month : 02/2017 285 results

The Whale Trail’s Orca Talk on Thursday tells ‘rare firsthand story of an orca rescue’

February 19, 2017 7:16 pm
|    Comments Off on The Whale Trail’s Orca Talk on Thursday tells ‘rare firsthand story of an orca rescue’
 |   West Seattle news | Wildlife

(Photo courtesy David Bain)

Thursday night, West Seattle-headquartered The Whale Trail presents its next Orca Talk – this time, Dr. David Bain tells the story of the Barnes Lake Killer Whale Rescue. 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), here’s what you’ll hear about::

In 1994, nine offshore killer whales became entrapped in a large tide pool at Barnes Lake, Alaska. A film crew sought help for the whales as NOAA determined how to address the life-threatening situation. Dr. Bain was recruited to help, and led the attempt to return the whales to open water.

Join us to hear this rare, first-hand story of an orca rescue. Dr. Bain will also discuss prior events that made the rescue effort possible, and the implications of this effort for the subsequent rescue of Springer (A-73).

This is the first Orca Talk of 2017, hosted by The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters in West Seattle.

Buy tickets now to reserve your seat. And hurry! This will likely sell out.

About the Speaker

Dr. Bain has been studying killer whales since 1978. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and did post-doctoral fellowships at UC Davis and the National Marine Mammal Lab. His work has addressed many aspects of their biology and behavior. In recent years he has focused on the effects of disturbance.

Dr. Bain is a co-author of Canada’s Resident Killer Whale Recovery Strategy under SARA. In addition to his research, he is active in protecting and restoring habitat for killer whales and their prey.

In 2002, Dr. Bain was a scientific advisor to the Orphan Orca Fund, a coalition of non-profits that supported the successful effort to return Springer, an orphaned orca, to her pod.

About The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail is a series of sites around the region where the public may view orcas and other marine mammals from shore. Our mission is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment. Our overarching goal is to ensure the southern resident orcas don’t go extinct.

Through our current sites and signs, including two on every Washington State ferry, we reach more than 30 million people each year. The Whale Trail is currently adding new sites along the west coast, from California to British Columbia, throughout the southern resident orcas’ range and beyond.

The Whale Trail is led by a core team of partners including NOAA Fisheries, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and the Whale Museum. Our BC team is led by the the BC Cetacean Sighting Network. Many members of the Whale Trail teams met when they worked together to return Springer, the orphaned orca, to her pod.

The Whale Trail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, registered in Washington State. Join us!

Get your tickets in advance – go to this Brown Paper Tickets page. $5 suggested donation; kids are free. C & P is at 5612 California SW, between The Junction and Morgan Junction.

UPDATE: Rescue response on 54th SW

(WSB photos)

4:08 PM: Big Seattle Fire “rescue” response is arriving in the 4000 block of 54th SW between Charlestown and Genesee Hills. We’re on the way to find out more.

4:17 PM: Via scanner, this is a special operation to get someone in need of medical assistance out of a house described as a possible “hoarder situation.” They are planning to evacuate the person from an upper floor of the house.

4:39 PM: The woman has been removed from the house. Some of the units at the scene are being dismissed.

4:43 PM: Our crew has talked with an SFD supervisor on scene. The patient is a 65-year-old woman with “various medical issues,” and they confirm she’s been successfully taken out of the house, via a window and ladder, sliding a special gurney down the ladder.

They also confirm that a “hoarding situation” inside the house made the passageways too narrow to bring her out any other way. She’ll be taken to Harborview Medical Center.

VIDEO: See 11 ‘Page to Stage’ performances by Chief Sealth International High School students

So much is happening at our local schools, both during classes, and before/after … Earlier this month, we were invited to cover the culmination of a month of work by 9th-grade classes at Chief Sealth International High School, with teaching artists from Book-It Repertory Theatre. As explained here, the program is a “synthesis of literature and theater.” And indeed, that’s what we saw inside the Sealth auditorium – poetry, not presented by a reader standing static in front of a microphone, but performed, in small ensembles, with movement, sometimes matched to the words, sometimes just adding emphasis or flair.

