West Seattle, Washington
What makes West Seattle livable and healthy? Facilitator Maketa Wilborn asked the question toward the start of today’s Gathering of Neighbors at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. And he gathered a group of attendees into a circle to offer one word about what they were expecting from the day’s event:
Expectations for this year would have differed from the past; some years, the community-building event included a resource fair – many local organizations and agencies holding court at tables/booths so attendees could roam to at will – but this time, it was a deeper dive into four topics and two projects. If you wanted to talk about transportation problems and solutions, you could have huddled with West Seattle Transportation Coalition leaders:
Land use, development, growth interest you more? The recently launched West Seattle Land Use Committee was recruited to head up that topic:
Public safety and crime prevention were on the docket in another room, organized by the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network and including Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn:
And in a fourth room, your editor here accepted the invitation to present information about getting connected and staying informed:
We created a sort of mini-directory of West Seattle organizations and places for the occasion, as well as a one-pager about best practices when trying to get the word out about something, and will publish it here on WSB within a few days (after we add links for everything on the list!). That also was a suggestion of Gathering of Neighbors organizers – local community leaders under the umbrella VIEWS (Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle) – asking presenters to make resources available, so once there are links, we’ll help get the word out about them here too.
Back to what people were saying about that sense of West Seattle pride – some samples of the written record:
(Thanks to whomever gave us the shoutout on this one!)
Before the final sessions – focusing on two city projects now in the planning stages, Fauntleroy Boulevard and the North Delridge Action Plan – facilitator Wilborn climbed a ladder in the Youngstown hallway to put up the “graphic chart” that he’d created from what had been said so far:
(He promised that’ll eventually be available via his website, too.) At the heart of all this was “showing up,” as one of the participants in our discussion put it. Whenever, however, you can show up to help move your community a little further along, you make a big difference.
Congratulations to Carmen Gray, who is the only Pacific Northwest contender in the final round of a kids’ cooking contest. She and 24 others are in the running for the Ben’s Beginners grand prize – $30,000 for their school cafeteria, and $15,000 for the winner. Carmen is a 4th grader at Fairmount Park Elementary; her family explains that the prize money for the school can be used at its discretion: “Some possible uses are: a learning garden, composting program, and/or healthy food related artwork for the bare walls. As you know, the school is new and while we have all the basics, it is pretty stark in the cafeteria.” The contest sponsors also will present “a hometown celebration with an appearance by NY Chef Marcus Samuelsson.” Carmen entered by making a video for her recipe “Brown Rice Bean Burger” (using the sponsor’s product) and now needs votes to win. You can see her video and vote (no strings attached – you don’t have to sign up for anything, register, or take social-media action) by going here daily until November 26th. Good luck, Carmen!
Three weeks from today, right about this time in the afternoon, dozens and dozens of local kids will be returning home with many reasons to smile after the annual Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. In addition to raising money and organizing volunteers for this year’s spree – the 43rd! – the West Seattle Rotary had one more big task: Find a new location – since SODO Sears was closing, as announced in February. They’ve found one, and this year, when the shopping spree – which also involves food, music, and Santa – starts bright and early Saturday, December 6th, it’ll be happening at Sears (and Rainforest Café) in Southcenter. You can contribute to help cover the costs – there’s a link on this page of the Rotary website.
In Fauntleroy, two holiday sale/bazaar events happening now are right across the street from each other. First – it’s the second of three days for the Fauntleroy Fine Art and Holiday Gift Fair at Fauntleroy Church. Visitors were serenaded by the church’s music director Bron Edwards:
Artists whose work is being shown and sold include Bill Reiswig, who created this:
The art/gift fair at the church (9140 California SW) continues until 4 pm today, and is open again 11 am-2 pm tomorrow (Sunday). Across the street, today’s your only chance to visit the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse‘s second annual holiday/winter bazaar, with baked treats for sale right inside the front door:
The historic schoolhouse’s beautiful hall is where you’ll find most of the vendors and artists.
This event also continues until 4 pm. And while you’re there, admire the raingarden and its metal art outside, as well as the renovation work the schoolhouse (9131 California SW) has been under going.
Cool stocking-stuffer (or other mini-gift) ideas at the Highland Park Improvement Club holiday bazaar, happening right now inside HPIC at 12th/Holden. The map switchplates feature West Seattle neighborhoods as well as other towns/cities (not just the NW – we found one for Fairfield/Vacaville, Calif., whose radio station employed your editor here, long ago). Another table features buttons, mugs, and other local-logo creations:
Lots of other handmade items – including caramels!
Treat-wise, you’ll also find a bake sale. Then there’s jewelry, body-care and fragrance products, wearables … This is a one-day-only bazaar, so get there before 3 pm.
Girls and boys ages 8-12 who want to have fun being community ambassadors are invited to apply – right now! – to be part of the next West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Junior Court. As outlined on the flyer you can browse above, the application deadline is less than two weeks away; interviews are on December 3rd, and the new court will be coronated on December 8th. The application form is linked from this page of the Hi-Yu website. Good luck!
PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Help Women’s Enterprises International, a Seattle-based nonprofit that helps groups in Kenya working on clean water for families there, by having breakfast 8:30 am-11:30 am at West Side Presbyterian – details in our calendar listing. (3601 California SW)
GATHERING OF NEIGHBORS: 9 am-1 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, connect with people and issues shaping the present and future on the peninsula. But you don’t have to be there for the entire four hours – the 10 am-11 am sessions (your choice) on public safety, transportation, land use, and “getting connected” are at the heart of it, as explained here and on the official flyer:
Free. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-11:30 am, prospective students and their families are invited to visit Explorer West MS (WSB sponsor) for an interactive tour and to try out activities. Details in our calendar listing. (10015 28th SW)
HIGHLAND PARK IMPROVEMENT CLUB HOLIDAY BAZAAR: 10 am-3 pm, go see what local creations you might find at HPIC‘s one-day-only holiday bazaar. (12th/Holden)
FAUNTLEROY CHURCH FINE ART AND GIFT FAIR: 10 am-4 pm, second of two days for the art-and-gift extravaganza at Fauntleroy Church. (9140 California SW)
FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE HOLIDAY BAZAAR: Right across the street, also 10 am-4 pm, the second annual holiday bazaar at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. (9131 California SW)
HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S ANNUAL MEETING: From Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals:
Two inspiring figures in the history of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will be celebrated at the organization’s 30th anniversary Annual Meeting. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon today at the Southwest branch of Seattle Public Library, 9010 35th SW. Refreshments will be served.
The organization will honor the memory of art teacher Joan Bailey Mraz, co-founder of the historical society with Elliott Couden in 1984, and of newspaper publisher Jerry Robinson, who served as a founding board member. Also on the agenda will be the election of officers and new board members for 2015, along with changes in the organization’s bylaws. Members are encouraged to attend, and the public is welcome.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO COOK THANKSGIVING DINNER? Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) is one of your options, and it’s offering you the chance to taste the turkey and fixins during a “Taste” event 4 pm-7 pm. (41st/42nd/Admiral)
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: Theater, music, more – see the individual listings here.
Literacy starts early! And it can so often be fun – as it was Friday at West Seattle Montessori School and Academy (WSB sponsor), where students/staff got “a wonderful visit,” says assistant director Heather Aquino (who shared the photo), “from author Sid Shapira and his dog Danny.” Danny is the star of Shapira’s just-published children’s book,”Danny Dog – A rescue dog finds his forever home.” The book is described as “also illustrating the key role pet-rescue organizations play in giving pets a second chance and a forever home.” The author says part of the book’s profits will go to rescue organizations.