for fire near church

Christina shared that photo of a scary but short-lived sight in front of the New Apostolic Church at 32nd and 106th in east Arbor Heights last night. The call was logged as “brush fire”; we checked this morning with Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says that once Engine 37 got there, they had it “knocked down in less than a minute.” He adds that it’s believed to have been sparked by “improperly discarded smoking materials” – a reminder that it doesn’t have to be the dusty dry heart of summer for a tossed-aside cigarette (etc.) to cause trouble.

West Seattle schools: New Lafayette Elementary principal announced

Lafayette Elementary‘s new principal has just been announced in a letter from Superintendent José Banda:

I am pleased today to announce the appointment of Robert Gallagher as your new principal, effective July 1.

Mr. Gallagher comes to Lafayette from St. Anthony’s K-8 in Renton, where he has served as principal since June 2011. Mr. Gallagher is a long-time educator committed to working with both staff and families to ensure success. He will be a great fit for the Lafayette community.

Mr. Gallagher started his career in Alberta, Canada as a middle school teacher, before becoming a vice principal and eventually principal. During that time he helped design and implement arts-infused education programming. He also oversaw the Maple Bear Songpa Campus, a 1,000-student pre-school in Seoul, South Korea. After that, he spent five years in Hawaii, with experience both as a principal of St. Theresa School and as Board Vice President of St. Joseph School.

His Masters of Education is from the University of Portland, with a focus on Education Leadership. His Bachelor of Education is from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Mr. Gallagher was selected after a hiring process that included input from staff and families. The selection team committee was particularly impressed with Mr. Gallagher’s experience as a principal and his strong instructional and technology background. He is very collaborative and committed to building strong relationships with all members of the Lafayette community. Mr. Gallagher has the reputation of being a very student-focused principal.

I want to thank the hiring team for your work, and also thank the entire school community for your patience as we went through this process. Please know it was not a light decision to ask your former principal, Shauna Heath, to take her current role as Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction mid-year. But I know you have been in good hands with Interim Principal Birgit McShane, and I also want to thank her for her commitment to Lafayette these past three months and for the remainder of the school year.

Gallagher will become Lafayette’s third non-interim principal in two years; Heath had succeeded Jo Lute-Ervin, who left the job after a year. Before that, Virginia Turner led Lafayette for seven years.

West Seattle Summer Fest: Hello, vendors, sponsors, community groups!

(WSB photo from 2011 West Seattle Summer Fest)
Nowthat it’s almost April, July is right around the corner – really! Here’s a heads-up from Susan Melrose at the West Seattle Junction Association:

Hi West Seattle!

West Seattle Summer Fest 2013 is July 12, 13 and 14. We’ll bring back all the great stuff that our neighborhood loves.

And that includes local businesses! West Seattle retailers and restaurants are encouraged to sign up as a vendor. We are reviewing the first round of applications on April 1st. This festival fills up quickly so if you’d like to participate, submit your application by Monday, April 1st. Apply at

Producing this event is a large undertaking and sponsors are needed to help make it possible. If you’re interested in becoming a Summer Fest sponsor, please e-mail for details.

This year, we’ll have a local non-profit coordinate the Community Tent where our small neighborhood organizations can have shifts of free space at the festival. Stay tuned for details.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday notes; weekend I-5 lane closures

March 29, 2013 7:35 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday notes; weekend I-5 lane closures
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Last morning commute of the week is under way, and there’s one big weekend closure to remind you about: If you will be heading toward West Seattle from the south at any point this weekend, avoid I-5 – northbound lane closures are planned just south of the West Seattle Bridge, between Albro and Spokane, and backups are expected. As WSDOT explains, this work is scheduled for NEXT weekend as well as THIS one.

4755 Fauntleroy Way megaproject: Design Review Board sends it back for more work

(4755 Fauntleroy Way SW’s proposed northeast corner; rendering by Fuller Sears Architects)
We’re at the Senior Center of West Seattle, where a long meeting about a huge project has just wrapped up. The topline for the Southwest Design Review Board‘s third discussion of the 370-apartment, 600-parking-space 4755 Fauntleroy Way project: There’ll be a fourth meeting. After a 3-hour meeting including extensive comments from almost two dozen members of the public, and an hour of board debate, members decided to require the project to come back with “refinements” – especially regarding the “iconic corner” at Fauntleroy/Alaska and the “midblock connector between the project’s two buildings.” More to come. Our coverage of the project’s previous public reviews by city-sanctioned bodies: The project’s Design Commission review earlier this month; its second Early Design Guidance meeting last November; and its first EDG meeting last September.

