month : 05/2019 311 results

NEXT HOLIDAY! Gearing up for 2019 West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade

(WSB photos, 2018 parade)

Now that Memorial Day is past … we can look forward to the next big holiday, Independence Day. This year, the 4th of July is on a Thursday, five weeks away, and it will again be highlighted by the big West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade through North Admiral. This is the 25th anniversary of the parade! It starts at 10 am at 44th/Sunset and is a casual family-friendly stroll along several blocks, ending at Hamilton Viewpoint Park with kids’ activities including sack races and craft tables.

Speaking of which …Nicole Lutomski, co-organizer of the parade this year with Megan Erb, says business sponsors are still being sought to host tables and/or support the parade! It’s an all-volunteer effort but costs to make it happen include a park permit, special-event permit, insurance, and more. Here are the sponsorship levels – including a special “silver” support level open to all in honor of the parade’s silver anniversary:

RED, $500:

Announced at the Welcome Address as the provider of the FLAGS and LEIS distributed to the crowd at the beginning of the parade.
Logo on “Walking on Logs Statues” Banner & Parade Banner
Logo on Yard Signs distributed around town
Host a Kid Craft Table at the end of the parade

WHITE, $250:

Logo on “Walking on Log Statues” Banner & Parade Banner
Logo on Yard Signs distributed around town
Host a Kid Craft Table at the end of the parade

BLUE, $100:

Logo on Yard Signs
Host of a Kid Craft Table

* * * SILVER * * * $25+

Friends of the Parade, no commitment necessary
* * * * * * * * *

You can contribute at any level via the parade’s PayPal page.

And to be part of the parade, just show up at the gathering place (map’s on the parade website) – decorated bikes, (non-motorized) scooters, wagons, strollers, etc., all welcome – if it’s your first year, we advise coming early – as you can see in our past coverage, it’s usually a sizable turnout!

Here’s what’s up for your West Seattle Tuesday

(Red-breasted Sapsucker, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Welcome to post-holiday Tuesday! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BABY STORY TIME: Bring your up-to-12-month-old(s) to Southwest Library for stories, songs, and rhymes, 10:30 am. Free as always. (9010 35th SW)

PRIORITIZE PARKS/STREETS PROJECTS: Your Voice, Your Choice offers you the chance to participate in city budgeting. Current process: Prioritize proposed parks/streets projects in District 1. Tonight’s meeting starts at 5:30 pm, South Park Community Center. Not many opinions yet online – as you can see here – so you can still make a big difference. (8319 8th Ave. S.)

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: 5:30 pm at Delridge Library, learn about travel photography. Free but first-come first-served, limited space. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: Everybody is welcome to come play! 6:30 pm at Fairmount Playfield. (5400 Fauntleroy Way SW)

NO BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS’ MEETING: Due to the proximity to the holiday, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting that would have happened tonight is canceled – next one June 25th.

DISTRICT 1 COMMUNITY NETWORK: 7 pm at Duwamish Longhouse. Our calendar listing includes the agenda for this group of community advocates from around West Seattle and South Park. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

SUFFERING F-HEADS: 9 pm, the punk/jazz duo plays Parliament Tavern. 21+. No cover. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … with our complete calendar!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Post-holiday Tuesday watch

May 28, 2019 6:58 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Post-holiday Tuesday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:58 AM: Good morning. No incidents or transit alerts in our area so far.

AVALON/35TH PROJECT: Here’s the latest update on what’s next with this major project.

STADIUM ZONE: Mariners are home again tonight vs. the Rangers, 7:10 pm, and that means a late night for the West Seattle Water Taxi.

Support requested for Alki Community Center’s future

May 27, 2019 9:20 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle parks

(File photo)

On one day each of the next two weekends – June 1st and 9th – the city is presenting Parks and Rec Fest events. Neither is in West Seattle, but both are opportunities to show Seattle Parks that you care about Alki Community Center‘s future. That’s what Mary Vigilante from the center’s Associated Recreation Council told the Alki Community Council at its May meeting. She distributed a one-sheet promoting the Parks and Rec Fest events with this message:

Dear Alki Neighbor:

In June 2023, Seattle Public Schools will rebuild Alki Elementary School, which will take 2 years. At that time Alki Community Center will be closed for the duration of the construction project. The Parks Department has made no plans yet to renovate or rebuild the Alki Community Center. Please stop by one or both of the open-house-style Parks and Rec Fests (June 1 and June 9) to encourage the Parks Department to improve Alki Community Center while it is closed. Please let the parks planners know how important the center is to you and your family and what programs you would like offered at the Alki Community Center. These meetings could determine the future of the Alki Community Center.

