day : 11/10/2015 12 results

FOLLOWUP: Alki Elementary reaches teacher-saving goal with $70,000+ donation; donor says it’s time for ‘some real change’

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:23 PM SUNDAY: Just in: The West Seattle school that was crowdfunding to try to save a teacher from being cut has apparently met its goal. After receiving e-mail announcing that the Alki Elementary fundraising drive had reached its goal thanks to a $70,000+ donation, we checked the crowdfunding page, and the donation is listed there. Donor Brian Jones posted on the page:

This lack of funding has to end. It starts with our state legislature who has dropped the ball and is failing our children. We need to come together as families and support the most important need of our children – education. I donate this money on behalf of my two children, one who entered kindergarten at Loyal Heights this year and the other who will start kindergarten in two years. I am outraged and fed up with this entire issue and the fact that our legislature does not seem that this is an urgent priority. Please contact me at if you feel the same and let’s make some real change. I am ready to lead and make that happen. I’m not a politician. I’m just a pissed off parent, who is sick and tired of the horrible leadership that is failing our children.

ADDED MONDAY 12:25 AM: We e-mailed Brian Jones with a couple questions, to follow up. He replies:

I have two daughters, age 3 and 6. I live in Ballard and have no children that attend school in West Seattle. When my daughter entered Kindergarten this year at Loyal Heights, I learned I had to pay over $2000 to cover the second part of the day. I found that ridiculous and didn’t know why until I learned more about the McCleary decision and the basis of that lawsuit.

The legislature and Governor seem to be taking forever, (and my state rep and senator never even email me back). So when I heard about the lack of funding and teacher pulls, I talked with my wife and we decided that enough was enough and that we would do what we could to help, because our elected officials are failing our children. I don’t know anything about politics, but I do know a child’s education and a loving family is a recipe for success.

The first step that anyone can do is come to the rally this Tuesday at SPS headquarters and learn how our children are taking a back seat to this absolute ridiculous inaction by our elected officials.

After that I plan on galvanizing others to pressure our legislature to move fast and swift regarding this issue or face a movement of parents who will vote them out of office. … I’m not a politician or even “political,” I just can’t stand by and see our education system run like this.

The rally he mentions has also just been mentioned to us by Schmitz Park Elementary parent Rachel Lazar, who’s been a leader in advocacy at that school since this all started circulating on Thursday. It’s set for 4 pm this Tuesday (October 13th) outside district headquarters, 3rd and Lander in SODO.

West Seattle weekend scene: Mount Rainier, cloud-capped

Big thanks to David Hutchinson for sharing that photo of Mount Rainier, as seen this evening from West Seattle’s Don Armeni Boat Ramp. So cool, we wanted to rush it right onto the site. Looks to be a lenticular cloud formation. What a sight to end a weekend that began with wild weather!

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gatewood burglary; Admiral car prowl

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:

GATEWOOD BURGLARY: For at least the third time this weekend, there was a burglary on California SW. We reported Saturday on two business break-ins, in The Junction and South Admiral; today, burglars hit in Gatewood, in the 8200 block of California SW. A neighbor reports seeing the burglars break in and carry out “duffel bags and TVs” while the victims were away on an errand; the neighbor called 911, but the burglars were gone before police arrived. The neighbor called 911 at 11 am; she says police arrived after the burglars left at 11:14. (We happened to see the first car pull up, as this is a couple blocks away from WSB HQ and we were passing by.) The neighbor says the 911 operator mentioned “shift change” as a complication; we don’t know what else was happening in the sector at the time, as we were away from the scanner, but we’ll be following up with SPD tomorrow.

CAR PROWL: Karen e-mailed today to say that “our car was broken into Friday night. It was in front of our house on Hanford St SW, near 36th Ave. They smashed the passenger side window but we didn’t have anything worth taking, luckily.”

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Battery Street Tunnel is open again

October 11, 2015 6:04 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

6:04 PM: If you were headed for Highway 99 any time soon – northbound from here, or southbound toward here, you should know there’s a big problem right now: The Battery Street Tunnel is closed in both directions.

6:16 PM: Scanner indicates the fire suppression system in the tunnel went off though there was no fire, and that a shutoff is in the works – “shouldn’t be long” is the exact quote.

6:55 PM: SDOT says the tunnel is now open again, both ways.

UPDATE: Police respond to person in crisis in Gatewood

(Police blocking road near scene)

3:20 PM: Thanks for all the tips. Avoid California SW in Gatewood between Portland and Ida – there’s a big police response. Initial scanner traffic indicated police were trying to make contact with a possibly armed man in a house in the 7700 block of California.

Officers just knocked on the door and went inside.

3:39 PM: Our crew says police came back out without anyone, but there’s someone in a squad car. That doesn’t necessarily mean an arrest; we are waiting to talk to the sergeant on scene to find out more.

