month : 08/2017 316 results

COMMUNITY GIVING: Chelan Café fundraiser to fight Alzheimer’s raises $6,000+

(Juli and Reggie Nelson, who were in charge of the fundraiser)

Thanks to Ed Schramm for sharing the photo and report:

The Chelan Cafe held its annual Alzheimer’s Fundraiser and Auction on Sunday (August 20th).

The day started off at E.C. Hughes softball field with a fundraiser game between the Chelan Café and White Center’s Taradise Café.

It was followed by a BBQ dinner and auction at the Chelan Café. Gift baskets from friends of the Chelan, various donated services, as well as more than 12 gift cards from local restaurants, were auctioned off.

When all was said and done, we raised more than $3,000.

The Chelan Cafe then matched that amount, brining the total to more than $6,000.

The evening ended with a night of fun karaoke, hosted by P.J the D.J.

The donations are supporting the Alzheimer’s Association.

Hours after shooting death, city announces ‘gradual closure’ of encampments under West Seattle Bridge

After a 31-year-old man was shot and killed in the 1st/Spokane encampment early today, the city has just announced a plan for “gradual closure” of the camps that remain along the “Spokane corridor.” The announcement, in a post on the city’s blog-format website for homelessness-related information, says the timing is a coincidence:

… Prior to this morning’s shooting, we had established a four-week plan for addressing the camping along the Spokane Street corridor. The plan begins with notice to be posted tomorrow to alert all individuals on site that the Navigation Team will be conducting repeated outreach during the next several weeks prior to gradual closure beginning the week of Sept. 11. …

Beginning Monday, Aug. 28, the Navigation Team will be collaborating with additional service providers to conduct targeted outreach to individuals living along Spokane Street from Airport Way to First Avenue. During repeated engagement with individuals in this area over the last several months, the Navigation Team has identified a number of challenges within this population, including substance use disorder, mental health disorder, unemployment/under-employment, chronic medical conditions, legal issues/justice involvement and sex work. To provide a comprehensive response, the Navigation Team has reached out to numerous partners who can better meet the needs of some individuals.

The Navigation Team will be joined by the following partner agencies: DESC-HOST, REACH, LEAD, Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), University of Washington/Harborview, Pioneer Human Services, Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST), Valley Cities, Seattle Central Colleges, YouthCare, Veteran’s Affairs, UGM, Salvation Army, Millionair Club.

Beginning at 10 a.m., collaborative, “need-specific” outreach will be deployed, so individuals will receive engagement from agencies that meet their specific needs. To those interested, service offers will be immediate and will include substance use recovery options, mental health treatment, coordinated entry housing assessment, relocation to appropriate alternative living arrangements, reconnection with family or other support systems, disruption of ongoing sex trade including exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

In addition to alternative spaces available to the City’s Navigation Team, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (UGM) has set aside 10 men’s program beds and 10 shelter beds along with five women’s shelter beds and five program beds for Spokane Street area referrals. In addition, the Salvation Army has committed to holding all beds that become available for Spokane Street referrals.

As the city update goes on to note, it’s been four months since the RV encampment further west under the bridge was cleared after two motorhomes were gutted in a fire. Also noted: The Navigation Team is reported to have contacted “1,157 individuals” in the last six months, with “721 accept(ing) some sort of service, including 419 who relocated to alternative living arrangements.”

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: West Seattle ‘low bridge’ working again

3:40 PM: We’ve received multiple texts that the “low bridge” is stuck in “open” mode. We haven’t received confirmation from SDOT yet, but webcams show no vehicle traffic crossing it, and the vehicle-blocking gates are down. So if you were headed that way, you might try an alternate route until we verify it’s working again.

3:53 PM: Webcams and scanner both verify the bridge is operating properly again.

About the police/fire response near Roxhill Park

Several texters asked about the police response across from the northwest corner of Roxhill Park, at 29th/Barton. We went over to check it out, and here is what we have found out from SPD: Two men were working on the vehicle in the photo; a passerby called 911 to say they thought they had seen one in possession of a gun. Police converged on the area but found no evidence of a gun. They did discover that one of the men appeared to be seriously under the influence and in need of medical attention as a result, so thats why Seattle Fire was called in.

SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE CHANGE: President Gary Oertli retiring

(WSB file photo)

Just announced by South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), a change at the top. Here’s the news release we just received:

After a 45-year career in higher education and nearly a decade at South Seattle College, President Gary Oertli will retire on August 31, 2017. South’s current Vice President of Instruction Peter Lortz has been appointed interim president, starting Sept. 1.

“My nearly ten years at South Seattle College has truly been the highlight of my career,” President Oertli said. “This college has such a strong culture focused on student success and a commitment to creating an environment that honors equity, inclusion and multiculturalism. That culture exists because of our dedicated faculty and staff, and amazing students.”

Oertli became president of South Seattle College in August of 2010, and had served as interim president prior to his permanent appointment. As South’s leader, Oertli encourages staff and faculty members to ask, “What is best for our students?” as the most important factor in any challenging decision. He also advocates for great customer service and creating a family atmosphere at the college, where students know they are supported, appreciated and can ask anyone for help.

During his tenure, the college was recognized for having the largest increase in full-time diverse faculty in the state, saw students recognized nationally for their achievements, and became a U.S. community college leader in implementing a “guided pathways” model for increasing student success. He also worked closely with the South Seattle College Foundation, and through their partnership the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program (providing one year of tuition-free college to high school graduates in surrounding communities) expanded from one high school to four and gave hundreds of students the opportunity to attend college.

“One of my greatest hopes is to see the 13th Year Promise Scholarship expand to all high schools in the Seattle Public Schools system,” Oertli said. “We are striving to create a college-going culture where every first grader in our city will raise their hand with confidence when asked, ‘Who here is going to college?’ ”

A West Seattle native, Oertli is a graduate of Chief Sealth High School who went on to earn his Master of Education degree at the University of Washington, where he later served as Alumni Association president. His higher education career began at Edmonds Community College, where he worked his way up from part-time instructor to interim president. He then became president and CEO of Shoreline Community College before transitioning to the Seattle Colleges District, where he held leadership positions at Seattle Central, North Seattle and South Seattle College.

Peter Lortz, who will serve as interim president from Sept. 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, was appointed by Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan. Lortz has served as vice president of instruction at South since January of 2015. Prior to that, he served as interim vice president of instruction, dean of the Math and Sciences Division and as a full- and part-time faculty member at North Seattle College. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Zoology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Washington Executive Leadership Academy and Powers of Leadership Retreat Series.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be taking on this role,” Lortz said. “I am particularly honored to follow in the great path that Gary Oertli has laid before South Seattle College.”

A national search will be conducted in the upcoming academic year to select South Seattle College’s next president.

The fall semester at SSC starts on September 25th.

Wondering what to do with eclipse glasses?

(Photo by Scott Scowcroft in Gatewood, post-eclipse)

Much-sought-after, and now … well, what do you do with a pair of eclipse glasses, post-eclipse, anyway? We’re not sure if the materials with which they were made will still be fully functional by the 2023 partial solar eclipse, much less beyond, so here’s an option: Louisa Boren STEM K-8 is collecting them for Astronomers Without Borders. Robin Graham from the STEM PTA says you can drop yours off at the school through October 1st. There’s a box in the hallway, Robin says, and the school’s open 10 am-3 pm “ish” weekdays until the Labor Day holiday, then 8 am-4 pm as of the first day of school (September 6th). The campus is at 5950 Delridge Way SW.

Music lessons with Peter Cramer: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor

August 22, 2017 11:45 am
|    Comments Off on Music lessons with Peter Cramer: Welcoming a new West Seattle Blog sponsor
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Today we’re welcoming a new WSB sponsor, Peter Cramer, offering private music lessons in West Seattle. New local sponsors get the opportunity to tell you about their businesses, and here’s what he would like you to know:

After 7 years of full-time private teaching for hundreds of clients in the Issaquah/Sammamish area, I have now officially moved my practice to West Seattle.

I love my work, I’m an honors grad from arguably the Pacific Northwest’s best music conservatory, and I have 11 years of full-time private teaching experience, instructing all ages on 5 different instruments.

I hear from my clients regularly how professional, versatile, and personable I am, and how I challenge my students to achieve high levels of music without losing the fun of the process.

Students’ parents see results in their child’s musical development, and often hear the students express how they would like to continue their lessons. I believe it’s changed the lives of their children by enriching their knowledge and interest in the arts, and therefore becoming better humans.

Read more here. To inquire about and book lessons, go here.

