day : 16/07/2014 12 results

Followup: Senior Center of West Seattle board votes ‘full confidence’ in ousted director

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two nights after reporting on the abrupt ouster of the Senior Center of West Seattle‘s well-regarded longtime director Karen Sisson, we have an update.

SC-WS board president David Robertson had told WSB on Monday that he was awaiting the center’s parent nonprofit Senior Services‘ reply to questions about Sisson’s reported firing by the organization’s CEO Paula Houston.

When we inquired with Senior Services, spokesperson Karen Bystrom would only confirm that Sisson was no longer employed, saying that otherwise, it’s a “personnel matter.” Robertson said he understood it had something to do with an e-mail Sisson had sent “voicing her concerns regarding points brought to (her) attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.”

Today, Robertson told WSB that the Senior Center’s board has met to discuss the situation:

The Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle met in executive session on July 15 to review the termination of Karen Sisson as Center Director.

The Board reviewed the letter of explanation it received from Paula Houston (CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County).

The Board also considered the long-term quality of Karen Sisson’s work.

The Board unanimously voted full confidence in Karen Sisson as Center Director.

As President of the West Seattle Center Board, I can assure you, we will continue to pursue this issue and I will keep you updated as appropriate.

Sisson had been with the Senior Center of West Seattle for 25 years. She has not yet commented publicly on what happened.

The center is a nonprofit facility with a budget of more than half a million dollars per year, one of half a dozen operated by Senior Services, and within that, one of two that own their own buildings. Some of the funding for senior centers, including WS, comes from the city budget.

West Seattle Grand Parade countdown: More of who you’ll see

(WSB file photo: West Seattle Grand Parade spectators)
Continuing our countdown to Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by the Rotary Club of West Seattle – a few more notes:

NEIGHBORHOODS ON THE MARCH: For the first time we can remember, an organized group of reps from community councils will be marching in the parade. At tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting, MoCA’s Cindi Barker showed off the bright safety-yellow/green T-shirts at least some of them will be wearing, so you can’t miss them.

(WSB file photo: VPD motorcycle drill team)
REMEMBER, THE MOTORCYCLES START EARLY: While the official parade start time is 11 am at California/Lander, the motorcycle drill teams – Seattle Police and then Vancouver (BC) Police – launch up to half an hour earlier, so stake out your parade-route spot in plenty of time.

NEW THIS YEAR: ‘VEGAS’ MOST WANTED’ DRILL TEAM: Among the parade entries making their debut, a drill team/drum squad called Vegas’ Most Wanted. (As far as we can tell, they really are from Las Vegas!)

MAYOR JOINING THE PARADE: Last year, he walked with the 34th District Democrats as a candidate; this year, former West Seattleite Ed Murray will be in the Grand Parade as mayor.

If you missed our previous reports – retired Col. Bruce Crandall, Medal of Honor recipient, is this year’s Grand Marshal; Earl Cruzen, longtime community advocate/volunteer, is the Orville Rummel Trophy recipient; and West Seattle-residing personality Marty Riemer will emcee the parade for the first time – to hear him, stake out a spot near California/Alaska.

That’s also a good place to watch the Kiddie Parade, which starts from California/Genesee at 11 am while the southern part of the parade zone is awaiting everything else. And the Float Dodger 5K run kicks off the entire morning, leaving California/Charlestown at about 9:30. The countdown continues tomorrow …

Another state-tournament win for West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars

July 16, 2014 7:22 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

Spirit’s running high for West Seattle Little League as its 11-12 (Majors) All-Stars win again in the state tournament WSLL is hosting at Bar-S on Alki Point. This afternoon, it was a 5-3 win over South Spokane.

This means tomorrow at 6 pm, they play the winner of tonight’s Pacific vs. Gig Harbor game.

They are two victories away from Saturday’s final, for which Federal Way already has qualified.

By the way, the game had a flyover of sorts:

Go cheer for the WSLL team at 6 pm tomorrow.

Wondering about big ‘cloud’ in the east? Wildfire near Leavenworth

Two people have texted us to ask about a big cloud/smoke plume in the east.

Thanks to @scruffydiver for the photo. Northwest Cable News says it’s a wildfire near Leavenworth (here’s a map) that has closed Highway 2.

ADDED 6:25 PM: Here’s a somewhat-closer look from David Hutchinson:

Here’s a Facebook page with on-the-ground info in the fire zone (tweeted by Lauren – @nwtripfinder).

