West Seattle, Washington
Mid-weekend pandemic notes:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:
*111,051 people have tested positive, 112 more than yesterday’s total
*1,615 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*6,271 people have been hospitalized, 5 more than yesterday’s total
ONE WEEK AGO: Last Saturday, those numbers were 110,258/1,602/6,224.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 175.6 million people have tested positive, and more than 3,795,000 people have died; U.S. deaths are about to pass 600,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, France, Turkey (unchanged again this week). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.
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The fourth and final commencement ceremony for the four high schools in West Seattle was a double farewell. Tonight at Memorial Stadium downtown, Chief Sealth International High School said goodbye not only to its 249 2021 graduates, but also to principal Aida Fraser-Hammer, who’s retiring after 8 years at CSIHS.
“I’m graduating with you,” she declared, while saluting a long list of individual grads and groups for achievements including academics – 68 National Honor Society members and 27 International Baccalaureate diploma recipients – and athletics, music, languages, even cooking. She praised programs and classes from Proyecto Saber and šəqačib to Mock Trial. The student speaker was Khalia Tenari:
She noted the historic events the class had experienced – not just “the two-week break that turned into a year” – but also the fight for racial and gender equity, and more. “Who would have thought our lives would turn into a rollercoaster of historic moments?” On a more personal note, she urged all her classmates to keep a strong sense of self-worth, to “know that the world would be a little dimmer without you in it.” And there were heartfelt words from the staff speaker, teacher Gentle Tassione:
She spoke of a big life change after 16 years teaching at a school in a town where she’d long lived. “Say yes – say yes to change, say yes to something new. … Ask yourself the question, ‘What do I really want?’ … Whatever you love, keep saying it out loud … and when those doors fly open for you, go through them.”
Their departing principal affirmed hope for their future; “We are Seahawks, we are made to soar high.”\
Three Crime Watch reports tonight:
MAN HURT TRYING TO STOP TOOL THIEF: According to a preliminary police summary, this happened mid-morning in the 7900 block of 34th SW. The victim was working on a house when a red Chevy Silverado pulled up. A man got out and, police say, “grabbed a Rotary hammer tool kit from the back of the victim’s truck, and placed it on the back of the Chevy. The victim jumped on the pickup bed, and the Chevy sped up. The victim was pleading for the (thief) to stop, but he increased speed and started swerving.” The truck slowed at 30th/Trenton St to turn, the report says, and “the victim grabbed his tool kit, and jumped from the truck.” He suffered non-life-threatening head and leg injuries and was taken to the hospital. Police searched for the thief but didn’t find him. The incident number is 21-145568.
CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFTS THWARTED: This happened in South Park but we have the preliminary summary since that’s also the Southwest Precinct, and the crime category is of wide interest. Police arrested two people after 5 am today who are accused of trying to break into a fenced property in the 8700 block of 7th Avenue South to steal catalytic converters off tour buses. The report says “in their possession were two electric saws with their initials on them (and) bolt cutters.” The buses’ owner had been hit a week ago by someone breaking into the yard and stealing five catalytic converters.
CAR WINDOW SHATTERED: Reader report from Michelle near Fauntleroy/California:
Sometime (Thursday) night, my car was shot with either a pellet or BB gun and shattered my window. The car in front of mine was affected as well. Reported this to the police at 7 am (Friday) morning. Thankfully no one was hurt and nothing stolen.
7:20 PM: Power’s out in the West Seattle Junction again – same area, same number of customers as Friday’s outage, 491. That one was blamed on “bird/animal” – no word on this one yet, though one texter says it’s the “same pole.”
9:09 PM: This one too is attributed to that same type of cause.
12:25 AM: Power’s back.
Girl Scout Troop 45180 dedicated it this morning. It’s as distinctive inside as outside:
The space (9131 California SW) is to be filled with community food donations – which in turn will be retrieved by anyone in need. (Read more about Little Free Pantries here.)
That customized cap said it all at the West Seattle High School Class of 2021‘s commencement ceremony, this morning at Memorial Stadium downtown. The distanced seating on the field was another reminder of everything that’s happened as the pandemic raged in both their junior and senior years:
But while there was a moment of silence for COVID-19 victims, and other ceremony modifications – no music except for recordings of the National and Black National Anthems – the mood was as joyful as a graduation should be – listen to the cheers during the opening processional:
This was the ceremony that almost didn’t happen – earlier in the year, the district was leaning toward a second year of virtual graduations – but that drew a community outcry. Among the leaders of the campaign for in-person graduates, WSHS’s student-body president Ella Richardson, who spoke at today’s ceremony:
She noted that this was the first time she was able to address her classmates, and also said their WSHS years were about much more than the pandemic. They took action on many issues. And she expressed gratitude to the “small army” who got the 279-strong class to this point: “Support is a mystical and beautiful thing.” Among those who provided it, teacher Tom Burggraff, chosen by the students as the ceremony’s staff speaker:
He also had words of thanks, humorously expressing appreciation for the students who helped him through technology issues, and told the class he had an acronym for them – STUDs – “strive, think, understand, do.” The ceremony lasted just under an hour, with the traditional cap toss near its end:
Another memorable moment – principal Brian Vance led the grads, staff, and families in a “spelldown,” first of the year since they hadn’t been together for all-class gatherings – “W-E-S-T-S-I-D-E.”