We thank music teacher Peter Cramer for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Previewing your West Seattle Tuesday

(View from Marine View Drive during Monday’s eclipse – photographed by Mark MacDonald)

What to do, now that the eclipse is past? We have suggestions every day. Here are highlights for the rest of your Tuesday:

WADING POOL AND SPRAYPARK: The only wading pool still open for the season is Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way); it’s open 11 am-8 pm today, as is Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), both open daily through Labor Day.

CRAFTING: 11 am-1 pm, free drop-in gathering at Highland Park Improvement Club. (1116 SW Holden)

FREE LUNCH FOR KIDS: From our standing listings for three West Seattle locations where kids can get lunch so they don’t go hungry while school’s out – noon-1 pm at Neighborhood House High Point, 12:30 pm-1:30 pm at High Point Library, 12:30 pm-1:30 pm at Delridge Library.

CHARLIE ‘THE NOISEGUY’ WILLIAMS: Join “The Noiseguy” for “Soundscapes: Whimsical Literacy” at Delridge Community Center, 2-3 pm, free, all ages, explained here. (4501 Delridge Way SW)

‘FIRST LOOK’: Free 7:30 pm event at ArtsWest, with the artists behind upcoming “The Who and the What” taking you inside the creative process. (4711 California SW)

BABY KETTEN KARAOKE: 9 pm at The Skylark. Not your standard karaoke. Really. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

PREVIEW THE REST OF THE WEEK … via our complete calendar!

‘BE THERE’ RALLY: You’re invited to inspire West Seattle Elementary students on the first day of school

wse1(WSB photo, September 2016)

Last year, it was a stirring sight – the first-ever “Be There” rally greeting West Seattle Elementary students on the first day of school. It’s happening again this year, two weeks from tomorrow, and you are invited to be part of it – with an additional opportunity to be involved beyond the rally. The announcement is from West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) executive director Shalimar Gonzales:

The community is invited to attend the second annual Be There Rally at West Seattle Elementary on Wednesday, September 6, from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. The school, in partnership with the West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA, is rolling out the red carpet and asking community leaders, school supporters, family, and friends to line up to cheer, clap, and high-five students as they enter into the new school year.

Last year, over 100 men and women from the Seattle area volunteered at our first rally. The West Seattle Elementary Be There Rally draws inspiration from an event held in Hartford, Connecticut, where over 100 Black men in suits got together to greet and encourage children on the first day of school. They did it because they wanted to show children of color positive images of Black people in their community instead of the negative and damaging images commonly portrayed in the media.

Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their educational lives earn better grades, score higher on tests, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. Leaders are calling for 100 men to support those who may not have a male role model by volunteering at the Be There Rally. After careful consideration and speaking with the members of the High Point community, leaders decided to adjust to fit the needs of the neighborhood by also calling for 100 women. It is imperative that girls also have the opportunity to see successful women who they can identify with.

In an effort to dispel myths, breakdown stereotypes and change the narrative that surrounds West Seattle Elementary, please come dressed for success. The purpose of the dress attire is to allow students to see mirror images of themselves and combat any internalized biases damaging to themselves.

We also seek community volunteers to engage with our “Classic Men & Ladies of West Seattle Elementary” initiative.

The “Classic Men & Ladies of West Seattle Elementary” is an empowerment program to instill hope, purpose, self-pride and a love for themselves and our community. Teaching experience is not needed, just enthusiasm and a desire to share with students something about your career, your experiences, your hobby, or yourself. We want you to carry some key messages into our program, including the importance of staying in school and the value of each individual student.

The initiative is a perfect opportunity for parents, business leaders, and community members to let our students know we care about them. The idea is simple – sign up at the rally and we will work with what your schedule permits. Our program runs Monday-Friday; 2:05- 5:30 p.m.

The West Seattle & Fauntleroy YMCA is sponsoring the rally in partnership with West Seattle Elementary. Although the event is aimed to represent the demographics of the school, all people regardless of ethnic identification are encouraged to come. West Seattle Elementary collaborative school motto for the 2017/2018 school year is “Whatever it takes for each and every kid!”

Your presence at the school on the first day will support efforts to build valuable partnerships with families and members of the community to support student learning and positive academic outcomes.

To confirm your attendance or for more information, please contact Jay Smith, Director of Leadership Development at 206-331-1799 or via email at

West Seattle Elementary is in High Point at 6760 34th SW.