The students were from the freshman classes of Luke Azinger and Heather Griffin. The teaching artists from Book-It, who introduced themselves to the audience before the program, were Kelly Kitchens and Samara Lerman. As explained in the program for the performance:

This semester, Ms. Griffin worked with students to write original poetry. After the writing process, Book-It worked with Mr. Azinger’s classes to analyze and adapt student and professional poems into scripts for the stage in the Book-It Style. Then, the students collaborated to create live plays out of the poems – taking them from page to stage.

With small ensembles trading places while two students drummed interstitially, 23 poems were performed. We recorded them on video from mid-auditorium; all were excellent, but our audio had its shortcomings, so we are featuring the 11 that are clearest in our recordings. We were asked not to publish the authors and performers’ names, but we do have the poems’ titles.



“Wake Up”:

“Once a Friend, Now an Acquaintance”:


“Constellation Nights”:

“The Hole”:


“Border Justice”:



Speaking of the passage of time – as did that last poem – this is the 17th year of collaboration between CSIHS and Book-It. Congratulations to the writers, performers, teachers, and teaching artists – and to the students’ families, many of whom were there that night to cheer them on. (The program also was performed earlier in the day during school hours, so other students could see it.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen urn; found bicycle

Maybe you’ll be able to reunite stolen property with its rightful owners. Two reader reports:

STOLEN URN: The photo is from Kayla, who says that urn was stolen when her friends home was broken into. The top of the urn was found nearby, at Delridge Way and SW Brandon. If you see or have seen the rest of it, call Kayla at 206-853-8706.

FOUND BICYCLE: Kimberly found a dumped bicycle near her home in the Alki area and would like to get it back to its owner. It’s a blue-and-red men’s bicycle, and that’s all she wants to say, so if that might be yours, contact her at kimktodd (at) hotmail (dot) com.

And while we’re talking crime …

WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL REMINDER: 7 pm Tuesday (February 21st), the WSCPC meets at the Southwest Precinct. This is your monthly chance to bring crime/safety concerns to local police, and to hear about crime trends. This month, WSCPC also has rebooked the guest who was unable to be there last month, an SPD expert on “active shooter” situations. All welcome. (2300 SW Webster)

FAUNTLEROY BOULEVARD: West Seattle Transportation Coalition update Thursday


The concept of transforming Fauntleroy Way SW into a “boulevard” through The Triangle (between 35th and Alaska) has been kicking around for many years. But now there’s money in the city budget and construction could start before year’s end, as announced last fall. We’ve shown general concepts many times … the renderings above and below are the newest ones SDOT has made public, from the “60% design” phase:

(Cross-section from city project page)

So what about the details, such as how access will change for businesses and side-road users, for example? This Thursday is your chance to hear firsthand, and to ask questions, as an SDOT rep from the project will be featured at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s monthly meeting. “WSTC has been expressing concerns (about the plan) since 2013 – within West Seattle, and with successive (project) teams, SDOT management, the mayor, and City Council,” says WSTC co-chair Martin Westerman. “Concerns include, but are not limited to, issues around project design and cost, and coordination between successive (project) teams and SDOT-Move Seattle, Seattle City Light, Sound Transit, and West Seattle stakeholders.” The meeting starts at 6:30 pm Thursday (February 23rd) at Neighborhood House‘s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW). Westerman also notes, “All are welcome — from community associations, interest groups, businesses, and members of the public.”

On the list for your West Seattle Sunday

(1st of three photos by Kersti Muul, offshore @ Lincoln Park – this one’s from Friday)

Happy Sunday! Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Shop in the street, 10 am-2 pm, and see what’s fresh. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)

SOUTH DELRIDGE COMMUNITY GROUP MEETING CANCELED: No SDCG meeting today – but you’re invited to the March meeting – watch the SDCG website for info.

