West Seattle, Washington
By the time tonight’s Not-So-Silent Night Parade headed out from the Highland Park Corner Store lot, the crowd was going on 100 of all ages, carrying lanterns, lights, bells, drums, and noisemakers. Here’s how it looked and sounded:
Pre-pandemic, the parade was a New Year’s Eve tradition, a spirited walk through several blocks of Highland Park to ring out (and drum out, etc.) the old year and welcome the new one. Since the last one, the parade-presenting Highland Park Improvement Club has been through something else – the fire that gutted their building – but they’ve continued serving as the heartbeat of the community anyway, and that’s why the parade went on.
Along the way, as well as making noise and music – we spotted a trombonist in the crowd – paraders yelled “Happy New Year!” at people who came outside to wave and watch.
The parade ended at Riverview Playfield, where all gathered in a circle to watch another part of the tradition:
As one person called out to the circle just before that, “This is to celebrate the fact that we’re all still here” as another year begins.
Several readers have asked about the dead sea lion most recently washed up at Lowman Beach. It’s been marked with green paint (above is our cropped version of a photo sent by Michael), which means wildlife responders are aware of it. David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network confirms their first responders marked the carcass “and have been keeping track of its location.” They’ve been talking with Seattle Parks but: “The large number of washed-up logs have complicated any plans for removal.”
As for whether its cause of death has been investigated, Casey Mclean, executive director of SR3, responded: “The animal was externally examined when it was first reported … Due to the decomposition of the animal, a necropsy (animal autopsy) was not performed; there were also disposal logistics to consider had we decided to necropsy it on a public beach. This means that we do not know the cause of death but the animal did appear to be a healthy body weight. There are a number of things that could be the cause of death, from gunshot to killer-whale attack to some sort of illness or disease, however, without doing a thorough internal exam we cannot rule anything out.” Mclean adds this reminder: “Always report marine mammals to Seal Sitters, dead or alive, they all have something to teach us about the health of our marine waters and Seal Sitters will investigate each report.” But, she adds, you need to be aware that “the marine mammal stranding network is not responsible for disposal of dead marine mammals and often we do not have the funding to make the disposal of large animals happen. Parks may or may not have the resources and choose to remove the animal – it is logistically challenging and expensive.” She has a final note: “Keep pets on a leash since our furry friends will smell and find the carcass long before you do!” (Seal Sitters’ hotline is 206-905-SEAL.)
As each year ends, we publish one look back – the 10 WSB stories that drew the most comments. That doesn’t mean they were the most-read stories, or the most-important stories, but it’s objectively quantifiable they were the most-discussed. So, with hours left in the year, here’s the 2022 countdown:
#10 – PEGASUS PIZZA EVICTED
December 2, 2022 – 133 comments
With a King County Sheriff’s Office-posted notice on the door, this longtime restaurant was suddenly shut down. Court files revealed the case had been in the works since July. The signage is gone, the space vacant, but we may not have heard the last of the case – new court documents indicate the owners plan to appeal.
#9 – WEST 5 ANNOUNCES CLOSURE
January 31, 2022 – 134 comments
This longtime restaurant/bar closed toward the start of the year, explaining, “The uncomplicated story is, we lost our lease …” Another restaurant/bar, Camp West, opened in the space in November.
#8 – HUGE WATER-MAIN BREAK
August 15, 2022 – 152 comments
A massive water-main break near Longfellow Creek interrupted service to thousands of customers. Service was restored but repairs aren’t complete yet and could stretch into February. As for what caused the break, Seattle Public Utilities told WSB last month that no one cause had been pinpointed but: “It is possible vibration caused by the pile work being done on the Longfellow [drainage] project could have contributed to the break,”
#7 – MAN SHOT AT 28TH/ANDOVER
May 13, 2022 – 155 comments
The mid-afternoon shooting generated a new round of discussion about the longrunning RV encampment in the area, where the victim – who survived – was reported to be a resident.
#6 – WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE REOPENS
September 17, 2022 – 162 comments
After two and a half years, the stabilized/repaired high bridge reopened to traffic just after 9 pm on a Saturday night. But not all the traffic has returned – as of last check, volumes were still estimated around two-thirds of what they had been pre-closure.
