West Seattle, Washington
After 25 years, the executive director of the Senior Center of West Seattle, Karen Sisson (WSB file photo at right), is suddenly out. Hearing about this over the weekend, we sought confirmation today from the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services of Seattle, and received it from spokesperson Karen Bystrom. She would not discuss the reason, saying it was a personnel matter. But the West Seattle center’s board president David Robertson had more to say, in this statement tonight:
Without knowledge of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle, and without any consultation with Board Members, Karen Sisson was terminated as Executive Director of the Senior Center of West Seattle on Thursday, July 10, 2014.
She was terminated by the CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County apparently because Karen sent an email to all staff of Senior Services voicing her concerns regarding points brought to Karen’s attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.
I have demanded an explanation by Senior Services of Seattle/King County which I expect by tomorrow evening.
President of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle
Sisson’s achievements as the center’s executive director were detailed in its newsletter earlier this year, including a $3 million capital campaign for renovations and launching popular programs including its Stop ‘n’ Shop store and Rainbow Bingo events. We have not reached her for comment but will be continuing to follow this. Senior Services spokesperson Bystrom told WSB that Lyle Evans is the center’s acting director right now.
The West Seattle Grand Parade is just five days away – this Saturday, from California/Lander in The Admiral District to California/Edmunds in The Junction. 11 am is the official starting time, but the motorcycle drill teams – Seattle Police and Vancouver (BC) Police will both be back – start a bit earlier, so make sure you’ve staked out your spot by 10:30 am. And at California/Genesee, the Kiddie Parade starts at 10 am – all kids welcome to join.
For years, the Kiddie Parade has been presented by the Rotary Club of West Seattle, and starting this year, the Rotary is presenting the entire Grand Parade, taking over from longtime parade presenter American Legion Post 160. But Post 160 headquarters – now home to Pershing Hall and the West Seattle Veterans’ Center – is still where parade-coordination-team members Jim Edwards, Dave Vague, Doreen Vague, and Michelle Edwards met tonight to draft the parade running order. Two bits of news we wanted to share:
(2009 WSB photo)
*Earl Cruzen, whose decades of community service include shepherding the Murals of West Seattle and Walking on Logs into existence, will be honored with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community, named after the man who was Post 160 Commander when the parade began. We’ll take a closer look at his community service in a separate story later this week.
*Marty Riemer, one of West Seattle’s most famous voices, will be heard at California/Alaska, announcing the parade entries. Marty’s current endeavors include a weekly podcast/webcast and the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge.
Stay tuned for more parade news as we count down all week – and then be there to stake out your spot somewhere along the route Saturday morning; the parade will be preceded by the third annual Float Dodger 5K (still time to sign up if you want to be part of that, pre-parade).
At least for this area, it’s a new spin on the recurring telephone scam in which someone calls a business and claims its electricity is about to be cut off unless it makes a payment right now. Over the weekend, Donna Burns from Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village – which had received the power-bill-scam call at least twice – reported a caller, claiming to be with Puget Sound Energy, making demands: “After I received the ‘we’re turning off your gas in 30 minutes if you don’t pay $500’ call, I immediately called PSE myself (their emergency number) and confirmed that it was in fact, a fraudulent call.” She was due to follow up with the Seattle Police fraud unit today. Bottom line is that if anyone calls you – business or personal line – claiming you need to make a payment now or face disconnection, DON’T DO IT – even if you are worried you might have bonafide bill trouble, hang up and contact the utility directly yourself to find out your status. (Searching the Web before publishing this, we see reports of this in some other parts of PSE’s service territory, but it doesn’t seem to have been as widely reported in Seattle as the electric-bill scam.)
(Added: WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
5:56 PM: The big emergency response – police and fire – is for a shooting at 16th and Henderson. 16th is being closed to traffic for now, between Barton and Henderson, because police are looking for shell casings in the street. One person is reported to have been shot in the foot, per scanner discussion, in which the suspect was described as a medium-complexion black man in his 20s, 150 pounds, 5-8, not a stranger to the victim, (added: dressed in black plus a white shirt/T-shirt), last seen walking northbound.
6:04 PM UPDATE: The victim is described as a 25-year-old man, shot in the right foot.
6:30 PM UPDATE: Per scanner – again, with the caveat that it’s still early in the investigation – the victim is reported to have confirmed what police say a witness told them, that this was self-inflicted/accidental.
