West Seattle, Washington
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Near the southern border of Nicaragua lies Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America. Its size is formidable – the largest lake in Central America and 19th in the world. Within the lake is Ometepe [map], a peanut-shaped island that is home to around 40,000 people and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
“It’s one of those untouched places,” said Kate Zylland. “Why do we have to pick apart everything?”
She and her husband, Jeff Zylland, veteran guides, founded a nonprofit on Ometepe, Guias Unidos. She is 4,200 miles northwest right now, in West Seattle, taking care of her ailing mom. He is on Ometepe, working to ink a rental deal on a building to serve as Guias Unidos’ headquarters and resource center.
Both have other relatives in the West Seattle/White Center area. But Ometepe holds their hearts. The Zyllands first visited in 2011. They fell in love with the island because it is a place that hasn’t been destroyed. Kate said there are petroglyphs on the slopes of Maderas volcano. Not much is known about them, but the island may have been inhabited as early as 2000 BC.
The couple has led an unconventional life. Read More
Thanks to Don Brubeck for tonight’s Christmas-lights photo, which is from Alki Avenue SW and illustrates an observation we wanted to share – houses aren’t the only places you’ll find festive lights – apartments and condos can put on a show too. Besides Alki/Harbor Avenues, we also recommend the buildings on the east side of California SW south of SW Holly in south Morgan Junction.
Got lights to suggest, with or without a photo? email@example.com – thank you!
As pointed out by a few people who e-mailed us, automatic fire alarms went off at two local schools early today, almost simultaneously – the Seattle Fire real-time 911 log notes Madison Middle School at 12:50 am, West Seattle High School at 12:51 am. Both were false alarms – no fire or damage. We asked SFD what if anything was discovered; in both cases, spokesperson Kristin Tinsley said, “the water flow alarm was triggered.” Last time that happened, more than a year ago, affecting three schools including these two, a water-system anomaly was suspected, but we checked with Seattle Public Utilities and they say it wasn’t them.
STOLEN CAR FOUND: Thanks for the text about a sizable police presence at 16th and Henderson this past hour. Officers were questioning someone after finding a stolen car.
Two reader reports:
CAR PROWL: From Cheryl:
Wanted to let you know that I filed a police report on 12/12 regarding a break in of my car parked in front of my apartment building (in the 3500 block of) SW Ocean View Drive, Arbor Heights. They took several personal items including leather gloves (which were in a compartment), my phone holder, CDs (in the trunk) and my handicap parking permit (in the side compartment of my door). Other silly items taken as well.
ABANDONED BICYCLE: Lisa says this has been on a Fauntleroy corner for almost two weeks:
Yours? Let us know.
In a comment on our report last week about two West Seattle sidewalk projects delayed until next spring, there was a question about another one that hadn’t happened when SDOT had said it would: Extending the concrete sidewalk along Fauntleroy Way SW by Fairmount Playfield.
In summer 2016, when the city replaced half the sidewalk with concrete and half with asphalt, SDOT told us that the asphalt section would be redone in concrete this year. The year’s almost over, and it’s still asphalt. That reminded us that the trees blamed for the original sidewalk damage, removed in 2014, were supposed to have been replaced, and haven’t been. So we followed up with SDOT this week. Spokesperson Norm Mah says the sidewalk work is now planned for summer 2018; he says SDOT worked with nearby Fairmount Park Elementary to plan that schedule, since Fauntleroy Way SW alongside the playfield is a bus zone for the school. And he says the replacement trees are to follow, next fall.
UPDATED 1:51 PM: Just approved as the new Port of Seattle executive director, during today’s ongoing Port Commission meeting (here’s the live stream): Retired Rear Admiral Stephen P. Metruck. He retired from the U.S. Coast Guard last year after 34 years. His background includes three years as the USCG’s captain of Sector Seattle, 2005-2008. The executive director position is the top appointed leadership position at the Port, renamed after the departure of former CEO Ted Fick. The commission vote was unanimous.
ADDED 1:58 PM: Metruck will start work February 1st and be paid $350,000 a year, according to the official port news release we’ve just obtained: Read More
If you’re looking for babies/children’s clothing at big discounts, a closing sale is on at the Westwood Village Carter’s store, which tells us it’s closing January 8th or when it’s out of inventory, whichever comes first. The impending shutdown isn’t entirely a surprise – back in October, when we reported on two businesses opening at WWV, a commenter noted that it appeared the Carter’s store space was for lease. We weren’t able to confirm closing plans at the time, and it fell off our followup list, but today, after Jon forwarded us an e-mail newsletter containing the one-line alert “Your Carter’s at Westwood Village is closing soon!”, we renewed our efforts and got the confirmation. Management says they have already stopped receiving new items, so it’s a clearance sale of what’s on hand. The store opened in April 2014. No word yet on what’s next for the space, which has been offered either alone or as a potential combination with the two empty spaces north of it.
(Anna’s Hummingbird, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
DINE OUT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: 11 am-8 pm today, dine at Marination ma kai at Seacrest Pier and part of the proceeds will benefit five West Seattle schools – Concord International, Highland Park, Roxhill, Sanislo, West Seattle elementaries – as previewed here. (1660 Harbor SW)
COOKIE DECORATING: Come to Pecos Pit-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) from 4-7 pm for a kids’ holiday-cookie-decorating party! (Under 13.) Bring a non-perishable food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank and you’ll get a free side. (35th SW/SW Fauntleroy)
LEARN TO PLAY CHESS: 4:30-5:30 pm at High Point Library. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
HANUKKAH: This is the last of the Festival of Lights’ 8 nights.
WORKSHOP FOR RENTERS: Bilingual workshop with Solid Ground, 5-7 pm at South Park Library.
LIGHT SHOW: Third and final night for the new Alki holiday-lights show presented by the Uehara-Bingen family. “The show runs ~25 minutes, is totally kid-friendly, and totally free! Just come on by and get ready to have a blast!”
“Arrive at 6:15 pm, show starts at 6:30 pm.” (1736 Alki SW)
EVENING BOOK GROUP: 6:30 pm at High Point Library – the holiday season is a great time to read. This month’s book is “Excellent Women” by Barbara Pym. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
SOUTH SOUND TUG & BARGE HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR: West Seattle band’s holiday show at Parliament Tavern, 8-11 pm. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
As we make our way through the pre-holiday week, we’re rounding up information on holiday closures, and thought you might want to know that Seattle Public Library branches will be closed Sunday (Christmas Eve) as well as Monday (Christmas Day). King County Library System branches, too. Closure info will be in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for reference, as will info on what’s open (our holiday restaurant list, for example) – and any info you have is appreciated – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
6:52 AM: Good morning! The National Weather Service’s wind advisory for our area is in effect through 4 pm, with gusts up to 45 mph possible. … No traffic incidents in/from West Seattle so far. … The south Pierce County SB I-5 closure at the scene of Monday’s train derailment continues, according to WSDOT.