day : 01/12/2013 7 results

Video: Let it snow, let it snow … @ Menashe Family Lights

Could it be a preview of things to come sometime this winter – maybe even later in the week? “Snowfall” graced the holiday wonderland known as the Menashe Family Lights on their first official night of the season. It’s a new feature this season, according to Josh Menashe; if it’s on, you’ll see the flakes flying from the south side of the front yard. Walking by is the best way to get a close look at so many of the megabright display’s features including the bear:

(This photo and the next four are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Look closely between the lights for an unlit decoration – the St. Nick statue:

And look up to see the many stars … including these, on the south side of the house:

Look toward the house to see these nutcrackers standing watch by the front door:

Here’s an opening-night-only scene – Menashe family members posing for group photos under the lights – at center, your hosts for the light show, Linda and Jack Menashe:

Last but not least, a step back to see the show in all its splendor, thanks to Jeff Pond of JP Images:

You can see the Menashe Family Lights at 5605 Beach Drive SW (map) nightly.

West Seattle Weather Watch: After the wind, the cold

(Photo by Sassy B, taken from Constellation Park)
The curtain has fallen on a windy day – fun for some, like the kiteboarder shown above, and challenging for others; some vendors at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market went without tents/canopies for fear the canvas tops would take wing and fly away, and a few almost did. So what now? The National Weather Service revised its “special weather statement” alert this afternoon, saying that much-colder air is finally on its way in tonight. Snow? Maybe a little, on the higher hills, the NWS says, but just maybe, in flurry/shower mode tomorrow. But the big point they’re emphasizing is that it’s going to be cold all week.

West Seattle architect George Suyama wins Hall of Fame Award

(Photo courtesy Suyama Peterson Deguchi)
Congratulations to another West Seattleite who recently won a national award: Architect George Suyama, FAIA, honored with the American Institute of Architects magazine Residential Architect‘s Hall of Fame Award, which put him on the cover this fall.

Suyama is a Fauntleroy resident who is principal of Belltown-headquartered Suyama Peterson Deguchi; since he is based downtown, we might have missed news of the award if not for a tip from a WSB reader. The magazine profile (see the online version here, the digitized magazine here) describes him as “known for tranquil houses that blend seamlessly with nature and the land” and details a life story that began with infancy and toddlerhood in the Minidoka internment camp. Suyama opened his architecture practice 42 years ago. In addition to winning myriad awards leading up to being chosen for the Hall of Fame – as detailed in the official announcement – he also has served the community in ways including membership on the Seattle Arts Commission.

West Seattle whales: Orcas off our shores

11:31 AM: Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales just sent word of a dozen or so orcas southbound between south Bainbridge and Me Kwa Mooks.

12:01 PM: With today’s wind, seas are choppy, so it wasn’t ideal viewing conditions when we took a look shortly after Jeff’s report. Bundle up and bring good binoculars if you go.

2:03 PM: Newest report on the Orca Network’s Facebook page, from about half an hour ago, mentions a sighting off Vashon in this vicinity – so looks like they’re south of West Seattle now, but that means potential return sightings later.

West Seattle holidays: Update for today’s Junction Santa plans

(WSB photo, added 12:24 pm)
10:32 AM: In today’s West Seattle Sunday preview, we promised an update if blustery weather changed the plan for the Junction Hometown Holidays Santa Workshop. Here’s our first update, just in from Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose:

We have a very windy day in West Seattle, and unfortunately this will have a negative impact on Santa’s Workshop. But we’ll make do! Please be prepared for a change in plans!

The plan was to set up several tents to create a Santa photo booth and craft activities. We have serious concerns that the tents may flip in the wind gusts and create a safety hazard for families. As a result, we decided to cancel the “workshop” and we intend to create a simple Santa photo set without tents. Donna will be photographing kids in a windy open park setting as long the rains hold out.

If rain does start, we’ll move Santa to City Mouse Store for a meet and greet and you’re welcome to snap your own photos. There would be no room for photography. The weather forecast predicts a bit of rain at 11 am and then just cloudy. Wind all day.

The safety of neighborhood families was the sole reason for this change. The weather is unpredictable today, and tents can also have unpredictable behavior. We need to err on the side of safety. So sorry for the changes. But if it’s not raining, come on down for wind-filled visit and photo with Santa!

City Mouse is two doors west of the park, at 4218 SW Alaska. We’re Junction-bound shortly and will add updates/photos here as the event proceeds.

12:24 PM: Just added a photo. As Susan wrote, it’s “wind-filled,” but families (and Santa, and photographer Donna) are braving it. Hasn’t rained so far. Ultimately, it’s all good news for beneficiary WestSide Baby AND for a unique Santa-photo memory, to say the least. If you miss this one, all the Santa-photo venues we know of for this season are listed in their own section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Event and Info Guide.

1:37 PM: Via a comment below, the Junction Association says they’ve now gone to Plan B – meet-and-greet with Santa inside City Mouse – until 3 pm. $1200 raised for WestSide Baby already!