ArtsWest soon to start search for new managing director

March 28, 2013 8:11 pm
|    Comments Off on ArtsWest soon to start search for new managing director
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery in The Junction will soon start a search for a new managing director, confirms spokesperson Laura Lee. Previous MD Line Sandsmark left recently after less than one year in the role. According to Lee, “Christopher Zinovitch continues as the artistic director and to co-manage the theater. The board has been assisting with the Managing Director position and a search will begin in due course. ArtsWest looks forward to its Season Announcement on April 15th and has a wonderful season to present.” That event will be at 7:30 pm, two weeks from Monday. Sandsmark had succeeded 5 1/2-year AW leader Alan Harrison, who left seven months before she was hired.

Update: Alki Elementary’s centennial celebration

(UPDATED FRIDAY MORNING with more photos, including the “official” one!)

(First 5 photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
6:43 PM: Beautiful afternoon for photography – especially if you’re up on a ladder for a photograph to document history, as was Jean Sherrard along 59th SW this afternoon!

Hundreds of Alki Elementary students and staff past and present gathered for a group shot as the school’s centennial celebration began, co-sponsored by the Alki Elementary PTA and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, whose executive director Clay Eals helped get hundreds of participants in place:

Lots of unofficial photographers too – even TV – that’s KING 5’s Lori Matsukawa in the yellow jacket toward the left, with her crew (and on the ladder, it’s official photographer Sherrard):

And inside, lots of memory-sharing and fun:

The celebration continues till 8, and everyone’s welcome.

ADDED 10:10 PM: More photos:

From left, Pathfinder K-8 principal David Dockendorf, who’s a former Alki principal; Chanda Oatis, the current Alki principal; Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda; executive director of schools for the district’s Southwest Region, Carmela Dellino. Next, a fun view as a timeless game of marbles was played:

We’re awaiting the official version of the centennial photo and will add when it’s in.


(Photo by Jean Sherrard; click image for larger view)
We also have four more photos from the event, courtesy of John Hinkey – if you’re reading from the home page, click ahead to see them:

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‘Nickelsville’ updates: HPAC wants move-out date; encampment says ‘returning to stability’; Food Lifeline waits

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Three years ago, Highland Park Action Committee marked the end of a two-year fight against a proposal to build, in their neighborhood, a city jail that ultimately turned out to be – as they had pointed out all along – unnecessary.

In the fight’s first year, 2008, the proposed jail site on city- and state-owned property at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way was briefly occupied by a homeless encampment calling itself Nickelsville, until then-Mayor Greg Nickels ordered it evicted.

In May 2011, Nickelsville returned, and Nickels’ successor, Mayor Mike McGinn, said it could stay.

For months, the encampment was not an issue for the Highland Park community. But now, after Nickelsville declared itself to be in dangerous straits, as reported here Sunday, they’re on the brink of marshaling for another intensive fight.

That was the upshot of last night’s HPAC meeting – from which we reported live via Twitter – and of a letter that HPAC has sent to city leadership. And there is another letter involved – this morning, we received one from Nickelsville’s “Central Committee,” with its side of an incident we reported in last Sunday’s story, as well as their declaration that things are improving.

More on the major new developments, ahead:

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Thank you! And please accept our apology…

Just realized that we hadn’t said “thank you” here yet for everyone who alerted us when this site went down for a bit an hour or so ago. Even if you don’t usually check out our social-media channels, please keep them handy in case of the occasional outage – and are the main ones to bookmark – and make sure 206-293-6302 is in your phone for any kind of breaking news, in addition to a “hey, what’s wrong with your site?” question. Last but not least, please accept our apologies. We recently upgraded servers to make the site faster and more accessible, with great results (helps us do our job too), yet every so often an unpredictable trouble spot might erupt, so we appreciate your patience and support.