6:47 PM: And now from SPD via Twitter – same thing we’d heard via scanner:
Man wounded by gunfire at 16 Ave SW/SW Henderson admitted he shot himself in the leg. Witnesses say he handed gun to 2nd man, who ran off.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) July 15, 2014
7:27 PM: 16th is open both ways.
Forgot to mention this in the daily-preview list – as announced three weeks ago, the public memorial for Karen Sykes, the West Seattle writer/photographer/hiking expert who died on Mount Rainier last month, is happening tonight. Here’s the most-recent reminder we received:
A public memorial service for outdoors writer Karen Sykes will be held on the evening of July 14 at the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center in Magnuson Park.
As Mountaineers Books Publisher Helen Cherullo reflected, “Washington’s hikers and climbers were Karen’s community. She paid tribute to those who came before her and became a leader in her own right,” adding, “this will be the hiking community’s opportunity to pay tribute to her indomitable strength and joyful spirit.”
Cherullo, who worked with Sykes on the guidebooks Best Wildflower Hikes – Washington and Hidden Hikes in Western Washington, will give remarks at the memorial service. Attendees are invited to share their stories and experiences with each other starting at 6:30 p.m., with the formal program beginning at 7 p.m.
Sykes died from hypothermia while hiking in Mount Rainier National Park in late June. By sharing advice and hidden hikes through her work with Mountaineers Books, The Mountaineers, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and more, Sykes inspired thousands of people to experience the beauty found in wilderness.
The Seattle Program Center is located at 7700 Sand Point Way NE. The Mountaineers (also) invite those who knew Sykes to share their memories on the Mountaineers website.
Ms. Sykes was 70 years old. She had shared nature photos on WSB, usually via our Flickr group, from time to time, and we published more than three dozen here on the website in the past few years.
During the early going of the World Cup, our area had its own celebration of soccer and community – the West Seattle Cup. Announced back in January and played over a weekend in June, the West Seattle Cup was dreamed up and brought to reality by local teacher Terry Kegel, who shared the highlight reel above, showing what it was all about – not just family soccer games and international learning (teams represented various countries), but also the importance of “conversations for understanding” – those were as much a part of the “final score” as the soccer goals. We stopped by during the WSC – our story included this photo of Terry:
Terry is now a finalist for the special Community MVP award given out by Major League Soccer – with the prize including a $10,000 charity donation and a trip to the MLS All-Star Game. Voting is under way and continues until July 25th. And you can vote with *no strings attached* – no requirement that you sign up for something or “like”/”follow” something – just go here and click on the Sounders logo on the map, so that Terry’s info and “vote now” button will appear below.
(Photo added: WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s board members)
Days before one of its biggest donation events of the year – the Stuff the Bus diaper drive, coming up next Sunday (July 20th) – WestSide Baby has big news: It’s expanding, merging with a similar Capitol Hill-based agency. Here’s the announcement:
Thousands of children living in King County will benefit from a new collaboration between WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner, located on Capitol Hill. The Boards of Directors from both agencies unanimously voted to merge the organizations, effective July 11, 2014. This exciting development comes as WestSide Baby is preparing for its largest ever outreach event: the 14th annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive July 20th.
(WSB file photo from past WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ event)
WestSide Baby will continue to operate from its headquarters in White Center, and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner facility in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will remain open under the leadership of WestSide Baby. Baby Corner will operate under the WestSide Baby name while continuing to honor the Baby Corner legacy.
The merger of St. Joseph’s Baby Corner, established in 1988, and WestSide Baby, established in 2001, capitalizes on the strengths of each organization: the St. Joseph’s Baby Corner community’s longevity and loyalty, and WestSide Baby’s operating systems and deep-rooted support. The organizations have very compatible missions serving local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and safety equipment, such as car seats and cribs. Both agencies have operated in partnership with established social service agencies, such as public health and food banks. Combining operations will immediately improve the service delivery to families. More diapers, clothing and safety equipment will reach more local families in need.
The announcement continues ahead, along with more information on how you can help with Sunday’s Stuff the Bus event:
(Anchor/Luna Park photo by Daniel Casey)
Busy Monday … on the way to another summer-event-filled weekend … but there are a few calendar highlights we wanted to mention before we get too much further into this day:
LOW-LOW TIDE: Until 2:30 pm, volunteer beach naturalists are out again at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, with the tide out to -2.6 at 12:54 pm.