GREYHOUNDS! Meet and greet the gentle hounds of Greyhound Pets Inc. 11 am-1 pm at Mud Bay in The Admiral District. (2611 California SW)

(This photo and next are by Kersti Muul, from Saturday – river otter and seal)

PLAY GAMES! See the Meeples Games (WSB sponsor) home-page sidebar for details on the groups that meet there today, starting at noon. Or, just go play! (3727 California SW)

BENEFIT CONCERT: Local musicians perform at Admiral UCC to raise money to renovate its pipe organ. Lunch at noon, music at 1 pm, admission by donation. (California SW & SW Hill)

JAMTIME: Old-time, bluegrass music with Jamtime at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 1-4 pm. (5612 California SW)

WSB, YEAR 10, AT SOUTHWEST STORIES: 2 pm at High Point Library, your WSB co-publishers are this month’s guests at SouthWest Stories, the speaker series co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Seattle Public Library. The occasion: This year, WSB turns 10 – we became a commercial, 24/7 news publication in 2007. The format: A conversation with SWSHS executive director Clay Eals, a longtime journalist. As always @ SW Stories (go to the official webpage for the series to see our video invitation and the videos of those who’ve been featured before), no admission charge, and seating is first-come, first-served. (35th SW & SW Raymond)

PREVIEW THE WEEK AHEAD … via our calendar.

VIDEO: West Seattle High School girls win district basketball championship

(UPDATED 11:55 PM with photos, video, details)

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

FIRST REPORT, 9:45 PM: We’re at Bellevue College, where the West Seattle High School girls have just won the SeaKing district basketball championship, 58-50 over Mercer Island. The Wildcats were never behind, but it got close in a few spots. Photos, video, and game details to come.

ADDED 11:55 PM: Here’s how it happened. The Wildcats started off with a roar – for WSHS fans, it was an electrifying first quarter.

West Seattle scored first, Mercer answered quickly, and the 2-2 tie half a minute into the game was the only point at which WSHS did not lead.

#10 Jenna McPhee‘s three-pointer at 7:15 was the first of three 3’s for her in the quarter, six for the team overall – two by #4 Kelsie Lenzie – representing 18 of their 22 first-quarter points. But hot outside shooting, enabling them to literally get over the Mercer Island defense, was just part of what had them ahead 22-8 at the end of the first quarter. They dominated the boards and guarded MI closely.

In the second quarter, Mercer Island fought harder. They racked up eight unanswered points to get to 22-16 before WSHS #3 Izzy Turk hit a three-pointer midway through the quarter. Within a minute, #20 Grace Sarver got her first basket of the game:

The Wildcats controlled the last few minutes of the half and went into the locker room ahead 36-25.

#11 Jasmine Gayles added to that near the start of the second half; a basket by #32 Meghan Fiso, top Wildcat scorer on the night with 15, widened the lead two minutes later to 40-26.

And that’s when Mercer Island stepped up their game again. After six unanswered points, they were just eight back, at 40-32. The Wildcats’ Lenzie was knocked down and had to be helped off the court. Shortly thereafter, the ball got stuck on the rim of the Mercer Island basket. And in the ensuing moments, MI went on another run, particularly their senior star Anna Luce. At the end of the third quarter, West Seattle’s lead had been slashed to three, 46-43.

But the Wildcats weren’t going to let this one get away. Rilcy Newsome added two in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Gayles – second-leading scorer for WSHS tonight with 12 – and Sarver followed, with MI picking up only two points along the way, and midway through the quarter, WSHS was ahead 52-45.

That wasn’t enough of a pad to get complacent, though, as demonstrated by a Mercer Island three-pointer taking almost half of it away. But they didn’t get any closer than four points back – and 54-50, with about 1:30 to go, was the last time they saw that margin. A Gayles basket on an assist from Fiso put West Seattle up 56-50 with 1:12 to go; on MI’s next possession, Luce had a rare miss. Fiso pulled down the rebound, and MI started fouling in last-minute desperation. Izzy Turk got both ends of a 1-and-1 and that brought things to the final score, 58-50 – leading to this jubilation:

We’ll find out later this weekend who and when head coach Darnell Taylor and the district-champion Wildcats play next.

(Here’s the link for the regional and state brackets, once they’re set).

