day : 22/01/2014 12 results

West Seattle beach notes: Of sewage and seals

Remember that sign on Lowman Beach? We now know the extent of the Murray Pump Station overflow that closed the beach back during the January 11th power outage: 1.5 million gallons. That’s according to Annie Kolb-Nelson from King County Wastewater Treatment, who didn’t have that stat when they were still dealing with the exact aftermath; we checked back this week to ask. It happened just as the county is launching into construction of two West Seattle projects meant to dramatically reduce the chance of such overflows – one of them right there at Lowman, which is now full of fencing and bordered with two construction trailers (this is their water-facing side):

Two components of the work ahead could have prevented or reduced the January 11th overflow – the pump station itself, beneath the south side of Lowman Beach Park, will get a backup power system, instead of having to await the arrival of a portable generator if an outage happens. And a million-gallon overflow-holding tank will be across the street.

The other project will reduce overflows at the nearby Barton Pump Station, north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock, which itself, like Murray, is getting a power upgrade. Its overflow-reduction system is very different – roadside raingardens to hold stormwater will be built in two of the neighborhoods in the “basin” feeding that station. And that project is about to have its two pre-construction community meetings – tomorrow and Saturday – time/location details are here.

The end result of both projects is supposed to be cleaner water. Not just for people, but for wildlife. We were reminded of that when we went to Lowman Beach today to photograph the construction trailers.

At Lowman, we also saw that seal pup, which had been on the rocky shore since relatively early in the morning, when Morgan spotted it and shared that photo via Twitter, hours before our visit. Seal Sitters were there by the time we saw it, and they thought it might be the same one we found ourselves guarding for a little while Tuesday evening at Lincoln Parkthe story’s on the Seal Sitters’ website.

ADDED: Turns out it probably wasn’t “Cameo.” The Wednesday seal hung around all day and, as noted by Seal Sitters, got the nickname “PeeWee.”

The WSBeat: Fire fight with admitted ‘hothead’; wallet full of surprises; more

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*On the 18th, firefighters responded to a “reckless burning” call near 31st and Roxbury. The resident, who was burning leaves in his back yard in violation of the city code, told the firefighters to get off his property. When told he needed to extinguish the flames, the man grabbed the garden hose, sprayed the burn pile, and then sprayed the firefighter. The Battalion Chief was called to the scene and got the same treatment. Officers were called and immediately recognized the suspect as someone with a history of confrontational behavior with Seattle Police as well. After a drawn-out interaction (in which the man said he had a “hot head” and just can’t help it), he was released. Officers recommend he face charges of assault, reckless burning, and false reporting (for giving officers a false name).

Six more summaries ahead:Read More

You’ve been going under it; soon you can go on it – Atlantic Street overpass over 99 to open Monday

Driving/riding between West Seattle and downtown on 99, you’ve been going under the under-construction Atlantic Street Overpass just south of the remaining elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct for months. Now, it’s about to open. The announcement ahead:

Read More

School Board delays vote on transportation changes to February 5th

Just announced on Twitter – the vote on Seattle Public Schools transportation changes has been pushed back two weeks:

We reported on the proposed changes back on Monday; among other components of the proposal, bus arrival/departure schedules would change at some schools, with major changes at some local schools – Pathfinder K-8 would start almost half an hour earlier; Sanislo, already with a late start time, would see its opening bell close to 10 am. As pointed out by a commenter on our Monday story, the district has a mailbox specifically for comments on the proposed schedule changes: – and now it looks like you have more time to share your thoughts.

Holy Rosary School: Welcoming a new WSB sponsor, with information night Thursday, open house Sunday

Today we welcome a new WSB sponsor, Holy Rosary School, which has two events in the next four days for prospective families. As with all new local sponsors, they get the chance to tell you about themselves:

The steeple of Holy Rosary Church can be seen from many parts of West Seattle, and it serves as a great marker for its school. For the last century, Holy Rosary School has been proud and humbled to serve a vital role in developing the hearts and minds of some of West Seattle’s youth. As we begin our next 100 years, we strive to continue to develop respectful and responsible students who are effective communicators, have a passion for learning, and who have developed a strong spiritual life and commitment to their broader community.