#5 – STATE FERRY CATHLAMET CRASHES AT FAUNTLEROY
July 28, 2022 – 181 comments
No deaths or serious injuries, but a state ferry sustained major damage when it hit an offshore structure known as a dolphin at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. The captain resigned shortly thereafter. The formal report on the crash’s cause has yet to be made public; the Cathlamet has yet to return to service.
#4 – CITY SWEEPS SW ANDOVER RV ENCAMPMENT
June 16, 2022 – 191 comments
After six years of RVs lining the north side of SW Andover between 26th and 28th, the city cleared out the vehicles and their residents. Neighboring businesses quickly installed “eco-blocks” to prevent parking on that side of the street. Before long, those were removed and replaced with a bicycle lane.
#3 – GONDOLA SUPPORTERS RESPOND TO SOUND TRANSIT ‘FEASIBILITY REPORT’
April 18, 2022 – 192 comments
In April, Sound Transit released its “feasibility report” on the West Seattle SkyLink gondola counterproposal, basically dismissing it. A week and a half later, SkyLink supporters went public with their response. They said the gondola idea needs a better review. ST said a board member would have to propose that – and to date, none have.’
#2 – TWO PEOPLE SHOT AT ALKI
October 31, 2022 – 202 comments
Two people out for a walk at the beach were shot, possibly a case of drive-by shooters aiming for someone else, and to date no arrests have been reported.
#1 – WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE EXPECTED TO REOPEN IN SEPTEMBER
June 9, 2022 – 262 comments
Months of wondering “will the bridge really reopen this year?” finally ended with a collective sigh of relief (and some skepticism) when the city zeroed in on an expected opening timeframe.
PREVIOUS YEARS: Here are our previous most-commented-stories lists, going back to 2011:
(‘Live’ image from SDOT traffic camera)
The West Seattle low bridge is now in its ninth day of closure to street and path traffic, with no estimate yet on when it will be repaired and reopened. We continue to ask SDOT for updates; here’s what spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB:
Crews have been in the bridge every day since the recent incident, and will continue to work on repairs over the weekend. We are actively repairing what we can now, as we also continue to work to understand the full scope and cause of the damage and to estimate the timeline to complete repairs. At 3 a.m. this morning, electricians completed repairs to a flooded underground power conduit, replacing 500 feet of damaged power lines. We are continuing to assemble the equipment necessary to overhaul the damaged hydraulic cylinder that lifts the moveable bridge.
These are some of the other repairs that we have been working on over the past week:
-Reprogramming electrical components and analyzing the machine programming
-Conducting comprehensive inspections on all hydraulic bridge components
-Building and assembling the equipment necessary to move the 15,000-pound cylinder
-Working with our contractors and suppliers to order necessary parts and equipment
We asked if Kraemer North America, which had the contract for previously planned low-bridge work as well as the high-bridge repairs, will have this work added onto their contract. Here’s Bergerson’s reply to that:
We already had planned to overhaul the broken hydraulic pump in 2023 as part of our comprehensive repair project. Several contractors are involved with different aspects of our comprehensive rehabilitation project. Kraemer was responsible for the already-completed structural strengthening work (carbon fiber wrapping and epoxy injections), not for the hydraulic cylinder rehabilitation. SDOT has blanket contracts for certain specialized services as needed, including a contract with GCC for hydraulic system work. We have been working with these companies for the past several months, which enabled us to begin working with them to create a response plan almost immediately after the problem occurred.
Last but not least, our latest round of questions included the concerns commenters raised about SDOT’s suggested bicycle detour, and why a shuttle hadn’t been quickly implemented as it was during the 2018 repair closure:
In addition to the bridge engineers and technical experts working to repair the Spokane St Swing bridge, we also have a team working to address further the impact the closure has on people who bike, walk and roll.