From flowers to food, the inaugural vendors at the South Delridge Farmers’ Market are there for another half-hour plus!
We dropped by a little while ago and were told things had gone so well, at least one vendor had already sold out. They’re also taking suggestions for what future markets should offer:
A special addition for the first time out – a Seattle Fire Mobile Vaccination Team is there with all three vaccines, too. The market is coordinated by African Community Housing and Development:
They’ll be back on the second Saturday every month through November, 11 am-3 pm, at the courtyard of Hope Academy (9421 18th SW), so the next one will be July 10th.
We’ve talked to police about a threat widely posted on social media by someone who called us about it too. After numerous readers asked us about it via email and text, we wanted to let you know what we’ve found out so far. The caller said he works at The Alley, the bar behind Be’s Restaurant in The Junction, and that another employee had had a dispute with the owner and made death threats. We went to Be’s but it’s closed, and The Alley would not normally open until later in the day. We also talked by phone with the Southwest Precinct watch sergeant, who said officers had spoken with the person who reported the threats, but had not heard directly from the business owner, nor had they found the person who is reported to have made the threats. So it’s an open case but there is no warning or safety advisory at this point. If you have any information for police, the incident number is 21-145363.
West Seattle’s second 2021 graduation filled the gym at Seattle Lutheran High School last night. The Saints’ Class of ’21 numbered 27.
Student speakers included valedictorian Tad Eisenberg, above, and salutatorian Carsen Broga, below:
Also speaking, class president Melina Menashe, seen below accepting an award from Denis Shapiro of the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle:
One major theme at this and other 2021 graduations … making up for time lost to the pandemic. P.S. The ceremony was livestreamed and you can see the archived video here.
9:54 AM: Saturday morning whales! Kersti Muul from Salish Wildlife Watch tells us northbound transient orcas are just coming out of Colvos Passage on the west side of Vashon Island. Let us know if you see them!
7:24 PM: Photos added. The two above are from David Hutchinson, as seen from Alki. Below, from Helen Dolejsi:
So much happening today/tonight! Here’s our list:
LITTLE FREE PANTRY & FOOD DRIVE: You’re invited!
Please join local Girl Scout Troop 45180 for their
Little Free Pantry Grand Opening and Food Drive
Saturday June 12, 10:00 am – Noon
Located at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse
9131 California Ave SW
Benefiting those with food insecurity in the neighborhood as well as passersby.
THE DANCING COWBOY @ WYATT’S JEWELERS: Meet the artist and enjoy 20 percent savings today at Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village. Open 10 am-6 pm.
DRIVEWAY ROCK & GEM SHOW: 10 am-4 pm, see/shop rocks, gems, minerals! (2009 SW Dakota)
SOUTH DELRIDGE FARMERS’ MARKET OPENS: 11 am-3 pm in the courtyard at Hope Academy (9421 18th SW), it’s the debut of a brand-new farmers’ market, as previewed here.
VACCINATION POP-UP: Pop-up at/during the new Farmers’ Market – as previewed here – no appointment needed.
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: 11 am at Memorial Stadium downtown; if you don’t have a ticket, don’t worry, you can watch here.
FURRY FACES FOUNDATION PLANT SALE: 11 am-4 pm, one more chance to shop this amazing array of plants while knowing your money’s going to help people and their pets stay together. 3809 46th SW; more info in our calendar listing.
MORE SALES: Check the WSB Community Forums!
LOW TIDE WITH BEACH NATURALISTS: 11 am-2 pm, meet Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists at Constellation and Lincoln Parks. Low tide is out to -2 feet at 12:50 pm today.
BRIDGE CLEANUP: 1-3 pm, join Conrad in this community cleanup; meet at Marginal Place under the bridge. Details in our calendar listing.
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: 5 pm at Memorial Stadium downtown; if you don’t have a ticket, don’t worry, you can watch here.
Are we missing something? Text us – 206-293-6302 – thank you!