day : 11/09/2014 12 results

Video: ‘Graduating’ before school starts! 13th Year Promise students @ South Seattle College

September 11, 2014 10:28 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Even before fall classes start at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), some of its incoming students gathered today for a graduation – and, as you can see in the video above, something of a pep rally. (That’s Mathew Apelu, leading the “cheers.”) They’re coming to SSC on the 13th Year Promise Scholarship – one year of free tuition for graduates from Chief Sealth International High School and two public high schools from outside West Seattle, Cleveland and Rainier Beach. Today’s event marked the end of the three-day 13th Year Bridge orientation featuring workshops that covered topics “from college success strategies to financial literacy”:

13th Year Promise scholarships are available to graduates from those three schools regardless of grades or financial status, and SSC president Gary Oertli tells us they’re working on adding West Seattle High School to the 13th Year Promise roster soon. He is a Sealth graduate, as he reminded the new students this afternoon:

(Sorry about the camera instability – that clip works better as audio than video)
The event also included a panel discussion featuring past 13th Year Promise students. This year’s group, by the way, is more than 100 strong – the biggest one yet, says SSC. It started with the Cleveland class of 2008, added Sealth in 2011, and has now expanded to add Rainier Beach. You can get more information on the SSC website.

Update: Aurora or no aurora? We’re checking with Alice – who’s made a ‘where to watch’ map

You’ve probably heard about the big solar flare, and the possibility it’ll bring the “Northern Lights,” aka aurora. Since we are lucky to be able to work with expert skywatcher, Solar System Ambassador, and Skies Over West Seattle correspondent Alice Enevoldsen, we’re keeping in touch with her (and you can also find her on Twitter) – so far, the prospects aren’t clear, though the sky is. Her recommended info-source currently isn’t showing it getting this far south, but things can change, so keep checking (we will, too).

1:39 AM: If you’re interested, hope you were following along in comments – Alice will be checking again for tomorrow. And in the meantime, she’s come up with recommendations of best potential viewing spots in West Seattle, and mapped them

(embed removed for technical difficulties – follow that link to see the map)

(If you are a longtime WSB’er, you might remember Alice’s mapmaking back during the December 2008 “snowpocalypse,” years before the city finally started mapping plowed/not-plowed routes itself!)

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Looking promising for tonight, according to some numbers Alice forwarded. We’ll take a separate, more extensive look when it gets closer to nightfall.

Update: Car-motorcycle collision at 16th/Holden, 2 hurt

7:13 PM: … That’s what the big response is for. Two people hurt, but neither lost consciousness, per scanner.

7:22 PM: We are at the scene. Two people were on the motorcycle, both taken to the hospital by private ambulance. The crash scene is on Holden west of 16th, at the 7-11 driveway. No life-threatening injuries. It’s suspected the collision happened because the sun got in everybody’s eyes, police told us.

7:39 PM: Added a photo. At top, police officers and firefighters were cleaning up the scene, including lifting up the motorcycle, awaiting a tow truck. SFD says the people taken to the hospital were the 50-year-old man driving the motorcycle and 50-year-old woman who was his passenger.

Happening now: West Seattle Art Walk, September 2014!

From Admiral to The Triangle to The Junction to Morgan Junction, the September West Seattle Art Walk is on until 9 pm. Here’s the map/venue list. Photos to come – watch the WSB Instagram feed in the meantime.

8:01 PM: Had to divert to breaking news, but we made it to two stops and have a photographer at a third. First, at Mind Unwind/Treehouse Lounge in The Admiral District, even before tonight’s featured artist arrived, we found customers exploring creativity:

That’s Mariah and Justin. Then it was on to The Junction, where Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) is featuring two artists tonight – first, in a meet-the-maker event, it’s Steve Lawler of rePly Furniture:

Shelli Markee, best known for her wire birds on the Click! walls, is there too.

ADDED: West Seattle Cellars north of Morgan Junction had two artists tonight, too – Rich Lehl:

… and ET Marsden:

WS Cellars has free wine tastings every Thursday night, by the way, not just Art Walk nights. And it’s just steps away from West Seattle’s only co-working center, WS Office Junction (WSB sponsor):

That’s the WSOJ team posing with some of the art on display in their quarters at 6040 California SW, where you’re invited to a free coworking meetup every Wednesday, noon-1:15 pm. Meantime, next month’s West Seattle Art Walk will be October 9th – in the meantime, many venues keep their displays up all month, so check the WSAW website and check out art in the days and weeks ahead.