3:49 PM: Police tell us the person they have in custody is the person they were called about because of concern he was going to harm himself. They did not find anyone else in the house; no one is injured. They expect to be at the scene a while longer, and the road is still partly blocked. (Whenever we mention crisis situations like this, we also always mention the local 24-hour Crisis Clinic hotline – 206-461-3222.)

5:02 PM: Just got a chance to go back and check the area. The road is open again.

VIDEO, PHOTOS: From critters to crafts to cakes, it’s the 2015 Fauntleroy Fall Festival


3:17 PM: At the 2015 Fauntleroy Fall Festival, the sound of birdhouse building (video above) is mingling with the sound of music (video below):

Lots to do AND lots to see – kids can also make salmon hats (don’t forget to wear them to help drum the salmon home next Sunday – more on that later):

As is the petting area, behind the schoolhouse:

The festival is in full swing, until 5 pm, with a huge array of fun for all ages, in the 9100 block of California SW.

4:26 PM: The afternoon has gone by in a blink. Still half an hour for you to get here – and, among other things, hear and see the West Seattle Big Band:

And you can grab a snack – maybe call it early dinner! WSB sponsor Endolyne Joe’s is here, with pork sliders, in the church/Y parking lot:

We couldn’t resist buying a bowl of the curried butternut-squash soup that Tuxedoes and Tennis Shoes is dishing out outside The Hall at Fauntleroy (its event venue) – awesome. The full festival menu is here. More photos later!

ADDED 8:41 PM: As promised, more photos! The Seattle Fire Department brought Engine 37 from Sunrise Heights:

The Fauntleroy Community Association booth had bubbles:

Pumpkin-decorating is a festival tradition:

So is salmon-hat-making, as mentioned above – here’s Judy Pickens, wearing her “Fauntleroy Creek watershed steward” and “volunteer” hats, helping a young festivalgoer put on her salmon hat:

If you brought home one of those – wear it to the next big Fauntleroy event, at which you’re certain to see Judy – the annual drumming to call the salmon home, at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook (across from the ferry dock), 5 pm next Sunday, October 18th. Judy, by the way, also was a winner in the cake-decorating contest:

Along with her autumn-leaves cakes, other winners included Charlie Perry, with this spider:

(Spiders were a popular theme, but none quite like that one.) Ann Dawson‘s scarecrow cupcakes were winners too:

As was Abigail Dwyer‘s basket of Reese’s Pieces:

And the beginners’ award went to Claudi Levy, for banana bread – sorry we didn’t get a photo! By the way, if you want to vote on the cakes, be sure to get to the festival early next year:

A whole ‘nother batch of cakes was available for the subsequent Cake Walk – kind of like musical chairs, but with cakes:

The festival is volunteer- and donation-powered. This was the festival’s 13th year; see even more of the fun at the official FFF FB page.

TEACHER CUTS: California/Admiral streetcorner rally calls for fully funding schools

2:24 PM: As promised, dozens of local parents are rallying right now at California and Admiral in hopes of raising awareness of the teacher cuts hitting at least five West Seattle schools (among what the district says is approximately 25 citywide). We first reported on the cuts Thursday, with a followup on Friday, and updates on Saturday. In addition to the parents, the people at the rally right now include Schmitz Park principal Gerrit Kischner – whose explanaton to his school’s parents is part of our Friday coverage – and school-board rep Marty McLaren. She told us on Friday that the board had “little power to help in this extremely painful situation.”

SUNDAY EVENING: More photos added. Some signs, like the one above, focus on the sentiment that the district is top-heavy and should cut administration jobs to get more resources into school buildings. There were school-specific sentiments too:

We’ll continue to follow up during the week ahead; the district said in its statement on Friday that final decisions were yet to come.

West Seattle art: Local teacher makes, shows jeweled birdhouses, each one with ‘a wonderful story’

(Photo by Kelly Beal)

Here’s something else you can do this afternoon – or any day between now and month’s end: Check out this unusual local art display: Dano Beal, a West Seattle resident who also happens to be an award-winning schoolteacher, is displaying what he describes as “whimsical birdhouses” at Tully’s Coffee on Alki.

He explains: “This project started over 2 years ago, with an old, funky birdhouse found at a yard sale. I decorated it as a gift for my Mother, covering it in wild and wonderful ornaments, personal trinkets, and broken jewelry… For several years I had been collecting vintage and costume jewelry purchased at local estate sales, church bazaars, and antique stores. Every piece always came with a wonderful story, usually shared by elderly folks or the people who loved them… Each one of the birdhouses in this exhibit is made using a variety of vintage pieces, religious icons, toys, found objects, and ‘grandma jewelry’.” They’re on display all month at Tully’s, which is on the corner of 60th SW and Alki SW.

West Seattle Hi-Yu updates: Application time for Junior Court and Teen Ambassadors – and awards!