We are working on possible measures to make the bike detour route as intuitive and comfortable as possible. Because the bridge closure could last a minimum of two weeks, we have placed “no parking” signs along sections of First Ave S in case the space is needed to improve the bike detour route. Our approach is to move sequentially and intentionally while we balance a large number of demands. We’ll know more when the repair plan and schedule are available.
Our bike team consists of professional transportation planners with experience planning, designing, and building bike lanes throughout Seattle and are also bike riders. While the current route is not an all-ages and abilities, it is an acceptable short-term detour. We have spoken to representatives from bicycle advocacy groups and will continue to do so as part of our ongoing commitment to open communication and transparency during this time.
We have been actively looking into the feasibility of other ideas like the shuttle you mentioned and working with King County Metro to understand options to make transit and the water taxi an even easier choice for people.
Three more West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
GUN POINTED FROM PASSING CAR: Just sent by Tony:
I was walking the dog at the corner of Glenn Way and 46th Ave SW at 11.30 am. Two vehicles – a black sedan and a sliver sedan – drove by; the person in the silver sedan pointed his gun at me. The silver sedan had orange plastic covering the rear passenger window. Minutes later I saw them speeding up Genesee and headed north on 51st. I have the sense they were looking for someone. I called 911 immediately. If anyone sees the vehicles, call 911 right away.
Police radio indicates the vehicles in question are possibly both Hyundais and were subsequently seen in the Morgan Junction area. (12:32 PM UPDATE: Police have confirmed both are stolen cars.)
JUNCTION TRUE VALUE BREAK-IN: The latest business hit with a broken-door break-in is Junction True Value.
We went over to the store after a reader tip. Management told us this happened early today; someone smashed the glass with a piece of concrete. So far, all they’ve confirmed missing is some of the candy kept near the door.
STOLEN FORD PICKUP: Sent by Rosa:
Firefighter husband’s truck was stolen last night. 2006 Ford F-250 Super Duty, Super Cab (4 doors), short bed, dark green and brown, license plate on front dash, one on the back of truck, C89366U, firefighter stickers on rear window. Incident number 22-348635.
The pickup was taken near Myrtle Reservoir Park. (SUNDAY UPDATE: It’s been found.)
(Photo courtesy Southwest Lacrosse Club)
New year, new sport! Here’s an invitation for younger West Seattleites, from the Southwest Lacrosse Club:
Are you looking for a fun and fast-paced team sport for your K-8th grader? Registration is currently open for the 2023 Seattle Metro Youth Lacrosse Season.
Founded in 2008, the Southwest Lacrosse Club is dedicated to the promotion, organization, and development of K-8 youth lacrosse from West Seattle to Federal Way. Our mission is to teach lacrosse fundamentals and good sportsmanship while emphasizing the importance of discipline, teamwork, and physical fitness. Players of all skill levels can develop their game, and we will prepare each athlete for the next level of play. No prior lacrosse experience is required, the club can provide all equipment if needed. We offer full and partial scholarships for those who qualify and have equipment available to loan.
Practices begin mid-February, and games run from March through the end of May. Check out our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
(Slime mold evolved into iridescent spheres – photo by Rosalie Miller)
Welcome to the last day of 2022! Here’s what’s happening, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar:
LOW BRIDGE CLOSED: Reminder that the West Seattle low bridge is closed to all road and path traffic until it’s fixed, and there’s no date estimate for that yet. We’ll have an update on the situation later today.
FARE-FREE TRANSIT: As announced earlier this week, most transit services – including Metro and the West Seattle Water Taxi – are not charging fares today/tonight.
FOOD DRIVE’S FINAL DAY: This is the last day of the holiday-season food drive at Canna West Culture Shop (5435 California SW), open 10 am-6 pm.
MORNING MUSIC: 10:30 am-noon at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), Marco de Carvalho and Friends perform.
FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – full details in our calendar listing.
NEW YEAR’S EVE WALKS: Hosted by the Emerald City Wanderers, starting from St John the Baptist Episcopal Church. “The 6- or 10-kilometer walks are noncompetitive, starting between 4 and 7 PM on New Year’s Eve. There is no fee though contributions to help defray costs are welcome. Hot soups and beverages will be available during and after the walks.” St John’s is at 3050 California Ave SW.