Holy Rosary is a Preschool-8 Catholic school that offers a holistic education, committed to meeting the spiritual academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the child. We are a faith-based community, integrating Gospel values into all subjects. We are committed to serving the community. Students at every grade level participate in ongoing service projects.

We offer a broad academic curriculum, including:

• Our excellent technology program that continues to expand. In addition to a fully equipped computer lab and Smartboards in every classroom, laptops and iPads are integrated into classroom instruction.

• A strong literacy program, supported by reading specialists; 90% of our student body score ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ on standardized reading tests.

• Our math program is aligned with the Common Core Standards and includes advanced math classes for students in grades 5-8.

• A full-time arts program, featuring Spanish, art, music, health & fitness, and library classes, as well as a wide variety of Elective courses for Jr. high students.

Our graduates are highly sought-after by our area’s high schools and go on to serve as active members in the West Seattle community and beyond.

We have an involved, supportive parent community and a strong Parents’ Club that helps coordinate fundraisers, parent-education classes and service learning opportunities. In the last 5 years, efforts from our Christmas Tree lot have raised over $35,000 for West Seattle Helpline, West Seattle Food Bank, and Hickman House.

We are currently accepting Preschool-Grade 8 applications for the 2014-2015 school year, due to the main office by Friday, January 31st, 2014. Learn more about us through our website at Holy Rosary is located in the heart of West Seattle at 4142 42nd Ave SW.

We’d love to share more about our wonderful school and invite you to meet the principal, teachers, and tour the school in person:

HRS Information Night: Thursday, January 23rd, 7 pm (parents only)
Open House: Sunday, January 26th, 10:30 am – 1 pm (bring the whole family)

We thank Holy Rosary School for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; see our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’: California Avenue SW historic-survey plan

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two brick buildings along California SW have been in the news here again recently – Charlestown Court (3811), up again for demolition:

And the former Admiralty House Antiques (2141), recently sold but NOT currently up for demolition, undergoing interior work:

As other development proposals turn up – and as large developments proceed, with 4206, 4730, and 5020 California underway in The Junction and 3210 California in the works for south Admiral – the question is often asked: Is anyone working to save anything before it’s (almost) all gone?

The answer is complicated.

Read More

Springer stars in The Whale Trail’s first 2014 Orca Talk

(Photo by Mark Sears)
A year and a half ago, The Whale Trail hosted a celebration marking 10 years since the “family reunion” for Springer, the young orca found in Puget Sound and reunited with her family in Canada. One year later – just last summer – scientists discovered Springer had become a mom. Her inspiring story continues – and The Whale Trail’s first Orca Talk of the year will bring you into it. Just announced:

Celebrate Springer! The true story of how an orphaned orca went home.

Presentation by Mark Sears and Donna Sandstrom
Thursday, January 30, 7-9 pm, C & P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW
$5 suggested donation, kids free. Tickets available via

Twelve years ago, the orphaned orca Springer (A-73) was discovered in Puget Sound – lost, alone, and 300 miles away from home. Five months later, she was rescued, rehabilitated, and returned to her pod near the north end of Vancouver Island. In July 2013, she was seen with her first calf! The project is the only successful orca reintroduction in history.

Why did this project succeed while others have failed? What did we learn from the Springer project that can help orcas today?

Join us to hear the true story of how Springer went home, from researchers and organizers who were part of the project team. Help us celebrate the 12th anniversary of this historic undertaking, and the little whale who changed our lives!.

This is the first Orca Talk of 2014, hosted by The Whale Trail in West Seattle. The event also features updates from Robin Lindsey (Seal Sitters), and “Diver Laura” James ( and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance).

Buy tickets ahead of time and we’ll save you a seat! And hurry – this will likely sell out.

West Seattle Wednesday: Deposit yourself into the Timebank; hear Highland Park history; beer; music; more

January 22, 2014 10:29 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Under the West Seattle bridge

(West Seattle’s bridges: Shared by old desolate via the WSB Flickr group)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, a half-dozen highlights for tonight!