August 22, 2017 7:20 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:20 AM: If you use southbound Highway 509, be aware that SFD is on the freeway at Cloverdale – we don’t know whether it’s north or south of the entrance from the end of the Roxbury corridor – fighting a car fire.

Also, if you use 1st Avenue S. from/to the West Seattle Bridge and see/saw police, it’s a shooting investigation. (The original dispatch was at 4:39 am.)

That’s it for alerts so far.

8:16 AM SDOT reports a crash at 35th/Holden. The associated SFD call closed quickly.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: How ‘open letter’ dad got daughter’s bicycle back – and why the suspect wasn’t jailed

Over the weekend, we published an update from Byron, the dad who wrote an “open letter” after his 8-year-old daughter’s bicycle was stolen – he reported a suspect had been arrested and the bicycle returned. Wanting to track the case through the system to see what happens along the way, we requested and obtained the police-report narrative today, and it tells a complicated story.

For those wondering how Byron found the bicycle, the report says he spotted it on Craigslist, made initial contact with the person who listed it, and went to the Southwest Precinct, where the Saturday day shift was in the morning briefing. Officers came up with a plan. (This isn’t the first time SPD has done this – we’ve seen past reports, like this one in West Seattle last year, and this one elsewhere the year before.) The report described it in part as:

Our approach was to set a predetermined meeting location and when the bicycle was determined to be Lhe one in question and a specific suspecL was found to be in possession of this bicycle we would move in, affecting a stop, at which time we would verify the serial number and combination to the lock on the bicycle as given to us by (the dad). The combination on the bícycle lock was given as (xxxx) and the serial number was given as (xxxx).

They originally agreed on a meeting place near Roxbury Safeway but they eventually found the suspect near 15th and Roxbury, with the bicycle, and took him into custody.

The bicycle was taken to the Southwest Precinct, as was the suspect, who was eventually released, as explained in the report, after a lieutenant who had stayed back at the scene showed up at the precinct with three children. The circumstances of their discovery was not described in the report, but it did say this:

.(They) were identified as (the suspect’s) children. All were … found to be in acceptable health but it should be noted that their clothes were dirty and the children themselves were unbathed to a point of being unsanitary. … (N)oting that the children’s mother had a no-contact order against her from being in contact with the children, it was collectively determined that in the best interest of the children, that (the suspect) be released to tend to the children’s needs. It was expressed by the children that (he) is the only parent that feeds them (and he) stated after he had invoked his right to remain silent that he wanted to change his mind, and stated that his girlfriend, who is the mother of (the children), had given him possession of the bicycle. (He) knew that the bicycle was not hers, but that he was trying to sell the bicycle to feed his children.

His release does *not* mean he isn’t facing charges; he was arrested on suspicion of trafficking in stolen property, which is a felony, and the report says the case has been forwarded to the Major Crimes Unit for investigation. We don’t know the suspect’s name, so we don’t know if he has a record.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Comment time for 1709 Harbor SW

August 21, 2017 7:55 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Comment time for 1709 Harbor SW
 |   Development | West Seattle news

The only West Seattle item in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin is the one marked by this sign (in the city’s new format) – 1709 Harbor SW, where it’s comment time on the application for this project:

Land Use Application to change the use of an existing building from office and residential to all residential. The project includes a five story residential addition on the south side of the building for a total of 17 apartments. Parking for 17 vehicles proposed. Existing two-story single family residence to be demolished.

The official notice says comments will be taken until September 20th on various aspects of the project, including its environmental impacts (including traffic, and the fact it’s close to the shoreline). Here’s how to comment.

NEW WEST SEATTLE PARK: ‘Open house’ planned so you can see site-design options – but first, a survey

Now that the new Fire Station 32 is open, the city is moving ahead with plans for the future city park at the site that held the temporary station. Thanks to Justin at Sound and Fog for the photo and first word of a poster up at the site (4723-4731 40th SW, which is right next to his shop); we have since received the city postcard with the announcement. An “open house” is planned during the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on Sunday, September 10th, 10 am-2 pm, “to show site options and hear what you like the most for your new park.” The project’s page on the Seattle Parks website also includes a link to this quick (one page) survey. The city bought the two-thirds-of-an-acre site for $1.4 million in 2012 and has almost $2 million budgeted for park development; it’s one of three “landbanked” future park sites in West Seattle, along with 48th/Charlestown and the Morgan Junction Park expansion site.