The June 1st event is at Green Lake Community Center; on June 9th, it’s at Yesler Terrace Park and Community Center. Both are 10 am-3 pm drop-in events; here’s the description, which indeed include a nod to the future updating of the department’s Strategic Plan.

VIDEO: Why it’s OK to say ‘Happy Memorial Day,’ explained at Forest Lawn ceremony

Memorial Day can be joyful as well as somber. A local veteran offered that assurance during the traditional remembrance ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) this afternoon. Above, our video includes the 17-minute event in its entirety, including a chaplain’s opening prayer that “peace (will) prevail among nations” and music by young participants – Searely Camarillo-Gonzalez sang the national anthem and “America the Beautiful”:

Scout Whit Linxweiler bugled “Taps”:

American Legion Post 160 commander Keith Hughes observed that this is a day to offer thanks:

And VFW Post 2713 commander Steve Strand said it’s OK to wish people a “Happy Memorial Day” – saying it’s a day “to do all the things you have the right to do and the freedom to do” because of those who sacrificed their lives, including two friends he lost in Iraq a decade-plus ago:

“Love your life, enjoy your life – make the sacrifices of others worth it,” he exhorted.

At the conclusion, after a release of doves and retiring of the colors, words of thanks from Forest Lawn’s K.C. Engle:

And the Duwamish Jazz Band played classics as attendees moved on to the rest of their holiday afternoon.

VIDEO: What’s up with the waterfront? What happened @ the Legislature? West Seattle Transportation Coalition gets briefed

If you didn’t make it to this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting – here’s the next best thing: We recorded both of the briefings that comprised most of the meeting.

The first speaker, city Office of the Waterfront deputy director Angela Brady, brought an update on the downtown waterfront district, stretching from the stadium district to Bell Street Pier. Key points:

-The seawall replacement is done.
-The Highway 99 tunnel is open.
-Viaduct demolition continues.
-Building the new (surface) Alaskan Way is key, as is building the new post-Viaduct-ramp Columbia St. to connect transit. The new park promenade will be under construction soon.
-Construction is under way on the southern half of Pier 62/63.
-WSDOT is building a new Railroad Way diagonal to get from the stadium zone to the waterfront.
-Elliott and Western, formerly exit and entrance streets for The Viaduct, will remain one-way.

The new Alaskan Way should be open by late 2021; the “promenade” will be built after that. Questions? The waterfront-construction website might have the answers.

Next up, two of the three legislators who represent the 34th District (which includes West Seattle, White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, and a bit beyond):

This was a very casual briefing, more of a conversation. A few points:

Sen. Joe Nguyen said the work’s not over even though the session is. They’re working on a new budget now.

The Sound Transit light-rail “preferred alternatives” board vote had happened hours before the WSTC meeting (last Thursday, May 23rd), so that was one of the first topics. Nguyen said he supports the tunnel option and will be participating in brainstorming how to pay for it.

The new transportation budget includes a $1.25 million request for funding the Highland Park Way roundabout; WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd pointed out that the Highland Park Action Committee had learned one night earlier (WSB coverage here) that the estimated cost had jumped dramatically to $7.3 million.

He also touched on ferry funding, saying not only is that going toward new vessels, but also toward electrification. And the controversy over bus-lane/block-the-box enforcement cameras came up too.In all, transportation funding for 34th District projects totaled close to $300 million, Nguyen said.

Taylor-Judd wondered if the state could help mediate with BNSF Railway on matters including the safety proposal for crossing West Marginal Way SW at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse; SDOT said dealing with BNSF was a problem impeding that project.

Rep. Eileen Cody noted that one chronic problem for the Duwamish Tribe is its lack of recognition.

An attendee brought up housing issues including the city’s proposed rule changes regarding “backyard cottages” and voiced concern that increased coverage of lots would mean less room for trees. Sen. Nguyen said it should be seen through the lens of the need for more affordable housing. Several other topics came up, though no revelations or surprises; watch the video for the full Q&A.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets fourth Thursdays most months, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

West Seattle Memorial Day 2019 morning/midday scenes

May 27, 2019 11:57 am
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

11:57 AM: Flags are lining the heart of the West Seattle Junction again this year thanks to the volunteers who showed up this morning to put them in place.