BASKETBALL: Seattle Lutheran boys finish 2nd in district tournament

Thanks to Mike Jensen for first word from Sedro-Woolley, where the Seattle Lutheran High School boys have finished the district playoffs with second place, after tonight’s win over Friday Harbor HS, 64-42. Next, it’s off to regional/state playoffs in Spokane, starting next Friday; we’ll find out later this weekend who, and when, the Saints play next.

SUNDAY: SouthWest Stories spotlights WSB in year 10

2 pm tomorrow at High Point Library (35th SW/SW Raymond), your WSB co-publishers are honored to be in the spotlight at SouthWest Stories. That’s the monthly speaker series co-presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the Seattle Public Library. But since we’re much more about writing than speaking, the format is a bit of a changeup – it’ll be a conversation with SWSHS executive director Clay Eals, himself a longtime journalist. The occasion: This year, we’re marking WSB’s 10th anniversary as a 24/7 news source for the peninsula. See you at the library!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Four repeat offenders in trouble again

Four repeat offenders are in West Seattle Crime Watch today:

WESTWOOD EXPOSER ALLEGEDLY STRIKES AGAIN: Via, we learn of charges filed against 38-year-old Lydell Coleman for allegedly exposing himself while being detained on suspicion of shoplifting at Westwood Target. We covered another incident involving Coleman at Westwood Village, where he was arrested in October 2013 for exposing himself outside the Sub Shop. Records show he pleaded guilty in June 2014 to indecent exposure and was sentenced to about five months behind bars. Documents from that case say he also was convicted of indecent exposure in 2005. We looked up the documents for the new charges against him, for which he’s been jailed since February 5th, with bail set at $10,000. They say he was detained for alleged shoplifting and when asked his name, he said, “Everybody knows me; my name is Lydell, big (slang term for genitalia) Lydell.” He subsequently pulled his shirt up and pants down, in full view of Target employees and customers, the charging papers say. This is his ninth booking into the King County Jail in the last 11 months, according to the jail register; the other cases are all misdemeanors, including theft, trespass, and harassment, but the new charge is a felony because he’s been convicted of indecent exposure before. (We don’t have a photo of Coleman but will be checking with the state Corrections Department next week.)

CHURCH BACK IN JAIL: Taylor Church (security-camera image at left), who pleaded guilty to burglary and a drug charge last year, is back in jail for what’s listed as a probation hold. As we reported last year, her sentence included the residential version of DOSA (Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative). Documents indicate she violated her agreement by not showing up at a treatment facility in January, after being released from jail to catch a bus to the out-of-town facility. The King County Jail Register says she was booked on February 1st with bail set at $25,000 according to the warrant issued after her no-show. She is due in court for a revocation hearing next Friday.

WARRANT FOR DETRICK: Another convicted West Seattle burglar whose sentence included DOSA has a warrant out for her arrest. A week and a half after 37-year-old Jessica Detrick completed three months of treatment last month, a $15,000 warrant for her arrest was issued, saying she was out of compliance with post-treatment reporting requirements. Detrick’s case drew attention because she was caught on security cameras with her dog in tow. (SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Police found Detrick this afternoon and she’s in jail.)

WYMAN CHARGED AGAIN: And yet another convicted burglar who got a DOSA sentence last time is in trouble again. 35-year-old Jason Wyman of Puget Ridge has just been charged with burglary, accused of stealing items from a school in north Seattle last month; court documents say he was arrested because of school-security video and stolen-phone tracking. We last reported on Wyman in 2014, when he pleaded guilty to charges relating to a three-homes-in-one-day burglary spree in West Seattle. Court records show he got a prison-based DOSA sentence in that case. The photo at right is from the Department of Corrections.

SAVE THE DATE: Taste of West Seattle 2017 set for May 25th

February 18, 2017 1:21 pm
|    Comments Off on SAVE THE DATE: Taste of West Seattle 2017 set for May 25th
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news

(WSB photo from 2016 Taste of West Seattle)

Tickets are not on sale yet BUT the West Seattle Helpline has announced this year’s date for one of our area’s most-popular annual benefit events – the Taste of West Seattle food-and-beverage fest. Set your calendar for the evening of Thursday, May 25th. According to the Helpline announcement, tickets will go on sale March 1st. The Taste of West Seattle features more than 50 local food and beverage purveyors set up in and around The Hall at Fauntleroy – a great way to not only support the Helpline’s work but also to sample the offerings of places you haven’t tried yet. Watch the official website for more info.

