day : 31/12/2015 10 results

VIDEO: Noisy, fiery, fun New Year’s Eve 2015 at Highland Park Improvement Club

(WSB video and photos by Patrick Sand)
If you weren’t part of it, watch the video to see and hear the boisterous Not-So-Silent Night Parade as it headed out from Highland Park Improvement Club tonight, to kick off HPIC’s three-part New Year’s Eve celebration. Noisemakers, costumes, and lights were the order of the night.

The parade crossed SW Holden at the newly enhanced crosswalk just east of HPIC, walking and rolling along several blocks before returning to the historic community center – note the flashing beacons at left in the next photo:

Immediately afterward, everyone gathered in the parking lot for the Sage Comet Performance, a fiery farewell to the old year. First, torchbearers stood at the ready to light the sage:

Then, the mesmerizing twirling and whirling began – see it in our video:

And then, everyone headed inside for an early edition of HPIC’s popular monthly Corner Bar, usually on the first Friday night of the month.

The youngest revelers had a space of their own.

DJs and a costume contest are part of the fun, which is continuing into 2016.

Along with the monthly Corner Bar, HPIC also hosts activities including free Movie Nights, community meetings, classes, and more – it’s where we presented West Seattle’s first candidate forum in the District 1 City Council race back in February. Info’s at

UPDATE: Police/fire response in Fairmount Springs

December 31, 2015 10:00 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS breaking news

Police and fire units are at a home in the 5900 block of Fauntleroy Way SW. While the 911 log labels it an “assault with weapons,” there’s no confirmation so far of a victim. Information monitored via scanner suggested someone had called 911 to report a possible stabbing attempt. (One minute after publishing) We’ve just heard police tell the dispatcher, “nobody was stabbed.” So the SFD units will be dismissed.

West Seattle New Year’s Eve scene: SRO at Admiral Bird

December 31, 2015 8:35 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

Stopped by Admiral Bird‘s kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party around 7:30 pm – moving toward watching the East Coast ball-drop at 9 pm our time – and it was already shoulder-to-shoulder, at kid height and adult height. Kind of like the Times Square experience! We ducked back out quickly so as not to take up space that could be used by the would-be partiers who were still showing up at the door. More West Seattle NYE coverage to come.

Miss Charlestown Café? New home for some of its old favorites at White Center’s just-opened Taradise Café

Story and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“Welcome to Taradise.”

That’s the greeting you’ll see when entering our area’s newest restaurant/bar.

“Tara” is for proprietor Tara Scott, who’s celebrating the grand opening today for her Taradise Café in what used to be Marv’s Broiler at 9808 16th SW in downtown White Center.

Here’s the special attraction for West Seattleites:

If you miss the Charlestown Café – which closed 4 1/2 years ago at the site where the Rally townhouse development is going up – you’ll find some of its legacy at Taradise.

Tara herself, for one, is a Charlestown alum, and has several others on staff.

She tells WSB she’s really excited to have the permission to use some of the Charlestown’s recipes. Her permanent menu is still being finalized, so we don’t have the full lineup, but she mentioned the curried chicken salad, the pancakes, and the clam chowder, for openers.

We asked about the Montana Potatoes, by the way, and she said she has plans for them too – likely under the name Idaho Potatoes, since that’s where she’s from. The restaurant will serve breakfast all day as well as a full lunch menu and rotating dinner menu.

While Taradise Café has a bar – and two pool tables! as well as darts and TVs for sports-viewing – the restaurant is open to all ages. The hours for starters will be 6 am to midnight Sundays through Wednesdays, then 6 am to 2 am Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Family factored into Tara’s decision to open a restaurant now. She explained that she has wanted to do it for a while but needed to wait until she could devote more time and attention to it – one key factor, her youngest child is now at an age where some self-sufficiency is starting to emerge.

So if you’re looking for some place to celebrate New Year’s Eve, the grand-opening/NYE Party is on until 2 am at Taradise. This date holds significance for the location, the proprietor adds, because Marv’s Broiler opened on New Year’s Day in 1976.