Even if you weren’t there this morning, you’re welcome to volunteer to help remove them – meet at the NE corner of California/Alaska just before 5 pm.

Meantime, if you didn’t get a Memorial Day poppy over the weekend, you have another chance – outside Admiral Safeway until about 2 pm.

That’s Steve Strand of VFW Post 2713.

ADDED 12:19 PM: Outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), we just discovered the Disabled American Veterans are distributing forget-me-nots:

They’re there until 2.

What you need to know for Memorial Day 2019 in West Seattle

(WSB photo, Forest Lawn, Monday)

Good morning! We start Memorial Day with information you might find useful:

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: No traffic report today because of the holiday, but you can see local cameras here. … Metro buses are on the Sunday schedule … The West Seattle Water Taxi is on an “extended Sunday schedule”Sound Transit Route 560 is on the Sunday schedule (as is light rail) … The Washington State Ferries Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on the regular weekday schedule.

OTHER MEMORIAL DAY NOTES: Here’s the Seattle Parks open/closed list … Schools are closed … Seattle Public Library branches are closed … Today is a U.S. Postal Service holiday … If you’re going to a Seattle neighborhood with on-street pay stations/metered parking, you won’t have to pay, because it’s a city “free parking” day.

What’s happening today:

HELP PUT UP/TAKE DOWN JUNCTION FLAGS: If you can help American Legion Post 160 put up and/or take down The Junction’s flags, meet at the northeast corner of California SW and SW Alaska just before 9 am for the morning help and 5 pm for the evening removal.

SPRAYPARK OPEN: It’s day three of the 7-day-a-week season for Highland Park Spraypark, 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

COLMAN POOL, LAST DAY OF THIRD PRE-SEASON WEEKEND: Three swim sessions, noon-7 pm, at the city-run outdoor saltwater pool at Lincoln Park. See the schedule here. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE: The traditional service with veterans’ organizations including American Legion Post 160 and community partners is at 2 pm this afternoon at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor), all welcome. (6701 30th SW)

… FOLLOWED BY A BARBECUE: Again this year, after the Forest Lawn event, Post 160 invites you to a community barbecue – hamburgers and hot dogs! – at its headquarters in The Triangle, starting around 3:15 pm. All welcome. (3618 SW Alaska)

TRIVIA: End your holiday with The Skylark‘s free weekly all-ages trivia. Prizes! 7:30 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

MORE … on our year-round calendar.

DELRIDGE TRIANGLE: Redesign concepts ready to be revealed

May 26, 2019 10:53 pm
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 |   Delridge | West Seattle news

(Image from community grant application)

The next step in a redesigned future for the Delridge Triangle – at Delridge/Barton – is next Saturday (June 1st). Here’s the invite from Friends of the Delridge Triangle:

Save the Date! June 1st: Delridge Triangle Community Review of Redesign Concepts

The landscape architects have been busy and we’re ready to present the redesign concepts for the Delridge Triangle!

You’re invited to attend the upcoming community to review the four design ideas.

We need your input!

Fun activities to explore and share your vision for the Triangle.

Be counted! Have your voice heard by both SDOT and Seattle Parks.

Learn about the next steps that will make the Delridge Triangle “A Place For Our Community To Play”.

All are welcome!

When: Saturday, June 1st, 9 am-11 am

Where: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden.

Doors open at 8:45 am. Plenty of parking in the area. Snacks will be provided.

Makers will guide the review as the project landscape architects.

Community work to redesign the triangle goes back more than two years.

West Seattle weekend scene: Summer starts at the beach

Thanks to David Hutchinson for the photo – instead of the sunset from Alki, this time it’s a view of who’s on Alki at sunset. Busy night, as he observed. With the temperature expected to be in the 70s tomorrow, Memorial Day evening is likely to bring a crowd too.

