West Seattle, Washington
The West Seattle Grand Parade is back this Saturday and so is a tradition that accompanies it – choosing someone to honor with the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community.
This year, the trophy goes to Deb Barker, whose current community-service roles include president of the Morgan Community Association, board member of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, and member of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force – but that’s only the latest in a long, long list spanning more than 30 years. Here’s a biography of Deb Barker, provided by parade organizers:
Barker is perhaps best known locally in three roles — as president of the Morgan Community Association (MoCA) since 2009, as one of a three-member LLC to save the iconic Stone Cottage on Harbor Avenue and as an active voice on the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force since its inception in 2020.
However, Barker’s West Seattle involvement extends back more than three decades, starting in 1989, when she was one of three steering committee members of the Save the Admiral Theater Task Force of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which led the successful drive to secure city landmark status for the peninsula’s only movie house. She also served on the historical society’s board from 1989 to 1992, helping coordinate the organization’s initial “Homes with History” tours.
Barker’s preservation focus resurfaced in West Seattle when she was part of the multi-organizational steering committee for the 4Culture-funded study, “What Makes the West Seattle Junction Special?” This became the foundation of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s successful 2016-2017 campaign to landmark the business district’s cornerstone Campbell and Hamm buildings.
Her West Seattle activism has extended beyond heritage preservation. She served on the Southwest Design Review Board from 2004 to 2009, as the board steered architects toward human-scale elements for such projects as The Spruce complex, Admiral Safeway rebuild and the California at Charlestown mixed use buildings.
Transportation planning became another local emphasis for Barker when in 2013 she became a founding member of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which became a unified peninsula voice for equitable transportation and mobility issues.
Starting in 2018, Barker went further, joining Sound Transit advisory boards to help educate the community about light rail proposals while educating Sound Transit about West Seattle.
As part of such service, she has participated in countless online meetings to provide public comments on the routing of a light-rail extension in West Seattle. When the proposed ST3 “preferred above ground alignment” was to end in the Junction, she created a scale model of the plan and became an advocate of a tunnel alternative.
Also in 2018, Barker also helped organize the peninsula’s District 1 Community Network. The only organization of its kind in the city, the network encourages various neighborhood voices to remain active.
As MoCA president, Barker has kept Morgan Junction residents informed about issues and celebrated its businesses. She helped guide the community through recent upzoning and affordable housing challenges, advocating for quality design as the density increases. She also has presides over the Morgan Junction Community Festival, held each June at Morgan Junction Park at California Avenue and Southwest Eddy Street.
Her participation on the LLC for the Save the Stone Cottage Committee since 2019 helped execute a successful overnight move of the building in 2021 to Port of Seattle property along Harbor Avenue, where the stone-studded structure awaits a permanent move to a site
where it can be restored and opened to the public.
Although the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force has completed its meetings, Barker looks forward to the projected September reopening of the West Seattle Bridge. Barker, 65, was born in Illinois into a Navy family that moved frequently, mostly on the West Coast. She and her husband, Mark Shaw, live in the Seaview neighborhood of Morgan Junction.
Originally a theatrical costumer, Barker moved to Seattle in 1985, working as a shopper and rental agent in the Seattle Repertory Theater costume shop. As a freelancer, she coordinated costumes for the 1990 Seattle-based Goodwill Games opening ceremonies, and eventually joined the local wardrobe union, becoming president of IATSE Local 887.
Her mainstay career, however, became civics. She obtained a master’s degree in urban design and planning from the University of Washington, and in 1990 she was hired as the first land-use intern at the newly incorporated city of Federal Way. There, she worked as a planner, reviewing and approving development proposals, briefing the city council and assisting the public. She retired in 2012.
Barker’s ardor for West Seattle issues has been mirrored by similarly passionate citywide involvement. She joined the board of Historic Seattle from 1986 to 1992, aiding in development of the Bel-Boy (Belmont-Boylston) affordable-housing complex on First Hill and in the growth of the organization’s Good Shepherd Center.
Her citywide service resumed in 2013, when Barker began a seven-year stint on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. She co-chaired the board from 2015 to 2020, a span during which the board conferred landmark status for prominent buildings such as Climate Pledge Arena (the former Coliseum and Key Arena), the Federal Reserve Bank Building and the ASUW Shell House, made famous by the book “The Boys in the Boat.”