Yes on transit tax, yes on city’s preschool proposal, and other 34th District Democrats endorsement votes

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It’s just a matter of weeks before your November ballot arrives – and it’s busier than you might think, as was evidenced when last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting in West Seattle, centered on ballot-measure discussions and endorsement votes, began with chair Marcee Stone-Vekich warning, “It’s going to be a long night.”

Here are highlights from the ensuing two hours:

PRESCHOOL PROPOSITIONS: There are two on the Seattle ballot, 1A and 1B, in one measure – you’ll be asked if you think either should be approved, and then, regardless of how you answered that, which one you would prefer. Each one had a presentation at last night’s meeting, followed by both sides sitting down as a panel to answer questions. We recorded video:

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West Seattle real estate: Price drops and other notes

Watching the ever-busier commercial/multifamily real-estate listings, a few things of recent note:

HOMESTEAD PRICE DROP: When the fire-ravaged Alki Homestead went back on the market last December, it was listed for $1,850,000. At some point, it went off the market, but is back again, categorized as a “new” listing, now at $1.4 million. Here’s the marketing flyer.

ADMIRAL PRICE DROP: Also listed for less, the former Brickyard BBQ site at 2310 California SW in The Admiral District. Seven months ago, we mentioned its initial $1,050,000 listing; now it’s down to $900,000.

3039 AVALON WAY: At least two projects remain in the works on the north side of Avalon (the 3268 microhousing and 3078 apartments), and now there’s a property for sale on the south side – 3039 Avalon Way SW, currently home to a duplex but, the listing says, “allows for 65` height and no parking requirements – ideal apartment location.” Listed at $1,650,000.

4140 CALIFORNIA SW: $1,575,000 is the asking price for this newly listed business-occupied building on the north edge of The Junction.

4857 FAUNTLEROY WAY: Just a block south of starting-soon The Whittaker, this apartment building known as The Dorchester is now up for sale, $1,695,000.

When is a teardown not just a teardown? When it’s a salvage operation, too – like Arbor Heights Elementary

Lots of demolition work around West Seattle this month – and we’ve received some bonus information about one project: With major teardown work at Arbor Heights Elementary starting this week, SODO-based Second Use has spent three days on site “reclaiming materials that still had life in them to divert them from the landfill,” according to outreach coordinator Mary Anne Carter, who shared the photos and adds:

We recovered hundreds of items including slate, trough sinks, porcelain enameled barn lights, fir wall cabinets, fir built in cabinets, stainless steel sinks, and more.

Although the school was built in 1953, many of the fixtures were built in the decades previous and used in other schools before being moved to Arbor Heights. Tags and markings on fixtures listed John Hay School, Fauntleroy Elementary School, and others. Most of the inventory can be viewed on our website, though we are continuing to process items and add new material daily. …

It’s my hope that this provides the community with the opportunity to potentially reconnect with the furnishings of their formative years and glean a better perspective of what happened to the material that the school left behind.

Second Use is not involved with the Genesee Hill school-teardown project, according to Carter (work there also has intensified – here’s video we published on Instagram yesterday).

If you’re seeing the smoke over downtown: Capitol Hill fire

Lots of questions about black smoke visible downtown, looking across from here. 911 log shows an apartment-building fire on Capitol Hill, in the 300 block of Bellevue Ave. E. (map). Firefighters are there.

12:09 PM: *Not* a huge fire, despite all that smoke – it’s already described over the scanner as “knocked down,” and “confined to a deck on the roof.”

12:30 PM: Thanks to everyone who sent photos/asked questions – when something is so visible from here, even if it’s not happening *in* WS, we’ll always try to get information as fast as we can, and tips are almost always how we get first word. No injuries reported so far.

P.S. For any further updates, check back with our friends at

You can help! Golf for a good cause at Saturday’s Chuck Diesel Invitational

Last year, the Chuck Diesel Invitational golf tournament at West Seattle Golf Course raised more than $7,000 for The First Tee of Greater Seattle and its youth health/wellness/junior-golf programs. Consider this your invitation to be part of it this year, coming up this Saturday. The announcement we received explains that “this year’s tournament theme is a tribute to classic Seattle sports: Think Gary Payton, Chip Hanauer, Fred Couples, Steve Raible, Steve Largent, Brian Bosworth, the Kingdome!” More than a dozen local businesses have chipped in with money and/or prizes for the tournament, which we’re told “started out with six friends trying to raise money for a good cause” and included more than 70 golfers last year:

Founder Charlie “Diesel” Anderson has set himself up for a large goal in 2014, by attempting to raise over $10,000. Hoping to keep the game as fun as possible, Diesel and the event staff have been working to add some exciting new activations around the course to keep the participants on their toes, and hopefully walking home with a trophy or two. Not a golfer? There will also be a silent auction during the tournament, as well as a raffle. Come out, join the fun, and support a worthwhile cause.