MEMORIAL DAY: Ways to honor and remember on Monday

May 26, 2019 7:57 pm
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 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

We visited Forest Lawn Cemetery (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) in High Point today to photograph the flags marking veterans’ graves. Tomorrow, you are invited to the annual remembrance ceremony there, a short and simple reminder of what Memorial Day is all about, 2 pm. One of the local veterans’ organizations that participates, American Legion Post 160, also welcomes help putting up the flags in The Junction tomorrow morning and/or taking them down, whenever you’re available – meet at the NE corner of California/Alaska a few minutes before 9 am and/or 5 pm. And after the Forest Lawn ceremony, Post 160 invites you to a free community barbecue at its HQ in The Triangle, 3618 SW Alaska, starting around 3:15 pm.

West Seattle’s mystery birds on the move

Four weeks after they both (re)surfaced, West Seattle’s mystery birds have been sighted again this afternoon:

THE WEST SEATTLE TURKEY: This bird seems to be southbound now. First sightings were in Seola and Arbor Heights in late April – 3 years after another string of turkey sightings – and it moved north to Alki Point, then east to Admiral/Belvidere, where it seemed to have settled – until this sighting today near Tibbetts United Methodist Church, about midway between Admiral and The Junction.

Linda sent that photo/report; this next one is from E:

THE WEST SEATTLE GOLDEN PHEASANT: This one has not ranged far from the Arbor Heights area since we published a sighting four weeks ago, six years after the previous series of sightings. E’s photo was taken today in the Marine View Drive area.

NEXT SATURDAY: ‘Walk Native Land’ in West Seattle

May 26, 2019 2:49 pm
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 |   Duwamish Tribe | Puget Ridge | West Seattle news

Midway through this three-day weekend, here’s something coming up next weekend that you might want to plan ahead to be part of: The monthly West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails guided hike on June 1st offers the chance to “Walk Native Land” with someone who knows all about it. The announcement:

Celebrate National Trails Day in our West Duwamish Greenbelt!

“Walk Native Land” with Ken Workman, a descendant of Chief Seattle and a member of the Duwamish Tribe. Ken will talk about his personal experience growing up in the greenbelt and his tribe’s use of the land and nearby Duwamish River.

The hike begins at 10 a.m. near the Seattle Chinese Garden at South Seattle College. We’ll walk down Puget Ridge to the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center and return. This hike is on unimproved trail with aspirations to be a connector between ridge and river, about two miles round-trip with 200 feet of elevation gain coming back. Wear good shoes or boots and be prepared for small obstacles like logs, brush, and walking near the edge of West Marginal Way.

South Seattle College is at 6000 16th Ave. SW (bus route 125). Enter at the north entrance and we will meet near the first building on your left. Parking is on 16th Ave. SW or at the arboretum and garden center at the college.

This walk is sponsored by West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails. Please join us for greenbelt walks scheduled on the first Saturday of each month until October!

Those are also featured in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar.

‘Sea change’ for local orcas, as The Whale Trail gathers

(Photo by Mark Sears – permit 21348)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“It’s a good week for the whales!”

So declared Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail as her organization’s May gathering began at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor).

She added: “It’s going to be different for the whales this summer and beyond.” Her explanation at the May 16th meeting was followed by an update from Mark Sears, the West Seattle-based researcher who is ofteb out with them when they visit central Puget Sound.

But first: Read More

Traffic alert + what else is up for your West Seattle Sunday

(Bald Eagle @ Alki, photographed by Lynn Hall)

Your holiday weekend continues … first:

EARLY-MORNING TRAFFIC ALERT: The northbound Highway 99 tunnel will be closed to motorized traffic 6-10:30 am for the Cascade Bicycle Club‘s Emerald City Ride.

Now, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

MEMORIAL DAY POPPIES: Didn’t get yours on Saturday? American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary Unit 160 are scheduled to be back outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) today, 9 am-3 pm. Donations support local veterans. (4201 SW Morgan)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Yes, even on holiday weekends! 10 am-2 pm in the street in the heart of The Junction, see what’s fresh this week. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)

GO THROW: 10 am at Walt Hundley Playfield, you’re invited to play with West Seattle Ultimate Family Frisbee. (34th SW/SW Myrtle)

HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK: Second day of the season for West Seattle’s only spraypark, open 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

COLMAN POOL: Second of three days that you can swim this preseason weekend at West Seattle’s outdoor saltwater public pool, on the beach at Lincoln Park. Noon-7 pm; see the session-specific schedule here. (8603 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: First day of tours this year! The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary invites you to come see the historic lighthouse, 1-4 pm (last group enters at 3:45 pm). Free. (3201 Alki SW)