-Tracy Record and Patrick Sand, WSB owners/co-publishers

Update: Gov. Inslee visits West Seattle’s K-5 STEM

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
1:33 PM: Shortly after announcing his budget proposal with a focus on school funding, Gov. Jay Inslee proceeded directly to a trailblazing school in West Seattle – K-5 STEM, at the Boren building on Delridge. He’s there now visiting with students (kindergarteners in our cameraphone photo) and staff, and we’ll have full coverage later.

ADDED 4:27 PM: No speeches – just the governor going room to room, talking to students, who were eager to capture the moment:

He took a turn launching a pulley-propelled rocket:

The governor is the son of a science teacher, he pointed out along the way, and grew up nearby – he talked about how his dad taught chemistry and biology at Chief Sealth and Garfield high schools.

A lesson in pollination, he observed, was comparable to what his dad had taught high-school kids, so STEM students are learning what wasn’t available till higher grades decades ago.

Enthusiasm abounded as the governor talked to students about their projects and asked if they were hoping to become scientists when they grow up:

He also spoke with STEM principal Dr. Shannon McKinney about her trailblazing new school, in its final months of its first year:

West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren – herself a former math teacher – joined the STEM tour too:

Just before heading to West Seattle, the governor had gone public with his budget blueprint, which you can see here. Note on page 11, one cornerstone directly relevant to his visit this afternoon:

Design statewide strategy to improve STEM education ($10.9M)*

P.S. More photos from the visit can be found on the K-5 STEM PTA’s website.

Serial bank robbers found guilty of West Seattle heist, 2 others

(October 2011 photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
In October 2011, the Washington Federal bank in Morgan Junction was held up by two masked robbers. Days later, as reported here, two men in their mid-60s were arrested in connection with that holdup and others in the region. Today, we get word from federal prosecutors that their trial is over and both were found guilty. Here’s the announcement:

Two men with a quarter century history of robbing banks, were found guilty late yesterday of a string of bank robberies in the Seattle area, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The two men, 66-year-old JACK P. SEXTON and 65-year-old RONALD C. KETTELLS were convicted of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, three armed bank robberies, and using a firearm during a crime of violence. The jury deliberated for about a day before finding the men guilty following a seven-day trial. Both men face a mandatory minimum 57 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on June 21, 2013.

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Car2Go’s West Seattle service to start next Monday

Thanks to Dave for forwarding the Car2Go newsletter that just arrived with confirmation of the West Seattle start date – next Monday. From the newsletter:

Effective Monday, April 1st, 2013, we will be expanding the car2go Home Area into West and South Seattle.

This newly expanded area will cover parts of South Seattle (including Beacon Hill, Hillman City, Mt Baker, Georgetown, SODO and Columbia City) and West Seattle (including the Junction, Alki, Seaview, North Admiral, Delridge, Seaview, High Point and Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal).

To keep up with the demand and the new expanded area, we will be adding an additional 100 car2go edition smart fortwo vehicles to our Seattle fleet. We will start to make these new vehicles available to customers beginning April 1st.

The new “home area” map (dark blue – that’s where cars can be parked, though they can be driven outside the area) announced by the car-sharing service is above.

West Seattle Thursday: 4755 Fauntleroy design review; Alki Elementary centennial; Whale Trail talk; compost demo …

(4755 Fauntleroy Way SW’s proposed northeast corner; rendering by Fuller Sears Architects)
Will the 4755 Fauntleroy Way megaproject finish the Design Review process tonight? It’s part of the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

HOLY WEEK CHURCH SERVICES: As Easter approaches, some West Seattle churches have Maundy Thursday services today/tonight; our annual list includes information we have received/found about those as well as Good Friday/Easter events – find it here.

FIREFIGHTER TRAINING: In case you missed the alert here Wednesday afternoon, it’s under way right now at the Lowman Beach buildings that the county plans to demolish as part of its sewer-overflow-control project.

WEST SEATTLE LIONS CLUB: The special guest at today’s noon lunch meeting at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California) will talk about the history of the Philippines.

ALKI ELEMENTARY CENTENNIAL – AND GROUP PHOTO! We’ve previewed this event a few times (including here), and now it’s time – Alki Elementary is celebrating its centennial, starting with a 5 pm group photo outside the school for past and present students and staff, and events indoors 6-8 pm. All welcome, of course, whether you have/had ties to the school or not.

COMPOST DEMONSTRATION: 6 pm with “Johnny Rotten” at the Community Orchard of West Seattle (north end of the South Seattle Community College [WSB sponsor] campus, 6000 16th SW) – details in the calendar listing.