West Seattle development: 24 microstudios for 4807 41st SW

South-end redevelopment continues in The Junction. In the city’s online files, an early-stage plan has just been filed for 24 microstudios in a building that would replace a 70-year-old duplex (county assessor photo at right) at 4807 41st SW, next to townhouses that were built last decade at 41st/Edmunds. They are officially described as SEDUs (small efficiency dwelling units, the city’s name for what used to be more commonly known as microhousing), 320 square feet each. The plan doesn’t mention the height, but the site is zoned Lowrise 2, which maxes out at 35′. This project is expected to go through the city’s Streamlined Design Review process, which means no public meeting, but an opportunity for public comment.

BIZNOTE: Dropoff time for 2nd annual cleat exchange @ Second Gear Sports

February 18, 2017 10:53 am
|    Comments Off on BIZNOTE: Dropoff time for 2nd annual cleat exchange @ Second Gear Sports
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

(WSB photo from 2016 cleat exchange @ Second Gear Sports)

Baseball season gets under way soon for hundreds of local players, and again this year, Second Gear Sports (WSB sponsor) is hosting a cleat exchange. This year, it’s in partnership with West Seattle Baseball, West Seattle Girls’ Softball, and West Seattle Little League. The dates are 4-7 pm Saturday, March 4th, and 9 am-noon Sunday, March 12th, but starting TODAY, you can drop off the cleats that will qualify your player(s) for the exchange. SGS explains how it works:

Before the Cleat Exchange:

-Bring your clean and gently used baseball cleats to Second Gear Sports anytime for drop-off between February 18th and February 28th.

-If you have other related gear you wish to consign, to expedite your dropoff, please put all items in a paper shopping bag clearly marked with your name and phone number.

-Additional baseball gear (bats, gloves, helmets, pants, etc.) will be inventoried, priced, and made available for sale at the event.

During the Exchange

-Free/exchange cleats will be located in a specially marked area, limit two pairs per family. Every attending family is entitled to free cleats from the swap table.

-All other baseball gear will be available for sale at a special one-day only discount. After the sale, regular prices will apply.

-Enjoy additional in-store discounts, complimentary snacks, and drinks.

-Bring in a food donation for West Seattle Food Bank.

Questions? Call Second Gear Sports – which is at 6529 California SW in Morgan Junction – at 206-935-3552 or e-mail

P.S. Today through February 28th, SGS has a sale on winter gear – 25 percent off.

Ways to enjoy your West Seattle Saturday

(Friday’s sunrise colors on the Olympics, with a layer of foothill fog – photo by Jim Borrow)

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, possibilities for the day/night ahead:

SOUTHWEST LITTLE LEAGUE REGISTRATION: Until 1 pm at the Salvation Army in South Delridge. For ages 4-16, living from SW Juneau southward. More in our calendar listing. (9050 16thSW)

SEEKING SEATTLE’S SURVIVING SALAMANDERS: 11 am at Camp Long with naturalist Stewart Wechsler. Pre-registration is requested so call/e-mail ASAP – all the info’s in our calendar listing. (5200 35th SW)

VIETNAMESE STORY TIME: 11:30 am at Delridge Library, story time in Vietnamese. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: Take advantage of a relatively quiet weekend by visiting the home of West Seattle’s history, noon-4 pm. (61st SW & SW Stevens)

BLACK HISTORY MONTH COMMUNITY DINNER: As previewed here, the Chief Sealth International High School Black Student Union invites you to dinner at Southwest Teen Life Center. Free. 5-7 pm – doors open 4:45 pm. (2801 SW Thistle)

RAINBOW BINGO IN SOUTH PARK: 6 pm, this month’s theme, benefiting the South Park Senior Center, looks ahead to spring via Blooming Bingo. 5:30 pm doors, dinner at 6, bingo at 7, 21+. Buy tickets online here. At SP Neighborhood Center. (8201 10th Ave. S.)