AT THE LIBRARY: Still space in free ‘Minecraft and Reading’ next 3 days

2:55 PM: Today’s eclipse event was just one of many cool things at local Seattle Public Library branches, as often featured in our calendar and daily highlight lists. Dave at Southwest Library just e-mailed with the news that there’s still room for a Tuesday-Thursday kids’ program that he promises will be “great”:

Minecraft and Reading is a technology-based Reading/Art class. Students will use the widely popular Minecraft game to create artistic representations of popular storybook scenes. They learn technology skills, and hone their artistic sensibilities. They have opportunities to work collaboratively and to develop leadership skills through class presentations.

This is a three-part series and will take place from 2:30-4 on Tuesday 8/22, Wednesday 8/23, and Thursday 8/24. Please call Southwest Library at 206-684-7455 to register. Online registration is closed, but registration is still possible.

The branch is at 9010 35th SW.

5:29 PM: Dave says in a comment below that the “guaranteed” spots are now filled, so they’ve started a waiting list.

Dave Eicke

Children’s Librarian

Southwest Library

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Watching the solar eclipse in West Seattle

(QUICK LINKS: Eclipse-viewing eventsNASA’s live stream)

(Eclipse through Patrick Taylor’s telescope at Myrtle Reservoir Park)

9:12 AM: We’re starting our eclipse coverage as more of a weather report. While it’s been sunny here in Upper Fauntleroy at ~300 feet, the fog’s rolling through again. We’re headed to check higher elevations. Updates to come.

9:22 AM: In general – if you’re socked in, head east/south. We’re at 35th/Thistle, and the sky’s blue both to the east (Highland Park/Westwood) and now to the north as we head toward High Point.

Myrtle Reservoir Park (35th/Myrtle; photos added above) is near the highest point in the city, lots of open space, and people are watching.

9:40 AM: Now arriving at High Point Library at 35th/Raymond. Big crowd. If you need a parking space, be prepared to walk a ways.

9:57 AM: The viewing party here is inside and outside. Outside, the view of the sun is on the east side of the library:

Thanks to everybody who offered to share their glasses – we took a quick look and even at partial, it’s amazing! Meantime, inside, the recently upgraded library meeting room has NASA’s live broadcast on the big screen:

The NASA stream includes a feed from the special Gulfstream aircraft that’s flying over the path of upcoming totality in Lincoln City, Oregon (read about it here) – it took off this morning from nearby Boeing Field, and is scheduled to return there around 12:30 pm.

10:04 AM: A lady here in the meeting room just announced to everyone that her daughter in Ocean Shores reports it’s “getting dark” there. In here, the NASA feed is having trouble due to overload.

Meantime, if you’re just going outside to see the near-totality, Lora Swift from the West Seattle Junction Association tells us skies are clear for their viewing party too (Junction Plaza Park, 42nd/Alaska, photo above).

And Jamie Kinney just tweeted the telescope-camera photo above.

10:34 AM: Maximum coverage has come and gone; the sun won’t be fully revealed again for about an hour in our area. More photos: First, eclipse “shadows” on the ground at High Point Library:

Peak-coverage crowd at High Point, with some “wows” and cheers:

At Junction Plaza Park, where Lora (who sent the photos from there) says about 200 people showed up!

Not far away, a few people went up to the roof at West Seattle Christian Church and sent this photo:

(added) At Jack Block Park – here are West Seattle High School teachers Joy Patman and Renee Phelps, eclipse-watching (thanks for the photos!):

Back to the sun and the moon – another photo from Jamie Kinney, taken at the 92 percent peak:

(Added: Here’s a gallery of Jamie’s images.) We will add video later that we rolled during the peak coverage. No, it did not get dark.

ADDED 12:45 PM: More photos – first, perhaps the most-enthusiastic eclipse viewer we saw:

Here’s High Point librarian Nathalie, who worked energetically to keep everyone informed of the eclipse status and what was going on at the library, inside and out:

Unique viewing apparatus included a colander:

Everyone we saw heeded the “don’t look without glasses” warnings:

One other unusual view – two Alki residents sent us this view of a “white rainbow” in the fog during the eclipse, looking across the low tide – this photo is from Lynn Hall:

Another gathering spot – Providence Mount St. Vincent. (Thanks for the texted photo!)

ADDED 5:32 PM: Thanks to Greg Snyder, a West Seattleite who went to Cascade, Idaho, to be in the totality zone, and shared this image:

And thanks to those who are sharing photos in the comment section below!