NOT-SO-SILENT-NIGHT: Highland Park Improvement Club is bringing back this neighborhood tradition. Gather 5:30-6 pm at Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW), the starting point – details here.
MUSIC FESTIVAL AT THE SPOT – 6 pm to close, all ages, bands and a DJ, details here (2920 SW Avalon Way)
WEST SEATTLE YULETIDE: Final weekend for thousands of lights synched to music outside the Iversons‘ home on 38th SW between Genesee and Dakota – 6:30-10 pm.
WEST END GIRLS NEW YEAR’S EVE at The Skylark, 8 pm – details here (3803 Delridge Way SW)
NYE PARTY & COMEDY SHOW at Admiral Pub, 9 pm – details here (2306 California SW)
NYE PARTY AT LARIAT BAR: 9 pm tribute to GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), plus karaoke and midnight champagne toast (9829 16th SW)
WEST SEATTLE BOWL NYE: 9:30 pm party, reservations here if any remain, (39th/Oregon)
MIDNIGHT FIREWORKS: the Space Needle will do it again to greet 2023. Light and drone shows too – details here. Watching from West Seattle? Most north-facing parks/hillsides have a view, but don’t go too last-minute, especially along the water – parking and standing space can fill up.
Have something to add? Email info to email@example.com – thank you!
2:50 AM: Police and fire have responded to the 7000 block of Highland Park Way SW [map], which is toward the bottom of the hill, for a report of a man shot in the abdomen. Updates to come.
2:57 AM: Police are telling dispatch they’re finding shell casings nearby.
3:03 AM: Added a frame grab from the traffic camera at the bottom of the hill. Avoid the area for a while. The victim is being taken to Harborview by SFD Medic 26. No information so far on circumstances.
3:30 AM: Police just tweeted that “the victim reported being shot while in his vehicle.”
10:47 AM: SFD says the victim is “approximately 30 years old” and was in stable condition when transported.
2:26 PM: SPD has just released more information, calling this “a road-rage incident,” though not elaborating on why:
At 2:39 a.m., police responded near the entrance of the Duwamish River Trail and Highland Park Way Southwest after a witness in the area heard several shots fired. Officers arrived and located a man sitting outside his vehicle with a gun shot wound to his lower back.
Officers provided medical aid to the male victim while waiting for Seattle Fire Department medics to arrive and later transport the victim to Harborview Medical Center. The suspect involved fled the scene in a sedan-type vehicle in an unknown direction. Police canvassed the area and located evidence of the shooting but nothing further at this time. If you have any information about this incident, please contact SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000.
10:29 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a “rope rescue” response for what’s reported to be a “crash off the roadway” near Olson Place and 3rd SW [map]. Updates to come.
10:32 PM: First arriving firefighters say the vehicle is “30 feet down a bank” and so far it appears empty, so they’re going to have to go down and look for the occupant(s).
10:36 PM: New estimate, the car is more like 10 feet down the embankment. Still no sign of anyone. They’re downsizing the response.
10:43 PM: They’ll be blocking traffic “Olson to Roxbury” for a while, so if you’re headed that way, consider an alternate route.
King County Sheriff’s Deputies have fanned into the West Seattle neighborhoods north of Roxbury, searching for a man reported to have robbed the Roxbury Safeway at knifepoint. We don’t know whether this was a shoplift-turned-robbery or a different type of holdup, but the robber is reported to be armed with a knife that he used to “threaten employees.” Initial description is that he’s Black, in his 20s, about 5’9″, in a green puffy jacket and gray sweatpants.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, charges have been filed in two incidents at Westwood Village stores:
BIG 5 BREAK-IN: The man arrested early Tuesday after a burglary at the Big 5 Sporting Goods store, 37-year-old Nicky R. Taylor Jr. of Tacoma, is charged with first-degree burglary. Charging documents tell the same story we reported that day – mall security called police after seeing someone use a shopping cart to break into Big 5 by smashing a window. Police say Taylor had grabbed what appeared to be a rifle – and later turned out to be an airsoft gun – and pointed it at an officer, before fleeing out a side exit. They caught up with him just south of the mall, on SW Barton. The charging document say police who went into the store after the arrest “observed the airsoft and ammunition section was in disarray. Several guns appeared pulled off the wall and there was ammunition scattered on a counter.” Taylor is accused of taking bullets, boots, two coats, and a baseball bat, plus the airsoft rifle, all of which was recovered. The charging documents say he was wanted on a misdemeanor DUI warrant from Federal Way and that he has had 22 failure-to-appear warrants since 2007; all his prior convictions are driving-related, including three other DUIs. He remains in jail, bail set at $80,000.