ENTREMUNDOS QUARTET: 7:30 pm, “a mix of Brazilian roots flavored with world rhythms” at Kenyon Hall. (7904 35th SW)

THE SLAGS AT THE POGGIE: Local faves The Slags perform tonight with Grover, 8 pm at Poggie Tavern in The Junction. No cover. 21+. (4717 California SW)

WOODLAND WEST: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern in The Admiral District, “cosmic Americana.” $5 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: The West Seattle High School girls play Mercer Island for the SeaKing District title at 8:15 pm at Bellevue College. (3000 Landenholm Circle SE)

JONNY WOODS: Live music at Alki Beach Pub, 9:30 pm. No cover. (2722 Alki SW)

LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … for the rest of the weekend, next week, and beyond, via our complete-calendar page, where you’ll also find information on how to send info to add a listing!

Members of West Seattle church, mosque meet for dinner

Thanks to Brian Callanan for the photos from Our Lady of Guadalupe, which hosted visitors from the nearby High Point mosque for a potluck dinner on Friday night.

That’s Father Jack Walmesley and Imam Osman Yusuf. Hundreds of people came for fellowship.

The church and mosque are just blocks apart.

BIZNOTE: Metropolitan Market remodel resuming; community conversation Thursday

Remodeling work is about to resume at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) in Admiral. We reported on the work and some of the changes in September and in October. The work was paused for the holiday season, and now MM has sent an open letter to the community with word on what’s happening now and what’s coming up, including a chance to drop by next Thursday night (February 23rd) between 7 and 8:30 pm to talk with MM president/CEO Todd Korman and Admiral store director Paul Marth. You can see the letter here as a PDF, and embedded below:

The remodel also was a recent topic of discussion in the WSB Forums. Meantime, we’re adding the Thursday gathering to the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

FOLLOWUP: Water monitoring south of Alki after pump-station overflow

(WSB photo)

That sign was up this afternoon near the 63rd Avenue Pump Station south of Alki Point, following the 330,000-gallon combined-sewer overflow reported late last night by King County Wastewater Treatment. The overflow happened during Thursday afternoon’s less-than-one-hour power outage in western West Seattle, before a portable generator could be brought to and fired up at the pump station.

We followed up today with county spokesperson Doug Williams. For one, as commenter Schwaggy asked, why isn’t there already a generator at the pump station? He says there soon will be:

We are wrapping up a construction project at the 63rd Avenue Pump Station that, when finished, will include a new emergency power generator at the facility. While that construction project is underway, we have an emergency generator loaded on a trailer and stationed at the Alki CSO facility. Yesterday when our workers got the 63rd Ave pump station overflow alarm they went to the Alki facility and picked up the emergency generator for the short drive over to the pump station (about ¼ mile, I believe). However, power was restored before the emergency power was brought online.

As for how long the signs will stay up, Williams didn’t have information on water-quality-test results yet when we checked in, but he said the signs will not be taken down until results are “below thresholds for human contact.”


(TOPLINE: After a 2 1/2-day closure to clear slide debris, Highland Park Way is open again as of just after 5:30 tonight)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:52 PM: Our photo taken a short time ago shows some slide cleanup still under way on Highland Park Way, and now there’s word from SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero that it will NOT be open before the PM commute after all:

Highland Park Way SW remains closed due to slides and is expected to reopen this evening.

SDOT completed removal of the remaining debris earlier today. SCL is installing a new power pole. SDOT crews will then install ecology blocks to buttress the hillside.

This work is expected to last into the PM commute. Please continue to use detours.

The hill between Holden and West Marginal Way has been closed since the sliding happened around 5 am Wednesday (here’s our original report; here’s a Thursday report with a closer look at just how much slid).

5:39 PM: Kelly tells us it’s open. We are en route.

5:47 PM: Just drove the hill – yes, it’s open again, all lanes. And Metro says Route 131 is back to its regular route.