AND MORE: From Tom Stoner, another view of the “vegetation shadows” that showed the eclipse:

Another totality view – this one from Alki photographer David Hutchinson, who went south to watch, from “south of Baker City, Oregon, at the Weatherby Rest Area along I-84”:

P.S. The next solar eclipse visible in the U.S. will be in April 2024 – but nowhere near here.

West Seattle Monday: Eclipse viewing, and beyond

From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WHERE TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE: In our area, it starts in minutes, peaks with 92 percent coverage at 10:20 am, and will be entirely over by 11:40 am. You’ve probably now heard this many times but DON’T LOOK AT IT WITHOUT SPECIAL EQUIPMENT – whether it’s approved protective glasses, or, without looking toward the sun, a pinhole viewer. Here’s our list of potential places to watch around here (with links to online coverage if you’d rather just watch from your computer or phone).

Then, post-eclipse:

LAST LOW-TIDE BEACH NATURALIST DAY THIS SUMMER: You’ll find Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists out one more time, 10 am-12:30 pm, at Lincoln and Constellation Parks. Low tide is -1.8 feet at 11:08 am.

WADING POOL AND SPRAYPARK: The only wading pool still open for the season is Lincoln Park (8011 Fauntleroy Way); it’s open 11 am-8 pm today, as is Highland Park spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), both open daily through Labor Day.

AFTERNOON BOOK GROUP: 2 pm at Southwest Library. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce is this month’s book. (9010 35th SW)

QUIZ NIGHT: 7:30 pm, all-ages Monday quiz, free, with prizes, at The Skylark. Details in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

MORE OPTIONS … on our complete calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday eclipse edition

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

6:30 AM: If you use 26th SW in North Delridge, be aware that some SFD units may still be in the 4700 block and vicinity in the aftermath of an early-morning house fire.

Otherwise – it’s Eclipse Day. If you’re not already taking the day – or at least the morning – off to watch it, remember that near-totality (92 percent coverage) arrives in our area at 10:20 am. Provided the weather cooperates – here in Upper Fauntleroy, we’ve been watching a fog bank advancing this way from Vashon …

Other things you should know about today:

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Ninth-graders start today at Summit Atlas, West Seattle’s first charter school, on the southwest corner of 35th SW and SW Roxbury. That means about 100 students arriving around 8 am. The school also is starting its first year with a sixth-grade class, and their first day is tomorrow. (Here’s Summit Atlas’s calendar.) Our area’s other schools are generally not starting until early September.

4TH AVENUE S. REPAVING: This is the start of the second week for repaving between Spokane St. and the stadiums.

UPDATE: House fire in North Delridge, no one hurt

4:18 AM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” arriving at a possible house fire in the 4700 block of 26th SW [map].

4:26 AM: The fire is described via radio communications as “well-involved” on at least one side of the house – mostly exterior but partly extended into the house’s kitchen.

4:38 AM: The fire also is reported to have extended into the attic. Two more engines have been requested. Our crew is just arriving.

4:51 AM: This is not yet under control, firefighters have radioed, and our crew verifies they’re continuing to haul more hoses toward the house; they’re also reporting roof collapse on a shed-type structure behind the main house. No injuries reported so far, and they’re dismissing a medic unit.

4:56 AM: Now it’s been declared under control.

5:07 AM: … now “tapped” in both structures, and they’re calling for the investigator to find out how this started.

5:29 AM: That official determination won’t come until later this morning, but SFD spokesperson Capt. Shata Stephenson just talked with us at the scene and says the fire appears to have started toward the back of the house, which actually has two non-residential structures behind it, and the one with the roof collapse is the one all the way at the rear of the lot. (added – video from his briefing)

Two people were home at the time, both checked out for possible smoke inhalation, but both found to be OK. We’ve also confirmed that the address is 4737 26th SW. Crews will be here at least another hour, so you’ll want to avoid 26th SW – which is an official greenway – in this area.

10:35 AM: SFD says the fire was accidental, started by a candle; damage totals $150,000 to the structure, $100,000 to contents.