Vivid memories emerge as Barker reflects on her West Seattle activism, from “sailing” along with the Admiral Theater float in the 1989 West Seattle Grand Parade to knocking on doors and “approaching total strangers” to seek permission for their residences to become part of a Homes with History tour.
Barker plans to stay involved in local concerns, including seeking landmark status for other West Seattle Junction buildings. She says her array of interests reflects her deep love of the city as a whole and especially the Duwamish peninsula: “My business card reads, ‘I Love West Seattle.’ It’s a good icebreaker because people enjoy sharing their West Seattle memories, but I also tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I just love giving back to my community.”
The West Seattle Grand Parade starts at California/Lander at 11 am Saturday (July 23rd) and proceeds south on California to Edmunds – you can watch from anywhere along the route. We’ll have previews all week leading up to the big day.
ABOUT THE ORVILLE RUMMEL AWARD: It’s named after the man who founded the West Seattle parade in 1934, Orville Rummel – lots of background in the story we published the year we were honored with the trophy, 2010. The award was first presented in 1984. Here’s the full list of recipients along the way:
1984: Charles and Ann Gage
1985: RB Chris Crisler Jr.
1986: Morgan and Carol McBride
1987: Margaret Miaullis
1988: Charles Jung
1989: Aurlo Bonney
1990: Katie Thorburn
1991: Dorothy Poplawski
1992: Dan Wiseman
1993: Virgil Sheppard
1994: Dorene Smith
1995: Doris Richards
1996: John Kelly
1997: Dick Kennedy
1998: Jim Edwards and Barbara Edwards
1999: Lt. David E. Cass
2000: Husky Deli/Miller Family
2001: Stephanie Haskins
2002: Forest Lawn
2003: Sue Lindblom
2004: Edgar and Ann Phipps
2005: Karen Sisson
2006: Walt DeLong
2007: David and Doreen Vague
2008: Tim St. Clair
2009: Morey Skaret
2010: West Seattle Blog
2011: Cindi Barker
2012: Shirley Vradenburgh
2013: Judy Pickens
2014: Earl Cruzen
2015: Donn Weaver
2016: Clay Eals
2017: Keith Hughes
2018: Velko Vitalich
2019: Adah Cruzen
(WSB photo, 2018 Concert in the Park)>
Another beautiful evening is forecast for Tuesday – clear and warm. Spend part of it outside enjoying live, lively music from the West Seattle Big Band, bringing back its annual Concert in the Park. New location this year – High Point Commons Park (3201 SW Graham) – since Hiawatha’s closure means it’s out of the mix as a concert venue this year, even for outdoor shows. This is an annual free concert that the WSBB performs for the community – you’ll see and hear about 20 musicians, directed by Jim Edwards, performing classic songs, both instrumental and vocal arrangements. (Never seen them? Check out video of past concerts.) The WSBB is celebrating its 25th anniversary, founded by West Seattle High School alumni in 1996 (here’s the backstory). They donate their time at other shows throughout the year to support local students – this one, however, is free, so bring a picnic dinner, blankets and/or chairs, and enjoy the Concert in the Park starting at 7 pm Tuesday.
The public phase of the Fauntleroy ferry terminal replacement project is in a summer lull – next milestone, Washington State Ferries spokesperson Hadley Rodero tells WSB, is that in “September, we will share the results of the next round of screening for the remaining project alternatives. Community advocacy efforts are active, however, including a new group focused on saving Cove Park to the north of the existing dock. The group has launched a website spelling out its concerns. First, some background on Cove Park:
(WSB photo, July 18, 2015)
Exactly seven years ago – on July 18, 2015 – the small beachfront park reopened to the public after a three-year closure for a pump-station upgrade. It’s officially a city street-end, not a Seattle Parks property, transformed by community members in the ’90s. The new group is worried about possible options for the ferry terminal/dock rebuild that could expand its footprint. One of the volunteers involved in the Save Cove Park effort, Diana Spence, explains, “We are trying to bring awareness to the community that they can get involved to protect Fauntleroy Cove. We don’t support any option that would include expanding the ferry terminal footprint to the north.” Spence says they’re awaiting more public involvement before taking a position on any particular alternative that’s currently into play. Right now, they’re working on awareness and are distributing yard signs – more than 50 so far – as well as supporting a letter-writing campaign – more info is on the group’s website.
5:43 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are responding to the 3000 block of 34th SW [map] for a gas leak, and the response may cause traffic issues on the uphill (northbound) side of the Admiral Way hill, north of the bridge. The leak is described as having been caused when somebody doing work at the house hit a pipe; Puget Sound Energy is reported to be on the way.