TEEN RUNNING GROUP: High-school or college-age runner? 5 pm Mondays at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), meet up with others and get going! Free. Details here; there’s a Facebook group too. (California/Charlestown)
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY: On this date in 1984, the high-level bridge was dedicated. At 6:30 tonight, an all-star panel will share memories and thoughts in a special (free!) event in the courtyard of Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) – details on the Southwest Seattle Historical Society website; panelists include former mayor Charles Royer, former port commissioner Jack Block, city councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who worked as an assistant to the bridge’s honorary namesake Councilmember Jeanette Williams), engineers who worked on the bridge project, and more. Here’s the program, topic-wise, per SWSHS’s Clay Eals, who will emcee/moderate:
ATTEMPTS BY CITY TO FUND A NEW BRIDGE PRE-1978
ATTITUDE OF WEST SEATTLE TOWARD BRIDGE PRE-1978
LAUNCH OF SECESSION CAMPAIGN: MARCH 29, 1978
THE SHIP HITS THE SPAN: JUNE 11, 1978
QUICK REACTION TO OBTAIN FUNDS FOR NEW BRIDGE
DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, DETOURS 1980-1984
THE FATE OF ROLF NESLUND
OPENING OF NEW BRIDGE 1983-1984
IMPACT OF THE BRIDGE 30 YEARS LATER
(4410 California SW)
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL – IN THE PARK: Summertime and the NDNC takes its meetings on the road. Tonight – find them at Dragonfly Pavilion, 6:30 pm. (26th/Dakota)
Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin from the city brings the formal notice of an appeal hearing for the new school to be built on the five-years-closed Genesee Hill Elementary site. The appellants, including district watchdog Chris Jackins and more than half a dozen local residents, are not challenging the entire project; they object to aspects including the zoning exception for the school’s height, where the bulk of its building will be placed on the site, plans for on-street school-bus loading, and the amount of parking (71 spaces might not be enough, they say). The appeal hearing is set for 9 am August 5th in the Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown; it’s open to the public (for observation but not comment). Some preparation work already has been done on the site, but demolition is still to come.
(WSB photo taken Sunday morning)
Thanks to Martin for the tip that the construction cover finally came off 2141 California SW this weekend. The 1920s-era former home of Admiralty House Antiques – closed when its owner, the late Fred Dau, retired a year ago, and sold a few months later – has been undergoing renovations for about six months. It’s been under a white canvas/tarp for most of that time; according to the city’s online files, most of the renovations have involved window replacement/repair. Workers had also said early on that the space was being divided; no public word yet on tenants – city files mention “office” as the expected use. Plans to build townhouse/live-work units behind it, fronting SW Walker, are still going through the city permit process.
More youth-sports success! West Seattle Baseball president Eric Olson reports that the league’s 9U All Stars won the PONY Northwest Region Championship over the weekend:
The 9U all-stars followed in the footsteps of their 8U counterparts and beat Maltby Pony Baseball to become the PONY Northwest Region Champions. After going down 5-4 in the first, the Niners put on another hit parade, scoring 8 over the last 5 innings to win 13-7. The team really played great team baseball behind a stellar pitching performance by Chase Clifton, who pitched 5 2/3 innings.
The team leaves Thursday to Walnut, California, for the 9U PONY West Zone Championship, with an opportunity to advance to the 9U World Series.
Front: Cooper Hall, Brody Olson
Back: Joel Clark, Brendan Johnson, Jack Cahill, Patrick Galvin, Chase Clifton, Payton Kyle, Kai Perala, Tyler Eisenhut, Wyatt Trujillo, Ethan Wyatt
Coaches: John Cahill, Eric Olson, Vic Hall
Congratulations and good luck!
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No problems of note so far this morning on the main routes from West Seattle. On the preview front, no major road work announced for this week, and the next closure will be for Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade – more on that as the week goes by.
BRIDGE ANNIVERSARY EVENT TONIGHT: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society-led celebration of the high-level West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary continues with a high-level event tonight – free and open to the public in the courtyard at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), same place the West Seattle Outdoor Movies series starts this Saturday. 6:30 pm, people who were part of the events that paved the way for the bridge will be part of a panel discussion – with a group described by SWSHS’s Clay Eals as “a great group, not likely to be in one place for a public forum ever again.” More in today’s daily preview in the 9 am hour. P.S. Today is the 30th anniversary of the bridge’s dedication.
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