West Seattle, Washington
Three weeks into the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian people continue to fight. A West Seattle woman and her sister, who made it out just as the fighting began, are hoping you can help their homeland.
Kateryna Bakay is proprietor of Bend & Stretch Physical Therapy. She came to the U.S. as an exchange student in 2000 and has been in Seattle since 2010, West Seattle since 2015. Her sister Daria lived in Kyiv, the besieged Ukrainian capital, but has been here since March 1st. Katerina explains that her sister arrived “after 6 days of driving through bombings and artillery shootings. She crossed the Hungarian border by foot (could not take her car) and then her friends drove her to Poland, from where she flew to Seattle.”
They are staying in close touch with family and friends in Kyiv, as circumstances there became increasingly desperate, with food and supply shortages: “Some homes have lost heat so people are bundled up with blankets as it’s cold in Ukraine right now. Children are crying as they don’t understand what’s happening and parents are trying to normalize the situation by taking kids outside during non-curfew hours.”
They are raising money to get help to people back home: “The money we are raising will be used to sponsor local volunteer organizations that are on the ground in major cities in Ukraine, including Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, where people are distributing food and water to old folks who are not able to leave their houses. Another organization is helping local military personnel with basic medical supplies, such as tourniquets and bulletproof vests.” If you can donate, they have a crowdfunding page here.
Eight years ago, a contingent of city leaders visited High Point to announce their plan to ask voters to approve taxpayer funding to create the Seattle Preschool Program. At that event, the aspiration was to serve “2,000 children in 100 classrooms by 2018.” The program is moving a little slower than that, arriving at 2,000 kids this year, but continuing to grow. Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell and Department of Education and Early Learning director Dr. Dwane Chappelle announced seven more classrooms and room for 144 more kids next year, bringing enrollment to 2,144, and aiming for 2,500 by 2026. Funding now comes from an expanded levy that also includes college funding, 2018’s Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy, and enables free tuition for many families. One of the expansion classrooms next year will be at a site that’s already part of the SPP, the Refugee and Immigrant Family Center Bilingual Preschool on Delridge.
Today’s announcement also served as a reminder that applications are open for next school year – you can go here to find out about locations and applications. If you need language assistance, you also can call 206-386-1050 or email email@example.com.
That metal plate marks the spot where Seattle Public Utilities crews have started work on sewer-line repairs that could last up to three weeks. It’s on 35th SW near SW Findlay (map). SPU sent belated word of the work today; here’s the notice, which describes the work as “part of a citywide
sewer rehabilitation effort.”
West Seattle synagogue Kol HaNeshamah is inviting the community to a fun celebration of the Purim holiday tomorrow (Wednesday, March 16th) at Camp Long (5200 35th SW) – here’s the invitation sent to us today to share with you:
Kol HaNeshamah Purim Carnival
Camp Long East Picnic Shelter
4:00-4:40 pm Games hosted by KHTY:
Draw the head on Hamen / Get the secret message to Esther / Knock down Hamen’s Henchmen / Be Queen for a Day / more!
4:40-4:50 Songs with Orin
4:50-5:00 Costume Parade
5:00-5:20 Purim Shpiel
5:20-5:25 Megillah Chanting
5:25-5:30 Closing Songs
Since the weather could be unsettled, check khnseattle.org tomorrow for updates.
Two West Seattle Bridge notes this afternoon:
CONCRETE FOLLOWUP: As reported here Monday, striking concrete-truck drivers say they’te willing to return to work at three of the four companies involved in the labor dispute, to get concrete going again for projects including the West Seattle Bridge. Today the companies have released a joint statement, saying only two of the companies had heard from Teamsters Local 174, but that they’d be happy to welcome those drivers back to work. Meantime, we have another update from SDOT this afternoon, after their earlier response that bridge-repair contractor Kraemer North America is contacting the suppliers named in the Teamsters announcement: “We are working closely with Kraemer as they urgently seek a concrete supplier for the bridge and continue to reorder and evaluate the repair schedule. We are talking with them every day about ways to keep the bridge repairs moving forward and minimize delays as much as possible.”