ADDED 6:48 PM: A couple of postscripts. First, we asked SDOT this afternoon if they had determined any cause other than the heavy rain – a commenter had noted earlier, for example, that WSDOT had blamed one of its recent freewayside slides on a drain problem. But SDOT spokesperson Romero checked and said, no other factors were involved here. Meantime, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who lives in Highland Park and was among those whose travel was affected by the closure – wrote about the slide in her latest e-mail-list update, which went out this afternoon. After an update on the cleanup, she added:

… I’ve asked SDOT what kind of assessment they’ll be doing about the long-term safety of this area from future slides, and what improvements we can expect after the cleanup.

I thank King County Metro for their quick rerouting of Route 131 to accommodate bus riders in the area (myself included). The incident highlights for me – once again – the need for an emphasis upon improvements on Highland Park Way. So many people (from all over West Seattle) use this corridor to get off the peninsula. What might have once been a little-known egress is not any longer.

The Highland Park Action Committee has long been an advocate for improvements to the Holden and Highland Park intersection to slow down and make traffic flow more efficient. The focus of those efforts has been on the design and development of an arterial roundabout. SDOT agrees that improvements to this corridor are warranted. It is not funded at this time. I have inquired with SDOT about the funding estimate for the design portion alone to see if I can help identify some funding to give the project some momentum.

Though the focus of the community has been on the roundabout, I am inquiring with SDOT whether they’ve considered lane separation as an improvement. Many people I know who are familiar with this road drive in the outermost lanes and avoid the opposite direction inner lanes because of the driving practices of people less familiar with the route, or practices of those who are familiar but speed hazardously nonetheless.

GRATITUDE: West Seattle Food Bank says thanks to Origins, Gold Leaf

(WSB photo: Alondro from Origins, Judi from WS Food Bank, Nate from Gold Leaf, Andrew from Origins)

More community giving! $2,300 for the West Seattle Food Bank Backpack Program – which ensures that local students in need don’t go hungry when school’s not in session – from Origins Enterprises (whose recreational-cannabis shop is in The Junction at 4800 40th SW and is a WSB sponsor) and Gold Leaf Gardens, from a holiday-season drive in partnership with the community. You can help the Backpack Program too; here’s how.

Remembering Anna Lallas Rakus, 1928-2017

February 17, 2017 2:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Remembering Anna Lallas Rakus, 1928-2017
 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news

Services are planned next week for Anna Lallas Rakus, 88. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing with the community:

In life, as in her death, Anna Lallas Rakus, showed grace, dignity and fighting spirit, passing away peacefully in her West Seattle home on February 14, 2017.

Anna was born in Bellingham in 1928 to Greek immigrant parents, Tom and Estero Lallas. At the age of 10 while returning from a family trip to Greece, Anna and her 2 brothers John and George were orphaned when her parents were killed in an infamous train wreck. Anna and her brothers went to live with her mother’s brother, Gust Trames, and his wife Mary and their 3 children in Bellingham. By 16 she was working 3 jobs and helping to parent her brothers.

When Anna was 18, she was introduced to Gust Rakus, a fellow Greek from Everett. Swept off her feet, Anna and Gust were wed, moved to Seattle, and had 3 children. Their marriage was filled with everything Greek; loud, happy dinner parties with friends and family, the church, and her community. She was active with her husband in AHEPA/Daughters of Penelope, and served as Parish Council President of the Assumption Greek Church. She was a buyer for Doces Furniture and a top salesperson for Macy’s. Petite in stature, she had boundless energy and determination in every task she undertook, and could be a force to be reckoned with!

After 55 years of marriage, Gust passed away in 2004. Anna then filled her time attending to her gardens/orchids, volunteering for anything Greek that involved cooking, her family, and friends, and was always ready to go to lunch and shopping!

Anna is survived by her children, Diane, Tommy and Jamee (Dino). She will be remembered for her fierce perseverance in the face of adversity, her tenacious and feisty spirit, and warm hospitality. Although blurry in her last few years, she was up for any outing and was always ready to: “Let’s Go!” Our family thanks her many loving caregivers, and especially Chris Kelsey, with whom she formed a special bond.