5:46 PM: Firefighters have told dispatch that they’ve evacuated the houses on either side of the leak site, as a precaution.
6:04 PM: Firefighters report that PSE has arrived.
6:30 PM: The situation has been handled and SFD has told dispatch that all units will be clearing the scene.
Less than two weeks after fire gutted that building at 16th and Barton last fall, the site was put up for sale – and now it has a development proposal: A 67-unit microapartment (small efficiency dwelling units) building. The proposal has just appeared in the city’s “early design community outreach” pipeline. It would be a four-story building with no offstreet parking, spanning this site and one on its north side. Records show this site sold for $612,000 (original listing price was $700,000) two months ago, about the same time the same ownership LLC also bought the north parcel. Online records for the microapartment project indicate the developers are Sound Real Estate Development and the architects are SHW.
2:24 PM: Thanks for the tips and photo. 35th SW is blocked northbound between Cloverdale and Trenton because of a crash. A witness told us at the scene that the driver hit a parked car and wound up across the lane. No serious injuries.
2:46 PM: Scene has cleared.
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: For the second time this month, Public Health – Seattle & King County has announced that it’s shut down three unlicensed food vendors at Alki Beach for “operating without a valid food business permit.” The announcement says the closures happened Sunday afternoon. The agency also announced previously that it had closed three unlicensed food vendors at Alki on July 1st for the same reason, but doesn’t say whether any or all of the new closures involve the same operators, nor does it name them. We’re following up to see if any of that information is available. (Here’s how to get a permit.)
ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Here’s how PHSKC answered our followup questions: “Generally speaking, it is difficult to determine a business name when there has been no formal permit application in the first place. Not all food vendors would have a prominent business name displayed on a stand/cart/whatever structure they are vending food from. Of the three unlicensed food carts most recently closed by Public Health, one appears to be the same as a cart previously closed by Public Health on July 1.”
If you’re missing a backpack full of photographic equipment – the photo is from Charline, who says it was “found by my neighbor’s boat left by a transient.” This was by Me-Kwa-Mooks; the bag’s brand name was covered for the photo, and it contained other personal items; if it’s yours, email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll connect you.
(Saturday photo sent by Carol)
Two days after the afternoon fire that damaged an unfinished townhouse building in the 9400 block of 20th SW, just north of SW Roxbury, Seattle Fire says its investigators have determined that it was arson. SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley tells WSB this morning, “The fire was determined to have been intentionally set (incendiary).” That makes it a Seattle Police investigation. Tinsley says damage is estimated at $195,000. As we reported Saturday, a firefighter was injured (we’re checking back on their condition). If you have information, the SPD incident number is 2022-184155.
(Sea holly, photographed by Brian Michel)
Here’s the list for the rest of your Monday:
WADING POOLS: Three local city-run wading pools will be open today, EC Hughes (above) at 2805 SW Holden noon-7 pm; same hours for South Park at 8319 8th Ave. S. And Lincoln Park at 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, noon-7 too.
COLMAN POOL: Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shore is also open noon-7 pm.
(added) POSTCARDING POP-UP: From local Postcards to Voters organizers, “We’re writing in support of #TrustKansasWomen, to defeat a state constitutional amendment banning abortion.” They’re meeting 5:30-7 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
CRAFTING AND CREATIVITY NIGHT: 6-10 pm at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW), explained in our calendar listing.
MEDITATION: Free weekly Zen sitting/meditation event at the chapel at Fauntleroy UCC (9140 California SW), 7 pm.
PLAY PINBALL, FREE! The Admiral Pub‘s 16 pinball machines are open for free play 7-10 pm Mondays. (2306 California SW)
PLAY TRIVIA! Three scheduled options tonight for trivia players – 7 pm at Best of Hands (35th/Webster), 7 pm at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7:30 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Have something that should be listed on our calendar and in our daily preview lists? Please send info to email@example.com – thank you!
6:01 AM: Good morning; welcome to Monday, July 18th.
The forecast says mostly cloudy this morning, partly sunny by afternoon, high 70ish. (Sunday’s high was 69, nine degrees below normal.)
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro buses are on their regular weekday schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – and WSF says that probably won’t change before next spring. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
848th 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 (one of four recently installed cameras):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed; 1st Ave. S. Bridge openings are tweeted by @wsdot_traffic.
All city traffic cams can be seen here; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
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