Weather Watch Park seal pup ‘Randy’ euthanized

(WSB photo from Friday)

Weather Watch Park was a seal-pup-watch park for a while Friday afternoon, but the little harbor seal that Seal Sitters Marine Stranding Network was guarding did not make it. So reported Robin Lindsey from Seal Sitters in a note to volunteers today. She says the pup was on the beach twice that day – first “forced back into the Sound by an encroaching tide,” then back on the shore in the afternoon. It didn’t appear well, Robin noted, “tiny and terribly thin with some kind of issue with the left eye.” It was still on the beach when volunteers left after dark, keeping the cove taped off, and still there early Saturday morning, appearing to be having seizures. It was taken to PAWS in Lynnwood, where euthanasia was decided as the most humane course of action due to “a number of health issues.” It weighed only about 15 pounds. A necropsy is planned.

P.S. As Seal Sitters reminded us last month, it’s pupping season around the region. If you see a seal or any other marine mammal on a local beach, or in trouble offshore, their hotline is 206-905-SEAL.

2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE: Where to watch it in/near West Seattle

(Photo by Jamie Kinney, who got this view of the sun – with sunspots – while practicing telescope photography in advance of tomorrow)

If you haven’t finalized where you’re watching tomorrow morning’s solar eclipse, here’s a list of nearby gatherings – some of which you might already have found in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

First – as expert skywatcher Alice Enevoldsen has warned (among many others) – DON’T LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT SPECIAL EQUIPMENT! If you didn’t already get viewing glasses (the comment section on our original report from last weekend morphed into a marketplace of sorts), some viewing parties will have glasses – sharing might be required.

Second – from Alice’s “eclipse basics” report here on WSB, the West Seattle timeline for tomorrow:

Start of partial eclipse: 9:08 am

Maximum eclipse: 10:20 am — Coverage of the Sun: 92%

End of partial eclipse: 11:56 am

HIGH POINT LIBRARY: 8:30-11:30 am – here rae the details. (35th SW/SW Raymond)

SOUTH PARK COMMUNITY CENTER: 8:30-11:30 am – here are the details. (8319 8th Ave. S.)

NEW – WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION VIEWING PARTY: 9-11:30 am – the invitation from the WS Junction Association:

Solar Eclipse viewing party at Junction Plaza Park.

On the event that could be the largest scientific viewing in human history, the total solar eclipse will occur at 10:20 am. During a total solar eclipse, the Sun is entirely blocked by the Moon, and in totality, night appears in the middle of the day. While Seattle is not on the path of totality we will experience a partial eclipse with over 92% of the Sun blocked, still an event to behold.

BYOSG (bring your own solar glasses). We’ll have refreshments and snacks.

(42nd SW/SW Alaska)

MUSEUM OF FLIGHT: Watch outside the Museum of Flight‘s entrance for free 9:30-10:30 am; NASA broadcast inside as it moves across the country, included with museum admission. And then see the NASA plane that will be up over Oregon during totality, as it arrives back at Boeing Field. Full details here. (9404 E. Marginal Way S.)

WATCHING ON THE WATER: Thinking about watching on a state ferry, since you won’t have to worry about buildings blocking your view if you’re out in the middle of Puget Sound? Here’s the official bulletin sent by Washington State Ferries today:

ALL ROUTES: Between approximately 9:05 and 11:40 a.m. on Monday, August 21, the moon will block a portion of the sun — with a peak of 92-percent coverage at 10:20 a.m. Some of the best views of this solar eclipse will be aboard a Washington State Ferry. However, all passengers are advised to take precautions before viewing the eclipse, as looking directly at the sun is extremely harmful to your eyes. Seattle’s Pacific Science Center advises everyone to view the eclipse with an approved special solar filter, such as glasses or a pinhole projector. Please protect yourself, and we hope you enjoy this rare event.

Nearest route to our area is Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – the schedule is here. If you walk on, keep in mind that you do have to disembark at Southworth, even if you are walking right back on to finish the round trip.

Anything in the area that we’ve missed? Please comment, or e-mail us ( so we can add!

P.S. From Alice’s previous eclipse previews, a resource list, including how to watch online:

NASA Eclipse 2017
Interactive Google Map #1
Interactive Google Map #2 (works better on phones than #1)
American Astronomical Society Eclipse 2017
Mr. Eclipse
Clear Sky Chart: the astronomer’s forecast for the next couple days. Cloudcover, darkness, and “seeing” which is how nice it is to view the stars, all on one handy chart.