11 WSB stories comprise the ‘top 10’ for most comments in 2015

Since WSB is more about “what’s happening now” and “what’s happening next” than “what happened,” we don’t do much looking back at the end of each year – except for what’s become a tradition: The top 10 “most-commented” stories. As we always note, the number of comments isn’t an indicator of how many people care about a story, how many people read a story, etc. – in some cases, there’s just nothing to say – but it’s a point of curiosity, so here we go with this year’s edition. It’s actually a top 11, since we had a tie at #8:

#10: ZATZ A BETTER BAGEL CLOSING, June 12th, 102 comments

#9: PORT TRUCK BACKUPS, September 15th, 106 comments


#8 (tie): SDOT TO REDUCE SPEED LIMITS, February 13th, 108 comments



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West Seattle coyotes: Another midday stroll, this time on video

ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:07 PM: That’s video just tweeted by Dave from SW Spokane Street, another midday sighting. We’ve published several reports recently (archived with seven-plus years of coyote news on WSB), but video is relatively rare, even in this time of ubiquitous video capability. Our customary link: What you should know about coyotes, including how to increase the chances we and they can keep a healthy distance from each other. And if you want it a bit more bluntly – here’s our 2013 story on what a federal wildlife agent wants you to know.

P.S. Coyote reports often inspire us to check around online to see what’s happening in other cities. We just found this notable report from Los Angeles, where a federal researcher – described, however, as “unfunded” – has been using GPS collars to track urban coyotes.

ADDED 9:45 PM: Another clip – this time from Ted Johnson, recorded at a bluffside home in west Admiral at sunset:

West Seattle whale watching: Orcas visit for New Year’s Eve

December 31, 2015 11:14 am
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 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news | Wildlife

11:14 AM: Just got a text from Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales that orcas are reported northbound between Lincoln Park and Alki Point – and per Ron‘s tweet, below, they are apparently toward the north end of that range:

Sometimes they change direction, stop or slow – let us know if you see them on this beautiful sunny last day of 2015! (206-293-6302, text or voice, is always the best way to reach us when something is happening *now*.)

11:42 AM: Update from Jeff – the aforementioned area is where he’s seeing them, between Alki Point and Bainbridge, headed north. But he advises viewing from a higher elevation; he’s been watching from the blufftop spot at Seattle/Sunset in North Admiral.

West Seattle Thursday: Your New Year’s Eve highlights

Before we get to the event list – the mountains, putting on another show as 2015 wraps up! Above, Wednesday evening’s sunset glow on the Cascades, from Monica Zaborac; below, this morning’s sunrise glow on the Olympics, first one from Chris Kanit:

And from G. Adams:

Thank you to everyone who’s contributed to another awesome year of community photography! Now, highlights for your West Seattle New Year’s Eve, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide (which includes New Year’s Day events too):

WHICH RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN? Here are the ones that answered our calls for information about New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day hours.

LAST SWIMS OF THE YEAR: At Southwest Pool, two sessions today – adult/senior swim at noon, senior water exercise at 1:30 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)

NEW YEAR’S EVE WALK: From Emerald City Wanderers:

Walk with us to bid adieu to 2014 and welcome 2015! It’s a great way to enjoy New Year’s Eve and Day, walking with family, friends and other kindred spirits. We’ll have 5 and 10 kilometer walks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, different routes each day. And there’ll be hot soup to chase away any chills.

Start any time between 4 and 7 pm, from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church; no fee, noncompetitive. Bring a flashlight. (3050 California SW)

NOT-SO-SILENT-NIGHT PARADE: You’re invited to join in the classic neighborhood parade, starting at Highland Park Improvement Club at 6 pm. “Assemble in the parking lot at 6 pm. Bring noisemakers, flashlights, lanterns – whatever is necessary! Parade starts when everyone is ready!” Followed by the Sage Comet Performance in the HPIC parking lot. (12th SW & SW Holden)

AFTER THE PARADE – CORNER BAR, COSTUME CONTEST, MORE: Continuing at HPIC, “DJ Doctor Lehl and DJ Evan will host The Dance Extravaganza from 8 pm until 2016, administering to our needs. 9 PM Costume Contest! We encourage everyone to dress up or come in costume. There will be cash prizes ( for the best costumes: 1st Place: $100, 2nd Place: $50 and 3rd Place: $25! Results to be determined by our unimpeachable judges and popular acclaim. We are doing this early enough so that the kids can also participate. Keepsake photos by RL Carroll. Your favorite local beer on tap, wine by the glass and a Champagne Bar with liqueurs and fresh fruit. Non-alcoholic drinks also available.” (12th SW & SW Holden)