PARTY-PLANNING UPDATE: Though we don’t know when the West Seattle Bridge will reopen, a volunteer community coalition is continuing to plan celebrations. This is entirely a grass-roots effort, coordinated by the executive directors of the West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is two-fold: Both to celebrate the end of the closure, whenever it happens, and to ensure the rest of the region is invited to head back this way. Nothing’s finalized yet but the first thing you’re likely to hear about soon is a logo contest with a theme along the lines of “I Survived the West Seattle Bridge Closure” – they’ll be looking for a logo for T-shirts and other merch. As for events, there’s talk of a run/walk on the bridge at some point before it reopens, followed by an afterparty, and a “business activation” event/campaign after it reopens, as well as neighborhood-specific celebrations. This is all privately funded so far, and one of the subcommittees is actively seeking sponsors, after signing STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) and Compass Real Estate as lead sponsors.
3:27 PM: Lots of good work by WSB readers lately getting stolen stuff back to their owners, so here’s something else to look for – a stolen motorcycle. The report and photo are from Rebecca, who says this happened last night in Highland Park:
My husband’s black Harley Davidson motorcycle was stolen from the driveway in the alley between SW Kenyon and Portland St (near 11th SW). The license plate is 0F0048 and the police report case number is 22-64607.
9:43 PM: Rebecca found out from neighbors that a red Jeep towing a trailer took the motorcycle away.
As reported here on Monday, 34th District State House Rep. Eileen Cody of West Seattle is retiring from the Legislature after 27+ years. Today, the first potential successor has announced her campaign: Leah Griffin, also a West Seattle resident (Highland Park). From her announcement:
Griffin is a certificated school librarian who works on sexual assault policy reform at the state and federal levels. After being raped by a man in her neighborhood in 2014 and seeing how broken the system is for survivors, Griffin knew she had to do something to make things better for other survivors. In 2015, she was appointed to the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Task Force in the Washington legislature with the aim of solving the myriad of problems survivors encounter navigating the justice system in Washington State.
As a representative of survivors, Griffin significantly contributed to the passage of HB1068, to test new rape kits, HB1109 to increase trauma informed interviewing techniques for police, HB2530 to track rape kits through the system, SB1539 to prevent child sexual assault, SB5649 to increase the statute of limitations for rape, and HB1109 to fund and test all untested rape kits in Washington, HB2318 to store unreported kits, and amend the legal definition of rape kits, and SB6158 to create model sexual assault protocols for hospitals.
She also helped write and lobby for the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act with Senator Murray and Representative Jayapal to increase access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in hospitals. Leah connects her work to her community by working with the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Legal Voice, RISE, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, and the Washington Library Association. She sits on the board of the Sexual Violence Law Center.
“I took my rage, and I channeled it into reform. What I understand now is that sexual violence intersects with almost every other issue; healthcare, education, economic justice, law enforcement, homelessness. Trauma is at the root of our society’s problems, and it is past time that we talk about it. There is so much to do, and I look forward to making those changes together,” said Griffin.
The field of candidates for the seat won’t be finalized until after the formal filing period in May; this year’s primary election is on August 2nd.
The photo is from Karen, one of multiple readers who emailed this past week to wonder why that patch of public land on Alki Point was suddenly locked and inaccessible, as it’s been used, they say, as an unofficial “dog park.” It’s part of the grounds of the Alki stormwater treatment plant, a facility managed by the King County Wastewater Treatment Division. So we asked KCWTD spokesperson Marie Fiore about it. She says the site was never intended to be a “dog park,” or any other kind of park, but people continue to “cut the lock off” – so the lock was replaced. She says public access is prohibited “for safety and liability.”