October 11, 2015 11:07 am
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 |   West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival | West Seattle news

(Photo courtesy West Seattle Hi-Yu)

Three updates from West Seattle Hi-Yu – which, among other things, is the last Seattle neighborhood group with a traveling parade float:

First, this year’s float, themed “Around the Sound,” has just wrapped up an award-winning season, with honors in the final parade of the year, last weekend at Issaquah Salmon Days, receiving the Issaquah Kiwanis Club’s award for “the float entry that best shows community spirit or citizen contribution.” Hi-Yu leaders report that the float also won awards in Marysville, Greenwood, and Des Moines this summer.

Second, eight days remain until the extended deadline for applications in the new Hi-Yu Teen Ambassador Program. Teens 13-16 can apply until October 19th – with benefits including service hours! Get the details and the application here.

Third, it’s also time for Hi-Yu Junior Court applications (get one here). Girls and boys 8-12 are invited to apply by the November 27th deadline.

P.S. If you’re going to the Fauntleroy Fall Festival this afternoon, look for members of the current Hi-Yu Junior Court, and pick up a Teen Ambassador or Junior Court application – ask about membership, too, to support this nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that’s in its 82nd year.

Celebration of life next Saturday for Carole Gillespie, 1961-2015

A celebration of life for Carole Gillespie and her life partner Robert Childs, both of whom died this year, is planned next Saturday (October 17th). Here’s the announcement from Ms. Gillespie’s family:

Carole Jean (Tiede) Gillespie was born March 22, 1961 in Sacramento, California. She passed away at home of inoperable lung cancer on January 28, 2015. Carole graduated from West Seattle High School in 1979.

She is survived by her parents, Thomas and Pamela Tiede; brother Tom Jr. (LeeAnn); nephew Matthew Tiede; niece Kirstin Tiede; uncles Dale Ruppert (Maxine); Richard Tiede (Bracey); cousin Tamera Castagne and family. Carole is deeply missed by her family.

Robert Childs, Carole’s life partner of nearly 24 years, passed away August 17, 2015, also of cancer.

A joint Celebration of Life for Carole and Bob will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 11 am at the Unity Church in Lynnwood, located at 16727 Alderwood Mall Parkway.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Providence Regional Cancer Partnership at

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

West Seattle Sunday: Fauntleroy Fall Festival; Solstice P-Patch Harvest Festival; school rally in Admiral; more…

October 11, 2015 8:59 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle Sunday: Fauntleroy Fall Festival; Solstice P-Patch Harvest Festival; school rally in Admiral; more…
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Sun after the storm – Saturday photo by JayDee)

Good morning! Fall fun today, and most of it waiting for you AFTER the football game. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in the heart of The Junction, as always. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)

SOLSTICE PARK P-PATCH FALL HARVEST AND CRAFT FESTIVAL: 1 pm-4 pm, get a jump on today’s fall fun with:

Pumpkin Carving, Hot Apple Cider, Roasted Corn on the Cob, Organic Produce and Herbs, Homemade Preserved foods, Plant and Craft Sales, etc.

The P-Patch is on the hill between the tennis courts and the solstice/equinox viewing zone. (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW)

FREE GARDENING CLASS: 1 pm at West Seattle Nursery, Jenn Dowell leads a free class about “Winter Cover Crops.” (California SW & SW Brandon)

FAUNTLEROY FALL FESTIVAL: 2 pm-5 pm in and around three venues on both sides of the 9100 block of California SW: The Hall at Fauntleroy, Fauntleroy Church, Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor), you’ll find fun for all ages, from music to crafts to bouncy toys to pony rides to an old-fashioned cake walk! Here’s the schedule of activities/entertainment/more:

See it here as a PDF. (added) Also, courtesy of the Fauntleroy Fall Festival FB page, the detailed menu of food that’ll be on sale (with prices):

RALLY FOR SCHOOLS: After the Seahawks game ends – approximately 2 pm – you’re invited to join parents from local schools facing teacher cuts, for a rally in Admiral Junction to raise more public awareness of what’s going on. Wear your school colors, bring noisemakers/signs. (SW Admiral Way & California SW)

LADIES MUSICAL CLUB: 3 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, free classical concert – details here. (2306 California SW)

RICHARD HUGO TRIBUTE: 6 pm at the historic White Center Fieldhouse, it’s a tribute to legendary local poet Richard Hugo, in music and film – details in our preview. (1321 SW 102nd)

VIDEO: New look at what’s under the sea off West Seattle

An overnight extra while it’s quiet: “Diver Laura” James and fellow diver Lamont G. recorded this video at Cove 2 earlier this week. “So many fish” that night, Laura enthused, while sharing the link, also noting that the sea stars are still more or less MIA.

P.S. We asked about the creature you’ll see about a minute in … “lemon peel nudibranch,” Laura replied.

P.P.S. Remember to do what you can to help keep the water clean for everything that lives there – minimizing deadly, toxic runoff is a start – find out how, here.