UPDATE: Seattle Parks truck crashes into Roxhill Park restroom building; man, child hurt

(WSB photo)

3:59 PM: Police are investigating a bizarre crash right now – a Seattle Parks pickup truck into the side of the restroom building at Roxhill Park, with one person hurt before he could get out of the way. Police tell us they’re trying to find out whether the driver had fallen asleep in the truck or hit the accelerator without realizing it was in “drive,” but whatever the case, the truck hit a man who suffered an arm injury, and then hit the building’s brick wall before stopping. Along with that man, the Parks driver is being evaluated, as is a child, our photographer reports. The building damage does not appear major, but we’ll check with Parks tomorrow.

SUNDAY NIGHT: A commenter says her husband and 2-year-old child are the ones injured at Roxhill Park and that both are seriously hurt, with her child being transferred to Harborview with a skull fracture.

ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: SPD tells us the report isn’t available in its system yet; meantime, here’s the statement Parks sent us when we asked several questions about the incident, the driver’s status, and the building’s condition:

On Sunday, August 20, at approximately 3:20 pm, a Seattle Parks and Recreation vehicle, driven by an SPR staff member, unintentionally collided with the Roxhill Park restroom. In process, two citizens were injured.

The Seattle Fire Department and the Seattle Police Department responded to scene, and a 2-year old child and a 47-year old man were transported to the hospital in stable condition.

Currently, the Seattle Parks and Recreation safety staff are conducting an investigation.

At this time, we believe that the injured child has been transferred to Harborview and that the injured adult is still in recovery as well. We are wishing a speedy recovery to those injured in this incident.

The men’s-restroom side of the building, where this happened, was closed off when we went by to look earlier today.

COUNTDOWN: Arts In Nature Festival 2017 at Camp Long next weekend!

(WSB file photo from past Arts in Nature Festival)

Yes, there will be Life After The Eclipse. So you might as well start planning next weekend, if you haven’t already. One of the biggest events will span both Saturday and Sunday (August 26-27) – the Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long! From the organizers at Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association:

The Arts in Nature Festival is unlike any other summer festival in Seattle. The variety of performers alone rivals some of the larger events the region is known for, but add in the verdant abundance of Seattle’s only camp site, Camp Long in West Seattle, and you get an experience that is unrivaled in its beauty and its capacity to utterly engage all your senses and make you feel at once exuberant and peaceful.

The 2017 Arts in Nature Festival takes place Saturday, August 26, 11 am-9 pm, and Sunday, August 27, 11 am-6 pm at Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave SW. Tickets are $10 per day for adults (or $16 for a weekend pass) and $5 per day for kiddos 5-12. Get tickets through Stranger Tickets or buy them at the festival. For more information go to:

For two delightful summer days, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association hosts musicians, dancers, actors and artists from all over the style, cultural, media, and entertainment spectrum! Wander the meandering paths of Camp Long with the entire family to discover puppets by the pond, fine art in the forest, sound creations in the cabins, and much, much more.

This year, the Arts in Nature Festival is particularly excited to feature Seattle’s own Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band, known for bringing exciting reggae beats to wider audiences.

Other artists include West African musician and Griot storyteller Naby Camera, alt-folk duo Animals of Grace, rumba musicians Cocotazo, storytelling and choral collaborations from the Moonshine Revival Tent, and a scavenger hunt installation by Melanie Reed, plus many more!

A convoy of food trucks including GAI BOX, PICNIC, and POP UP keeps you energized for art-making, dancing, and nature-trail exploring. For an added dose of hoppy happy, Monumental Undertaking sponsors this year’s beer garden!

We’re pleased to also welcome participants Caz NW – A Performing Arts Family Camp, Full Circle, King County Dept. of Natural Resources & Parks, the National Wildlife Federation, and the High Point Branch Library, hosting a fun and informative trivia afternoon on Saturday from 4:00-5:30.

Special thanks to our local Sponsors who help make this magic possible, including: Boeing, Nucor, KUOW, Seattle Parks & Recreation, Northwest Folklife, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and the West Seattle Blog.

More previews as the countdown continues in the week ahead.

Marination Ma Kai benefit today for employee’s family

Marination Ma Kai at Seacrest was closed on Saturday, and told us that it was “in remembrance of an employee gone too soon.” Today, multiple WSB readers have messaged us to say the employee was the young man who died on Beach Drive Friday, and that the restaurant is donating today’s proceeds to his family, and they thought we should let you know. Marination Ma Kai is open until 9 tonight.