KID-FRIENDLY NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY: 7 pm-9 pm, ending with the East Coast ball drop, at Admiral Bird – details in our listing. (California/Admiral)

NEW YEAR’S EVE SERVICE: At Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood: New Year’s Eve Burning Bowl Service, 7 pm. “As the year draws to a close, we invite you to join in the long-celebrated ceremony of the Burning Bowl; an opportunity to come together in community, to release the closing year, and to set intention and create open space to welcome the New Year. A spiritual ceremony involving fire as a cleansing ritual, this service incorporates letting go of the negative and unnecessary while clearing space for new possibilities in our lives. The burning bowl ceremony will be held in a quiet, contemplative setting encircled with music, readings, silence, and chanting. Everyone is welcome!” (7141 California SW)

BAR PARTIES: We’ve heard from two venues (anyplace else? comment!)

The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)
9 pm: Hostile Makeover, Smashing Flannel
Buy your ticket here

Parliament Tavern (4210 SW Admiral Way)
NYE Spectacular with Parliamentality House Band, 9 pm, 21+. Ring in 2016 with the Parliamentality House Band featuring Bobby Heinemann (bass), Colin Higgins (guitar), Marc Fendel (alto sax), Kevin Nortness (tenor sax) and Olli Klomp (cosmic dust collector). They’ll be dropping the funk all night long as we welcome the New Year. No cover! Champagne toast included!

LAST NIGHT FOR WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS: Final night of this year’s schedule for the now-legendary music-synched lights. On until midnight! Don’t forget a nonperishable-food item to drop in the bin in front of the house for the West Seattle Food Bank – or go to the WSL website to see how to help. (3908 SW Charlestown)

AND ABOUT THE FIREWORKS … of course you have many spots in West Seattle with great views of the Space Needle fireworks across the bay. Just don’t wait until the last moment to go look, especially if you’re thinking of a sea-level spot … it can be gridlock on the road and shoulder-to-shoulder on the shore as midnight gets closer.

Remembering West Seattle entrepreneur Margaret ‘Margy’ Fitzpatrick, 1947-2015

Family and friends will gather on Sunday to celebrate the life of Margaret “Margy” Fitzpatrick. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:

Margaret Ann (Hull) Fitzpatrick

Margy passed away on December 23, 2015, age 68, following a courageous battle with melanoma. Her tenacity and positive attitude throughout her illness were inspirational to those around her.

A native Seattleite, Margy attended Holy Names Academy and earned a BA in nutrition from Fort Wright College. Her company, Fitzpatrick’s Interiors and Upholstery, has been an established and very successful business in West Seattle for more than 40 years, and will continue to operate under the leadership of her daughter Tricia.

Margy was an avid skier, swimmer, and triathlete who loved the opera and Bernese Mountain Dogs. She was always looking for the next exciting life experience, and took full advantage of all opportunities presented to her. She is survived by her brother Bob (Lou) Hull; sister Kathy (Ron) Coulter; her four children, Bill (Christine), Tricia, Bridgett, John; grandson Spencer; dog Annie and cat Ally.

There will be a celebration of Margy’s life on Sunday, January 3. For more information, please contact Tricia Fitzpatrick, In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Holy Names Academy Class of 1965 Endowment, 728 21st Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112.

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

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Your last commute of 2015

(Six WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:25 AM: Happy New Year’s Eve! After another below-freezing night, be mindful of icy spots on some roads, as well as the potential need for windshield-scraping.

ANOTHER TRANSIT REMINDER: Metro continues on a “reduced weekday” schedule for one final day; tomorrow, New Year’s Day, it’ll be on a Sunday schedule. No Water Taxi tomorrow, either.

8:50 AM: WSDOT is using the quiet time to remind everyone of the Highway 99 closures that start in mid-January, north of the Battery Street Tunnel but likely to affect things on this side too. Details are here.

11:49 AM: Via e-mail, Chuck says, “Heads up, there is a motorcycle cop doing traffic enforcement right now on the Admiral Way hill from the WS bridge to the viewpoint park.”

12:33 PM: Beware of icy hills! We’ve been on Admiral and Highland Park Way hills in the past couple hours, still very frosty, and not likely to change much before nightfall, so avoid them tonight too.