ROSS SHOPLIFT-TURNED-ROBBERY: 27-year-old Issac R. Alejandro is charged with first-degree robbery, accused of pointing a gun at Ross Dress For Less store security and management while getting away with shoplifted merchandise. The incident happened October 4th; the charge was just filed last week, but Alejandro has been in jail since October 12th in connection with a different case. In the robbery case, prosecutors say, Alejandro went into the store, gathered up more than $300 in clothing, and when employees tried to stop him, pulled the gun and told them repeatedly “Back off.” This security image is in the charging documents:
He then, investigators say, fled with two accomplices in what turned out to be a stolen Chevrolet Silverado, found by police less than five hours later in the 2500 block of Harbor Avenue SW. (It had been taken from a light-rail park-and-ride in Tukwila hours before the robbery.) Meantime, a detective investigating the robbery got security-camera images from the store, circulated them to officers, and had the stolen Silverado processed for fingerprints. The charging documents say he soon heard from an officer who believed he knew the identity of the main robber; one of the accomplices was identified through a tip that he was in Renton. SPD subsequently heard from Renton Police that Alejandro was in their custody for an incident in which he allegedly shot at them. They also learned that Alejandro had a million-dollar warrant for a King County Sheriff’s Office robbery/assault case and that he has criminal history in California and Arkansas. The jail register shows he’s being held in lieu of $700,000 bail.
When Christmas brought an end to subfreezing weather, Keith Hughes finally got a break from round-the-clock operation of West Seattle’s only emergency shelter/warming center. Temperatures are expected to drop again next week, so he’s announced the shelter will reopen Monday at the West Seattle Veteran Center:
We will be back open on Monday morning, Jan 2, 2023 from 7:30 am till 11:00 am, and again at 5:00 pm for a hot meal and overnight every night that the overnight temperature is forecasted to be in the 30s. During the last Cold Weather Emergency, from November 3 thru December 25, we averaged 20 people per night, both men and women, as the only Shelter in the West Seattle/White Center area.
With that, the “Keep the Heat On at the Warming Center” crowdfunding campaign to help cover the costs will continue. Keith explains:
It takes a lot of help and support to feed, clothe, and house a group this size as a private, all-volunteer, non-profit organization. “Keep the Heat On” literally means being able to pay the gas bill, electric bill, water and sewer bill, insurance, and building maintenance (like cleaning supplies). We can’t do it without your help. Thank you to all who can join us in supporting our local Homeless community.
If you know someone who needs a place to go inside and be warm, the address is 3618 SW Alaska.
3:08 PM: Just got word from Kersti Muul that several orcas are reported in “southern Elliott Bay,” seen from a state ferry. Let us know if you see them!
3:27 PM: Just received this video recorded by Erica Quimby from Alki:
3:33 PM: Kersti just texted that “they are super-close passing Alki Point.”
3:51 PM: Also from Alki, Ryan Nestle sent this photo:
Ryan says, “We were driving back from a late lunch at Harry’s Beach House, when I spotted them right off the tower. Picture only shows two, could have been 4 or 5 by our count. We’ve lived here in West Seattle for 3 years and this was my first sighting. Let’s just say I was beyond excited.”
3:56 PM: And Kersti just texted to say they’re now in view off Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook (4500 block Beach Drive SW), still closer to this side of the Sound, but moving southbound quickly.
4:05 PM: Another texter sent this photo of people lining Lowman Beach to whale-watch:
4:25 PM: As it gets dark, Kersti says they’re passing Lincoln Park. Also: “There’s a little, little baby in the group.” (These are transients, by the way, not the endangered residents.)