VINTAGE DIY/NIGHT MARKET: 6-9 pm at Twilight in The Junction – details here.

THE WHALE TRAIL TALKS PORPOISES: The third in The Whale Trail‘s popular series of talks is at 6:30 pm at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California; WSB sponsor) – with researcher John Calambokidis talking about harbor porpoises in our regional waters. Here’s our original preview (also including other participants who’ll update you on our seas and shores); just note that ticket sales are over, so your $5 suggested donation will be accepted at the door.

4755 FAUNTLEROY WAY BACK TO DESIGN REVIEW: This is the 400-apartment, Whole Foods Market-including proposal for Fauntleroy/Alaska/40th SW, and tonight it’s going before the Southwest Design Review Board for what might be its final meeting in this stage of the process. The newest design proposal is outlined in this “packet” (note that it’s a big download, 92+ MB) – the rendering at the top of this story is what the architects envision for the northeast corner of the site at Fauntleroy/Alaska. Public comment is welcome, regarding the design, and you’re also welcome simply to observe – the meeting starts at 6:30 pm upstairs at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California). Our previous coverage includes the project’s Design Commission review earlier this month, its second Early Design Guidance meeting last November, and its first EDG meeting last September.

Arbor Heights teacher needs hundreds of 1-gallon plant pots, fast

(Tomatoes growing in classroom, 2012)
If you have 1-gallon plant pots to spare, you can help Arbor Heights Elementary teacher Marcia Ingerslev and her students. Most recently, we reported on Ms. Ingerslev’s initiation of the “100th Day of School Food Drive Challenge” which led to literally tons of food being donated to local food banks. Each year, she also helps her students grow tomato plants – some of which are given away so that local families can learn about growing their own healthy food. (Here’s our first report from last year.) An AH parent volunteer now tells us “Ms. I” and her students “are in desperate need of 1-gallon pots for this year’s tomato plants, which they grow from seeds. If you have any pots to spare, please drop them off in the lobby of the school in the box, or contact the school and Ms. I will try to arrange for a pick up. Her dream is to have 400 pots, so dropping pots off would be the preferred method!” The school is at 3701 SW 104th (map), 206-252-9250; Ms. Ingerslev’s e-mail is

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday on the roads (etc.)

(Live view from the east-facing WS Bridge camera; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:34 AM: Just getting word via Twitter from KING 5’s Tracy Taylor of a “crash on northbound 99 near the West Seattle Bridge” – waiting to hear if that’s north of the bridge or south. That and other updates to come.

7:40 AM: Also via Twitter, Dan reports: “Appears to be a stalled truck at WS br onramp to NB 99, then a fender bender 500′ further N.”

15th and Holden ‘resolution’ soon? Neighbors face police @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting

(March 19th photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Police are often heard to exhort neighbors to get involved – because they ultimately can have more effect on the crime situation in their neighborhood than can police. And so, neighbors from Highland Park’s 15th/Holden vicinity (map) came to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting on Tuesday night to show their intensifying concern about a neighborhood trouble spot.

Ongoing problems started coming to something of a head on March 19th, when the big police response shown in our photo responded to what Lt. Pierre Davis told us at the time was a case of cell-phone theft – but at Tuesday night’s meeting, pressed for information by neighbors, precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler admitted it was something more: “Ten police cars don’t show up for a stolen cell phone.” (Toplines in the police-report system later indicated the call also involved “threats.”)

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High-school baseball: Big shutout win for West Seattle HS

March 27, 2013 11:52 pm
|    Comments Off on High-school baseball: Big shutout win for West Seattle HS
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

(TK Snow, throwing a strike in the 2nd inning)
In the first of two games this week against Ingraham, West Seattle High School‘s varsity baseball team came away with a big win on Wednesday afternoon – a 10-0 shutout. The photos and report are from parent Greg Slader (thanks!) –

Three pitchers combined to shut out Ingraham. TK Snow, Kevin Cuddy, and Andy Snook held Ingraham hitless and combined for seven strikeouts. Spencer Elder went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Sam Hellinger had two hits and two RBI, as the defense was solid once again.

(Morgan making the play at second)
The two teams play again at 3:30 pm Friday at Hiawatha.