118 people responsible for more than 2,400 criminal cases in Seattle in the past five years. That’s who the City Attorney’s Office says it’s targeting for starters, as it launches the newest attempt to address frequent offenders, called the High Utilizer Initiative. The announcement from City Attorney Ann Davison says this program will “identify individuals responsible for repeat criminal activity across the City of Seattle and aims to dramatically reduce their public safety impacts” by prioritizing their cases to “ensure they have access to critical social safety programs.” The 118 initially identified people, according to Davison’s office, were charged with “theft (1,019 charges), trespassing (589 charges), assault (409 charges), or weapons violations (101 charges).” The program won’t involve domestic violence or DUI offenders, which the announcement says “are already the subject of additional attention.” Davison is quoted as promising to “advocate for both accountability and behavioral health and substance use interventions to help stop the cycle of addiction, crime, and human suffering we are seeing on our streets.” No specifics on which “interventions,” though. The list of High Utilizers will be kept by the City Attorney’s Office, but coordination is promised with SPD, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, King County Jail, and “service providers.” This isn’t the first time the city has talked about dealing with repeat offenders, though – today’s announcement ends with the note, “The High Utilizer Initiative follows in part some similar recommendations made by the 2019 High Barrier Individuals Working Group, organized by Seattle and King County.” (More about that here.) As for whether West Seattle offenders are on the list, we’ve asked the City Attorney’s Office if any geographic information is available.
Highlights for the hours ahead:
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: Use this search tool to find the next locations/times.
DEMONSTRATION FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: 4:30-6 pm at 16th/Holden, Scott leads the weekly demonstration for racial justice. Signs available if you don’t have your own.
JOIN CAMP LONG’S ADVISORY COUNCIL: Want to help Camp Long thrive? 6:30 tonight, participate in an info session for prospective Advisory Council members. Info’s in our calendar listing.
CHIEF SEALTH IHS PTSA MEETING: 7 pm online – link is in our calendar listing.
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
There’s more on our calendar – and if you have something to add for the future, email us the info at firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Family and friends will gather March 25th for a Funeral Mass in memory of Dorothy Neal. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing now:
Dorothy Neal joined her husband Jim and son Jimmy in heaven on February 25th, leaving behind a legacy of love.
She was born on June 9, 1924, to Louis Joseph and Hannah Murdoch Blanchard in Seattle. She was raised in South Park, the 9th of 10 children. A fondness of dancing the Jitterbug and Swing attracted her to the “best dancer in Ballard,” Jim Neal, and the two married in 1944. The family moved to Vashon in May 1951 and spent many happy years grilling salmon, singing around the fire, reading stories, and dancing. She worked as a librarian for the Vashon Island School District and she received her BA from CWU in 1984. Along with skiing, jogging, and boating, Dorothy was a gifted artist, seamstress, and puppeteer; and crafted over 250 marionettes for her traveling show, “The Theater of the Little People.” The show went on tour in Washington and BC.
The passing of her son Jimmy and suffering from breast cancer were two tribulations that had a huge effect on Dorothy but attested to her tenacity, faith, and spirit. She spent her later years working for daughter Shelley at her preschool and was known for her loving presence, hand-painted cookies, and the way she made each child feel special and loved. She was called Grandma Dorothy by all.
She lives on through her family, students, and friends whom she affected greatly with her positivity and living life to its fullest. Dorothy leaves behind her sister Irene Dufort, her five children Kathy Winge (Carl), Joe Neal, Diane Kukull (Walter), Teresa Walsh (John), Shelley Neal (Ralph), 18 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great-grandchildren. There will be a Rosary said Thursday, March 24th at 7 pm at the Island Funeral Service and a Funeral Mass celebrated by Rev. David Mayovsky at St. John Vianney, Friday, March 25th at 11 am. A luncheon will follow. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Seattle Saturday morning. Remembrances in Dorothy’s name can be sent to Providence Mt. St. Vincent Foundation, where she was lovingly cared for the last years of her life, 4831 35th Ave SW, Seattle 98126.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:03 AM: Good morning! Welcome to Tuesday, March 15th. (Spring arrives Sunday!)
Showery, breezy, possible pm thunderstorms, high near 50.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES TODAY
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of reroutes/cancellations.
Water Taxi‘s on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
721st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
Just got a call about another car theft – this time, the owner says her locker was broken into at LA Fitness and the stolen items included her car keys, so the thief subsequently stole her car from the Spruce garage. It’s a royal blue 2015 Hyundai Sonata SE (similar to this), 4-door, no window tint, blue interior lights, license #BNF4676. There’s some driver’s-side damage, as the thief took off with some blue pieces of the car mirror left behind.