ADDED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Ted Johnson shared this view from the EC Hughes Playground area:

The latest highway closures are here.

Engine 29 visits West Seattle Library for Firefighter Storytime

Big turnout for this summer’s second Firefighter Storytime in West Seattle, this morning at the Seattle Public Library branch in Admiral. The mission is to teach fire safety, but of course the lesson is folded up in a fun story:

No Dragons for Tea,” which Lt. Joe Clegg is holding in the photo, is the classic Firefighter Storytime book. A little girl makes friends with a fire-breathing dragon; he accidentally starts a fire. What matters is how she and her family react. Afterward, everybody headed outside, where Engine 29 from North Admiral’s Station 29 was parked in front of the library.

The engine and its crew couldn’t stay too long – they were summoned to check out a fire alarm.

West Seattle summer: Your guide to the mega-weekend ahead

July 16, 2014 3:59 pm
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle news

(WSB file photo: Mediterranean Fantasy Festival dancers at Hiawatha)
Before moving on to more of today’s news, we just wanted to take a few minutes to be sure this weekend’s major events are on your radar. Yes, we know these are not the ONLY events (you’ll find many other activities/events on our calendar), but they’re the big annual ones. Event names link to the official websites (or, if no official link, to our calendar listings):

Hiawatha Kids’ Fun Fest: Noon-3 pm, with carnival games, bouncy toys, more at/outside Hiawatha Community Center
White Center Jubilee Days: Noon-“late,” carnival at Steve Cox Memorial Park

*Float Dodger 5K – 9:30 am from California/Charlestown (online registration ends Thursday afternoon; same-day signups at 8 am
*West Seattle Grand Parade: California/Lander southward to California/Edmunds, motorcycle drill teams start ~10:30, full parade 11, Kiddie Parade from California/Genesee at 11
*Alki Art Fair – 10 am-6 pm (booths), music (schedule not out yet) and food continuing to 9 pm
*Mediterranean Fantasy Festival – 11 am-7 pm; dancer schedule here; vendor map/list here
*West Seattle Outdoor Movies; Movie at dusk but stake out your spot early, showing “Gravity” this week, Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) courtyard
*White Center Jubilee Days: 11 am-4 pm car show; 2:30 pm parade northbound on 16th SW from SW 112th-100th; street fair info here

*West Seattle Garden Tour: 9 residential gardens, self-guided tour 9 am-5 pm plus noon guest lecture with Susie Egan at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), ticket info here
*WestSide Baby Stuff the Bus: 10 am-2 pm, drop off diapers at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) – most needed: newborn, 5, 6, pull-ups, sizes 3T-4T and 4T-5T, hygiene items such as diaper cream
*Alki Art Fair – 10 am-6 pm (booths), music (schedule not out yet) and food continuing to 8 pm
*Mediterranean Fantasy Festival – 11 am-5 pm; dancer schedule here; vendor map/list here
*White Center Jubilee Days: Street fair info here

4-mile, 5-hour closure, followup #2: SDOT’s response to councilmember’s questions; promise of ‘change in protocol’

(Above, SDOT tweet with traffic-cam screen grab shortly after crash happened)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Five weeks after the 5+-hour closure of a four-mile stretch of Highway 99 during a crash investigation, another city agency has answered City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s questions about decisionmaking during the incident, which led to a domino-effect multi-neighborhood traffic jam.

We published the response from SPD – which had the decisionmaking authority – back on June 23rd, a week and a half after the councilmember’s original letter.

Now, Rasmussen has received and shared the SDOT response, which defers in spots to SPD, and adds that city agencies are working on “protocols” for interdepartmental coordination in any such future incidents.