FINAL ‘OFFICE HOUR’ PERFORMANCE: Today’s matinée is the closing performance for ArtsWest‘s play, 3 pm. Tickets available here. (4711 California SW)

BLUEGRASS JAM: You’re invited to play, sing, and/or listen, starting at 7 pm at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

LOOK AHEAD … via our complete calendar.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: The rest of the holiday weekend is looking up

Thanks to JayDee for the pre-sunset photo from Alki, after the sun emerged following a rainy afternoon. Good news is that the weather’s looking up for tomorrow and Monday – sunshine and 70-ish highs are in the forecast.

DEVELOPMENT: Next Design Review Board meeting set for mixed-use Junction project that’ll be new Husky Deli home

New on the schedule for the Southwest Design Review Board: One year after the first review of the apartments-and-retail Junction project that’ll be Husky Deli‘s new home, the second review is now penciled in. The SWDRB schedule has the meeting set for Thursday, July 18th, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon); the project passed the first review phase on July 19, 2018 (WSB coverage here). The project is currently described on the city site as “a 7-story, 74-unit apartment building (with p)arking for 45 vehicles.” One note for those keeping track: The SWDRB schedule now lists the project with the address 4749 California SW, while it was at 4747 California SW for last year’s review. No other documents show the address change so we’ll be asking the city about it next week.

COUNTDOWN: Morgan Junction Community Festival 2019 coming up!

May 25, 2019 5:53 pm
|    Comments Off on COUNTDOWN: Morgan Junction Community Festival 2019 coming up!
 |   West Seattle festivals | West Seattle news

In our continuing series of summer event reminders, today we want to be sure your calendar is set for June 22nd – just four weeks away – when the 2019 edition of the Morgan Junction Community Festival takes over Morgan Junction Park and vicinity, just north of the Fauntleroy/California intersection. The 10 am-4 pm festival presented by the Morgan Community Association includes performances – including the ever-popular Bubbleman – art, kids’ activities, vendors, and the Bark of Morgan pet parade/competition, all free thanks in large part to community sponsors (which include WSB again this year). More info as the festival gets closer!

TRAFFIC ALERT: Avoid I-5 northbound if you’re headed this way

3:11 PM: Thanks for the tip. If you’re heading toward West Seattle from points south, steer clear of northbound I-5, which is described in radio communication as at a “complete standstill” because of a crash involving a semitruck.

4:44 PM: SB lanes that were also closed by this crash have reopened, but NB is still just one lane.

CONTINUING SUNDAY: Where to get your Memorial Day poppy

Outside West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor), that’s Keith Hughes, the U.S. Army veteran who is commander of American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle. Until 3 pm today and again 9 am-3 pm tomorrow, you can stop by for your Memorial Day poppy, with donations supporting local veterans. As explained on the Legion’s website, the poppy “reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms.”

Post 160, by the way, is celebrating its centennial this year. You can also join them in other traditional observances this weekend – details are in our preview.

ORCA ALERT: Whales in our area

(Video by Karen Therese, as orcas passed Lincoln Park)

8:45 AM: Northbound orcas off Constellation Park, reports Kersti Muul.

10:40 AM: Thanks for the updates and photos in comments!

10 for your West Seattle Saturday

May 25, 2019 6:03 am
|    Comments Off on 10 for your West Seattle Saturday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Barred Owl, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Staying close to your nest for the holiday weekend? Here are some options:

FREE GROUP RUN: Meet at 8 am at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) to get your holiday weekend off to a running start. (2743 California SW)

TAI CHI AT THE BEACH: 9 am by Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, join Caylen Storm for weekly Tai Chi. No fee; donations welcome. All ages/abilities. (2701 Alki SW)

MEMORIAL DAY POPPIES: 9 am-3 pm at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary Unit 160 distribute Memorial Day poppies. Donations go to help local veterans. (4201 SW Morgan)

WEST SEATTLE LINUX USERS GROUP: All with Linux interest are welcome at the every-other-week meeting, 9 am at Fauntleroy YMCA. More info here. (9140 California SW)

BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am, bring the little one(s) up to 12 months to High Point Library. (3411 SW Raymond)