Trisiagon Services will be held Tuesday, February 21st, at 7 pm, and funeral services Wednesday, February 22, at 11 am. Both will be held at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, 1803 13th Ave, Seattle.
Donations can be made in her name to the Gust Rakus Hellenic Studies Collection at the U of W.

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

GRATITUDE: West Seattle Girl Scout’s library project draws big donation

We’ve shared updates before from local Girl Scout Alina Guyon, who is working on a Gold Award project to build a library for refugees in Uganda. West Seattleites have donated more than 1,000 books, and now she’s sharing words of gratitude for another big donation:

Thank you Alki Lumber!

When you heard that I was building a library for refugees in Uganda, you generously offered to help. The library project not only involves sending books by container, but I’m also building an actual library. Alki Lumber donated all kinds of paint and materials to help complete the structure. Thank you for being such a generous business and key part of our West Seattle Community.

There are currently more refugees in the world than any time since World War II. While we can’t easily affect our nation’s immigration policies, this is a small way our community can make a difference to people forcibly displaced from their homes. I am so amazed by the outpouring of support from West Seattle.

West Seattle development: Demolitions at 5908 Fauntleroy Way, 6921 California; Design Review dates for 2715 California, 3257 Harbor

February 17, 2017 11:58 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle development: Demolitions at 5908 Fauntleroy Way, 6921 California; Design Review dates for 2715 California, 3257 Harbor
 |   Development | West Seattle news

More development news, starting with two teardowns:

DEMOLITION AT 5908 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: The old commercial building on which you used to be able to read the “WASH/DRY” sign is now a pile of rubble.

As first reported here almost a year and a half ago, a six-unit rowhouse building with five offstreet-parking spaces is planned.

DEMOLITION AT 6921 CALIFORNIA SW: Eight months after the cancellation of plans to turn an old house in south Morgan Junction into a branch of Chungee’s Drink and Eat (the Capitol Hill restaurant/bar whose owners lived in the house at the time), the house is coming down right now. As reported here in October, a four-unit residential building is now planned, after the site was sold to a construction company.

Now, an Admiral-project update:

2715 CALIFORNIA SW: Four months after we had first word of an early-stage mixed-use proposal to replace the buildings at 2715 and 2719 California SW, we have a few more details: It’s proposed as 48 apartments and ground-floor commercial, with 46 off-street parking spaces. And it’s going before the Southwest Design Review Board at 6:30 pm March 16th (Sisson Building/Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon). This is just a few buildings north of the PCC-site project, so that will be a busy block before long.

Speaking of Design Review Board meetings …

3257 HARBOR SW: The SWDRB also has this site on its schedule, for 6:30 pm April 6th. It’s the combined first review for 34 townhouses split between four project numbers. We noted back in November that this new proposal had been filed for the site of what had been a two-building, 80+-apartment proposal at 3257-3303 Harbor SW (which even went through its first SWDRB meeting three years ago).

PCC-SITE PROJECT: PCC West Seattle sets closure date; project team gives Admiral Neighborhood Association ‘sneak peek’

(Design rendering shown to Admiral Neighborhood Association Thursday night)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two developments this morning related to the mixed-use project planned for the current site of PCC-Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) at 2749 California SW:

First, PCC announced this morning that it has set the closing date for the current store: May 31. PCC spokesperson Heather Snavely also tells WSB that “details around the logistics of the closure” are being worked out. And:

An important part of the next few months will be recognizing just how special the West Seattle community is to PCC. We want to celebrate our members, shoppers and the West Seattle community we’ve had the pleasure of serving for over 25 years – including providing a sneak peek into some of the features to come in the new store. Expect more details in the coming weeks.

PCC had said in December that it expected to stay open “through spring,” but no date was announced at that time. Meantime, the May 31st closure announcement came just hours after the team working on Madison Development Group‘s project for the store site gave a “sneak peek” to a special meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, two weeks before they take it back to the Southwest Design Review Board: Read More