Update: Victoria Clipper IV stolen; SWAT team arrests suspect, who claimed he wanted to get to West Seattle

9:41 AM: If you have a view across Elliott Bay from West Seattle, you might have noticed emergency vessels around one of the Victoria Clipper boats – Carolyn Newman shared the photo, and we received a call from Louise in North Admiral. Seattle Police tweeted, “Report of a suspicious person aboard the otherwise unoccupied Victoria Clipper. Coast Guard has called in our Bomb Squad.” In addition to being unoccupied, the boat is also unmoored. It’s just off the downtown waterfront, but again, in case you noticed the activity from here, that’s what’s up.

9:51 AM: According to tracking information displaying on, the specific boat involved is Victoria Clipper IV.

10:26 AM: Update from SPD: “Officers are in contact with the man on the Victoria Clipper and are still working to resolve the situation.”

10:36 AM: Suspect in custody, SPD tweets:

11:55 AM: According to the SPD Blotter account of the Clipper-commandeering incident, the suspect claims he wanted to take it to West Seattle!

…The boat was discovered 300 yards out from Pier 69 on the Seattle waterfront around 7 AM, and it first appeared the Clipper ship was adrift.

However, when a tugboat went to retrieve the boat, they discovered there was a man on board and contacted the Coast Guard and police. SPD’s SWAT, patrol and Arson Bomb Squad responded to Elliott Bay along with Port of Seattle police and US Coast Guard boat and helicopter teams.

Police negotiators contacted the man on the ship and, eventually, a tactical team boarded the vessel and arrested the suspect. The man told police he had planned to take the boat to West Seattle.

The suspect will be booked into the King County Jail for yet-to-be-determined charges (piracy or grand theft vessel) and the boat will be towed back to port.

Closest photos we’ve seen are from KIRO TV, which called in its chopper.

1:39 PM: The president of the Victoria Clipper’s parent company told the Victoria Times-Colonist he was in his waterfront office when he saw the boat take off, unscheduled. Read the interview here.

7:10 PM: The man arrested by police has a long record, according to what we’re finding; today is his 33rd birthday. He is a registered sex offender named Samuel McDonough, address listed as Pike/Broadway (Capitol Hill); his most recent sexually motivated crime, records show, involved indecent exposure outside a coffee stand in Issaquah last year. We’re still checking publicly available records to look for any West Seattle links. His page (with photo) on the sex-offender registry is here.

West Seattle Sunday: Santa in The Junction; arts/crafts fairs; concert; cooking…

(Black turnstone, photographed last week by Mark Wangerin)
Blustery start to the weekend’s end. From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide and our regular year-round calendar:

ST. JOHN’S ARTS/CRAFTS FAIR: One of two gift fairs in West Seattle today – shop from local artisans 9 am-1 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church Hall; details here. (California/Hanford)

DUWAMISH LONGHOUSE NATIVE HOLIDAY GIFT FAIR: It’s the final day of the three-day gift fair featuring the work of Native arts/crafts creators at the Duwamish Longhouse in West Seattle, 10 am-4:30 pm; details here. Here’s our report from a Friday visit. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Yes, even on holiday weekends, the Farmers’ Market is there 10 am-2 pm Sundays. (44th/Alaska)

SANTA PHOTOS AND MORE IN THE JUNCTION: As previewed here last week, today is the one and only day that West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB) is offering a chance for professional Santa photos; Junction Plaza Park is scheduled to become Santa’s Workshop, 11 am-3 pm, with Donna Ryan photographing Santa and kids for a suggested $15 donation to charity, plus activities for all visitors. If there are any changes because of the blustery weather, we’ll update here, as we plan to be in The Junction checking things out in advance. (42nd/Alaska) **SEE 10:36 AM UPDATE HERE**

WEST SEATTLE COOKING CLUB: Got a UK-style recipe? Make it and bring the results to today’s 3 pm meetup of the West Seattle Cooking Club at Beveridge Place Pub in Morgan Junction. (6419 California SW)

‘LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL’: First matinee for the ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) holiday-season production of the classic story, 3 pm – details in our calendar listing. (4711 California SW)

‘EPIC PHOTO’ AT THE BRIDGE: Today is the day that, before The Bridge closes its original location (tomorrow is the final night), they invite patrons past and present to come join in an “epic” group photo under the readerboard, 3 pm. (35th just south of Avalon)

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: 4 pm at Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood, the Rose City Mixed Quartet performs holiday music both sacred and secular. All welcome; no admission charge. (39th/Thistle)

MENASHE FAMILY LIGHTS: First official night, starting at 5 pm, for West Seattle’s most-aglow home, as previewed here. (5605 Beach Drive SW)

And outside West Seattle …

POINT ROBINSON LIGHTHOUSE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE: We hear now and then from groups on Vashon/Maury Islands who want to let you know what’s going on right across the water. That includes an invitation to today’s noon-4 pm Holiday Open House event at Point Robinson Lighthouse; details/map here.