BEER TASTING: At Elliott Bay Brewing in The Junction, tonight brings the annual “Ode to Darkness” tasting, starting at 4 pm – details in our calendar listing. (4720 California SW)

LIVE JAZZ: David Ruddock Trio plays 5:30-8:30 pm at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). No cover/minimum. (1936 Harbor Avenue SW)

WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Wish you had more time? Give some and get some! The growing West Seattle Timebank has its next orientation tonight, starting with a 6:30 pm potluck. Details in our calendar listing (which includes contact info if you’ll need child care in order to be there). Senior Center of West Seattle. (California/Oregon)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: As previewed here Tuesday, HPAC will be the first local neighborhood council to talk about Mayor Murray‘s promise of a Neighborhood Summit within his first 100 days in office; another agenda item previewed by HPAC involves a presentation about local history – from someone who’s been part of it. Come see and hear for yourself – 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club. (12th/Holden)

POEMS AND STORIES: Celebrate the written and spoken word tonight at the monthly poets/storytellers night at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. Open mike included. (5612 California SW)

OPENING NIGHT AT ARTSWEST: First night for “The Little Dog Laughed,” the newest production at ArtsWest in The Junction. Curtain rises 7:30 pm. (4711 California SW)

While the world celebrates soccer, West Seattle Cup will, too

You know West Seattle loves soccer – from the hundreds of kids in local leagues, to the grownups who play pickup games every weekend, to the pro-soccer fans who fill the Water Taxi in the summer, headed for the stadium downtown. Alki Elementary kindergarten teacher Terry Kegel is hoping to get the community together – all ages – this June for a new way to celebrate not only the sport, but each other. The video above is a trailer of sorts, and he shares it with this announcement:

In June 2014, as billions of fans from around the world tune in for the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup, our neighborhood will host a soccer tournament of its own. The West Seattle Cup will bring together hundreds of parents and children representing different countries to celebrate soccer, culture, and community. Players, fans, and volunteers: visit to learn how you can join the fun!

We’re all on the same team!

The West Seattle Cup aims to engage and build community by creating opportunities to play, teach, learn, and connect across generational and cultural differences. Our neighborhood is strongest when we know each other and work together. We invite you, children and parents, to join our team and celebrate soccer, culture, and community. Come play!

Registration isn’t open yet, but Terry is starting to get the word out now. You can get on the mailing list for pre-registration announcements by going here.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday gets going

January 22, 2014 6:07 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Midweek already. If you see something affecting the commute, please let us know – if you can text/call/comment safely/legally (you’re on a bus, you’re a carpool passenger, you’ve arrived at work, etc.) – 206-293-6302 is the number, any time. Thanks!

Celebration of life this Saturday afternoon for Larry Launceford

The family of Larry Launceford is sharing this remembrance with news of his celebration of life this Saturday:

Larry Launceford, 65, a lifetime resident of West Seattle, passed away on December 9, 2013 at his home. He was a graduate of Sealth High School, class of 1966, and Burnley School of Art, class of 1969.

Larry was a passionate, talented graphic artist, leaving behind an accomplished body of work. He was an avid billiards player, and reader. He is survived by his father, Earl, his siblings John and Judy, and his sons, Nicolas and Ian.

Memorial donations may be made to The Larry Launceford Memorial Scholarship at Sealth High School.

Larry’s celebration of life will be held from 1:00-4:00 on January 25th, 2014 at The Eagles Club of White Center.

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

High-school basketball: WSHS, Sealth boys both lose at home

January 22, 2014 1:31 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Two home games in the high-school spotlight Tuesday night:

At West Seattle High School, the Wildcats fell to visiting Cleveland, 69-46. Here are the stats via our partners at The Seattle Times; Ruslan Burduzha led the Wildcats’ scoring with 16, with Joe Hey right behind at 15.

And at Chief Sealth International High School – the boys’ varsity final was Franklin 84, Sealth 56.

At right in our photo is Khaleef Griffin, the Seahawks’ top scorer Tuesday night with 25 points. See the stats here.

The same matchups as above will play out tonight for the schools’ girls-basketball teams – Cleveland at WSHS, Franklin at Sealth, 5:45 pm JV, 7:30 pm varsity.