Since there’s still room/time to do that, here’s how: Register at, where you’ll find five different registration options, all including greens fees to play in the tournament, plus a golf cart, and dinner. If you just want to donate, you can do that online by going here.

West Seattle Thursday: WS Art Walk; ‘The Mountaintop’ opening night; Duwamish River kayak tour; more…

September 11, 2014 10:46 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts | WS miscellaneous

(WSB photo: Art we noticed while out walking – memorial bench along the Harbor Avenue shore)
Highlights for today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

TODDLER STORY TIME: 11:30 am at High Point Branch Library, free as always. (35th/Raymond)

‘NIGHT IN SPAIN’: Paella dinner, flamenco dancing, big night at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 5 pm – check to see if any reservations remain; info’s in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

‘SECOND THURSDAY OUT’: Also at the Senior Center tonight, LGBTQ community members and friends are invited to a no-host happy hour followed by a dinner gathering at Talarico’s. 6 pm – details in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Great reason to enjoy this late-summer sunshine – spend the evening stopping by some of the venues in this month’s West Seattle Art Walk. Here’s the venue list/map:

Almost all are open 6-9 pm, usually with a chance to meet the artist (and business owners are there at many venues too) and enjoy refreshments. Preview venues/artists via the official Art Walk website at Among them, Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor), with two artists’ work this month:

That’s by Steve Lawler, who Click! says “will be on hand showcasing his plywood furniture, made entirely of remnants left over from cabinet shops.” They’re also featuring Shelli Markee‘s wire-sculpture birds. Click! is in The Junction, which has the major concentration of Art Walk participants, but check the map for other areas – just north of Morgan Junction, for example, West Seattle Cellars has two artists tonight, Tim Marsden and Rich Lehl. (Full-size venue map here)

FRIENDS OF SCHMITZ PRESERVE PARK NATURE WALK: Learn about the history and the ecology of West Seattle’s old-growth-forest treasure, 6 pm. Call to see if there’s still room – info’s in our calendar listing. (Admiral/Stevens)

TOUR THE DUWAMISH: Should be a great night to get out on the water somewhere. Why not the Duwamish River? If you see this before mid-afternoon or so, check to see if there’s still room on tonight’s community kayaking tour from Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park at 6 pm. Details are in this preview. (7900 10th Ave. S.)

K-5 STEM PTA MEETING: First meeting of the school year, 6:30 pm, school library. (5950 Delridge Way SW)

WINE TASTING AND MUSIC: Second Thursday is also wine tasting night – bring an appetizer, bring a friend – at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), with Brazilian music by Choro Tocando. Starts at 7 pm. (5612 California SW)

OPENING NIGHT FOR ‘THE MOUNTAINTOP’: 7:30 pm is curtain time for the official opening night of the new production at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), the Seattle premiere of “The Mountaintop,” directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton. You can buy your ticket(s) online, here. (4711 California SW)

AS USUAL … there’s more on the calendar beyond the highlights above – go here to see for yourself!

Earthquake-resistance retrofit work about to start at West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park

Three months after we first reported on seismic-safety retrofit work needed inside some city reservoirs, it’s about to start at West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park. Neighbors will receive, if they haven’t already, notices from Seattle Public Utilities, which tells WSB that work will start by the end of September and run through March. Here’s the notice:

(If you can’t see the embedded version, here’s the PDF version.) SPU says project signs will go up in the park before work begins. Our June story, linked in the first sentence of this one, details the full backstory, including the expectation that work will be needed at West Seattle’s other underground reservoir, Myrtle, and will probably start there before the end of next year.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday on the move

September 11, 2014 6:41 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Up to six days of clear weather, starting now, the forecast says, so don’t forget to take the sunglasses along today. Routes through/from West Seattle are OK so far. Tonight, one last round of Highway 99 lane closures, including the ramp from the eastbound bridge.

SUNDAY REMINDER: California will close to traffic early Sunday morning until late afternoon for the 7th annual West Seattle Car Show in The Junction – that includes bus reroutes, which are now listed here. Here’s our latest update on the show, open to all vehicle years/types for the first time.