Since this response was made inline to his original note, we are publishing the entire document below:

Read More

Fireworks tonight as White Center Jubilee Days festival begins

At dusk tonight, you might hear fireworks in the distance – if you’re not at White Center Jubilee Days watching them in person. The fireworks are part of the festival’s opening night; the WCJD carnival opens at 3 this afternoon in Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd), which is where the fireworks will be set off once night falls. You can find out more about the festival, which includes a parade Saturday afternoon and street fair Saturday/Sunday, at

West Seattle Wednesday: Calendar highlights for today/tonight

(Wednesday morning fog, looking toward Harbor Island; photo by Eileen McHugh)
Busy calendar for today/tonight – just some of the highlights:

FIREFIGHTER STORY TIME: Bring the kids to the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch of the Seattle Public Library and firefighters will read to them this morning! 10:30 am. (2306 42nd SW)

CHEER THE 11-12 WSLL ALL-STARS: The West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars continue on in the state tournament they’re hosting at Bar-S, after a dramatic win last night. They’re playing again today at 3 pm. (64th/Admiral)

HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN: Second of 12 Wednesdays this summer/fall when you can visit the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand 4-7 pm and buy organic produce grown next to it. (32nd/Juneau)

FUNDRAISER FOR MT. RAINIER SEARCH AND RESCUE: Mountain-climbing legend Jim Whittaker is now part of this event at West 5 – details here – with raffle items including this bike:

Stop by 6-9 pm, have a beer, help the climbing rangers’ program. (4539 California SW)

CAREER IN REAL ESTATE? Find out if it’s for you by visiting the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (WSB sponsor) event at 6 pm – details here. (4700 42nd SW)

(Tuesday morning fog; photo by Laura Goodrich)
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION’S QUARTERLY MEETING: 7 pm at The Kenney (WSB sponsor). Agenda includes a recap of the Morgan Junction Community Festival, updates on nearby development projects, the California/Fauntleroy intersection, Metro Route 128, Coalition for an Affordable Livable Seattle, Morgan Junction Business District, and more. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

MUSIC BINGO AT THE CASK: 7 pm at The Cask (WSB sponsor), guess the songs, play the game! Details here. (2350 California SW)

COMEDY AT THE FEEDBACK: West Seattle’s Mona Concepcion hosts tonight’s bill at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 8 pm – featured comics listed here.

MORE NIGHTLIFE! (etc.) … on our calendar.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries in Sunrise Heights, Gatewood

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports to share:

SUNRISE HEIGHTS BREAK-IN: On 34th SW between Othello and Webster, someone broke in at midmorning Tuesday, taking computers, tablets, jewelry, even money from kids’ piggy banks, according to a neighbor who shared the info on behalf of the victims – who couldn’t because their computers were gone.

INTRUDER ARRESTED AFTER MULTIPLE BREAK-INS: A Gatewood resident reports a burglar was arrested in her neighborhood on Saturday afternoon after breaking into her home and three others nearby – at least two, while people were home, as was the case at her house. One witness gave police a good-enough description to spot and arrest the suspect. At our tipster’s house, she says, “He broke in the back door, stole a laptop, mail, a Batman costume and a Coke and Gatorade.” Making his getaway, he dropped a backpack and ran – “into the arms of cops up the road,” who, according to the victim, said the suspect was under the influence. Since receiving this reader report, we also have obtained the police report, which says the burglaries that day began in the 8400 block of 42nd SW (map) and ranged southwestward across about four blocks until he was stopped in the 4300 block of SW Southern. The report says he tried to give a false identity, claimed to be suffering from heat stroke (Seattle Fire medics screened him and determined he wasn’t), and ultimately was booked into King County Jail.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch/updates

July 16, 2014 6:49 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! Another warm day ahead. No traffic trouble in the area so far. Two weekend reminders to repeat again today and each day until the weekend:

WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE CLOSURES: Saturday morning, California will be closed south of Admiral, south to Edmunds, for the parade. Staging zones will be on side streets along both ends of the route, so watch for, and heed, no-parking signs that day. Bus reroutes, too (check your route here).

ONE WEEK OF I-90 LANE CLOSURES … westbound 90, starting this Friday – details here.

DOWNTOWN BUS REROUTES THIS WEEKEND … because of road work; check your route here.

ADDED 9 AM: Checked on The Junction and California midblock between Alaska and Edmunds is down to one lane each way again because of construction work, with no parking on the west side of the street (which does have a “free parking” lot behind it).

Heartstopping comeback keeps West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars going in state tournament at Bar-S

(WSB photo from early in Tuesday night’s game)
The West Seattle Little League 11-12 All-Stars play again at 3 pm today in the state tournament that WSLL is hosting at Bar-S – after a thrilling comeback in their Tuesday night game. It wasn’t looking good going into the bottom of the 8th: As tweeted by Cami MacNamara, the team was down 5-2, three outs away from potential elimination. But they rallied with four runs to beat Eastside 6-5, and will play Spokane South today.