COLMAN POOL: Third preseason weekend for West Seattle’s outdoor saltwater public pool, on the beach at Lincoln Park. Noon-7 pm; see the session-specific schedule here. (8603 Fauntleroy Way SW)

TEEN ARTS & OPPORTUNITIES FAIR: 4:30-7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, by teens, for teens, with workshops, performances. Full details here. Free! (4408 Delridge Way SW)

ROB KNEISLER: Singer-songwriter at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, no cover, all ages. (5612 California SW)

WEST END GIRLS: Drag extravaganza at The Skylark, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, tickets here. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

PREMIERE! 9 pm at Parliament Tavern, “The Grindylow tour documentary film premiere with Mad Cap Pusher, Black Cheer performing.” $7. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … by browsing our complete calendar.

SPORTS: Southwest Titans girls’ lacrosse program keeps growing

May 24, 2019 10:21 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

(WSB photos)

One year ago, we reported on the Southwest Titans lacrosse program for girls, just getting its start. Now they’ve wrapped up another season – with a winning record! – and want to get a jump on inviting new participants next year. They shared this update on their program and the sport in general:

Lacrosse for the last decade or so has been regarded as the fastest-growing sport in North America. A sport that’s mostly known for being played on the East Coast has exploded across the US. From 2001 to 2017, participation in the sport more than tripled, from roughly 250,000 players nationwide to well over 825,000. Specifically for girls from ages 5-14, participation more than doubled from 81,000 to nearly 164,000, and the Southwest Titans Girls Program helped contribute to those growth figures in 2018!

We started with a 10U program with 14 girls on the team from ages 7 – 10. After a successful inaugural season, we grew to a program of 26, fielding a 10U and 12U team for 2019, still with every girl coming from West Seattle (primarily Genesee Hill Elementary). For next year in 2020, we have hopes of expanding to having a team for girls as young as 5 and as old as 15. And our reach goal for a few years from now would be looking at potentially starting a high-school club program for the girls in 2022, so we are setting our sights on recruiting as much as we can, in preparation.

We start registration in late fall (November) and our optional preseason practices start up in February. Our preseason work is an hour long, up to 2x a week. Our official season begins in March for all our teams and wraps up the first weekend in June. We play games all across the county and really aim to build community, with carpools and snacks together after games. We offer scholarships for registration, have equipment rentals, and can/will provide equipment for any girl that needs it (no matter the reason). We practiced during the season this year at Pathfinder K-8 in Pigeon Point and played most home games at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center and will likely do the same in 2020.

8U (Grade K-2 or ages 5 to no older than 9 on 8/31/2020)

10U (Grades 3/4 or ages 8 to no older than 11 on 8/31/2020)

12U (Grades 5/6 or ages 10 to no older than 13 on 8/31/2020)

14U (Grades 7/8 or ages 11 to no older than 15 on 8/31/2020)

Girls’ lacrosse differs from the boys in that the girls’ game is more about finesse and speed. Girls have to use their stick skills and speed to get through traffic and stick checks from defenders but don’t have to worry about anyone lowering their shoulder to lay a hit. Girls are also taught to play defense a little more thoughtfully and with precision to avoid being yellow-carded for unsafe play; unlike the padded boys, girls can’t run in front of a shot or pass or use their body to impede a player or the ball. Both are amazing sports to watch/play but are night and day in how things unfold on the field.

Many women that played lacrosse also grew up playing soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter before lacrosse in the spring. We appreciate and strongly encourage multi-sport athletes in our program, as we know we could not be as successful as we have been without the athletic background our girls have. The transferability of skills and concepts helps develop a well-rounded athlete and really strengthens their “Sports IQ.”

That growth at the youth level over the years has led to a wave of competitive collegiate club programs being seen across the west coast. And as those club teams become more successful, more colleges are rewarded with NCAA-sanctioned Women’s Lacrosse teams.

We are a recreational program that is focused on just getting girls in the area to try something new (and hopefully fall in love with it). However, the expansion collegiately matters as it helps feed the growth cycle with players graduating and then transitioning to coaching and/or founding new teams so opportunities continue to arise for kids that are looking to play, no matter their age or desired level of competitiveness.

The photos in this story include the 3rd/4th-grade and 5th/6th-grade girls teams with the Titans; we caught up with them last week at the Pathfinder field on Pigeon Point. Find out more about the team, registration, season schedules, and more by going here.