A city permit filing says the international tea-shop chain Happy Lemon is moving into the Westwood Village space long occupied by Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant. Before we could follow up on that discovery, we learned the restaurant has apparently already closed. A reader says a Vatsana’s staff member reported that employees were told on Christmas Eve. We went over yesterday and found only this note on the door:
We went back today to check again and the restaurant remains locked, with workers inside who appear to be dismantling fixtures. We sent inquiries both to the posted email address and to Happy Lemon corporate HQ; our note to the former just got a reply promising a “reply in the near future.” Meantime, Happy Lemon’s website says it has more than 2,000 locations in 20+ countries, with 14 in the Puget Sound metro area, nearest ones in Columbia City, South Lake Union, U-District, and Tukwila. Happy Lemon’s menu shows tea drinks featuring a variety of ingredients from boba to salted cheese, plus smoothies. This will be the second international tea chain to open in West Seattle, after Sharetea‘s Jefferson Square arrival a year and a half ago.
1:14 PM: Cable outages are often highly localized, but today we’ve heard from people in multiple neighborhoods – including North Admiral, Fairmount Park, and High Point – that their Comcast/Xfinity service is out. One person reports the outage started around 12:30 am. We have an inquiry out to the company, and will add anything we hear back.
1:44 PM: Comcast/Xfinity regional spokesperson Jack Follman says “everything should be up and running” now. Anyone still out?
As we say goodbye to the old year, many are also ready to say goodbye to their Christmas tree. Here’s the annual reminder from Seattle Public Utilities about how to do that if you have curbside pickup or the ability to take your tree to the transfer station:
Seattle Public Utilities invites Seattle residents to compost their Christmas trees and other holiday greens for free through January 31, 2022. Residents should place trees or bundled greens next to their food and yard waste cart on their collection day. Apartment residents may place two trees next to each food and yard waste cart on each collection day. Trees must be cut into lengths of four feet or less and all ornaments, lights, tinsel, and other decorations must be removed.
In addition to curbside collection, Seattle residents may drop off trees and other holidays greens for free at SPU’s north or south transfer stations through January 31. Stations will accept up to three trees per vehicle.
Recycle Your Holidays: Composting Christmas trees is just the beginning when it comes to holiday recycling. Many common holiday items can be recycled or reused. Customers can find out how to cut down on the amount of holiday waste that ends up in the landfill by checking SPU’s Where Does It Go Tool: seattle.gov/util/myservices/wheredoesitgo.
(Pre-storms Lincoln Park photo by Troy Sterk)
The list for today, from our West Seattle Event Calendar:
VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH PARK: The Duwamish River Community Coalition continues coordinating help for those affected by this week’s flooding in South Park and has been seeking volunteers to help again starting at 11 am today – sign-up link here (if it’s full, keep watching that link for opportunities; meantime, monetary donations are also still welcomed via this link).
LAST CALL FOR FOOD DRIVE: This is the second-to-last day of the holiday-season food drive at Canna West Culture Shop (5435 California SW), open 10 am-6 pm.
‘LAUGH UNTIL YOU DIE’: Mafia Comedy Night is back at Meeples Games, 7 pm. A few tickets remained as of early today. (3727 California SW)
SOUND BATH: 7 pm at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska), offered by Inner Alchemy – details in our calendar listing.
PRE-NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm show with Beautiful Freaks, Princess Pulpit, Skipping Victor, all ages until 10 pm. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
LIVE MUSIC AT THE POGGIE: Lumberjax play 9 pm-midnight at Poggie Tavern (4717 California SW).
Something to add to our calendar for New Year’s Eve or 2023? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Just before our recent storms, friends got the devastating news that Kalilah Hunter, known by many for her work at the temporarily closed Luna Park Café, had passed away. Here are remembrances they’re sharing:
Our dear friend Kalilah “Shmeow” Hunter sadly departed this world on December 16, 2022. She was 37 years old.
Kalilah was raised in Spokane and has been a West Seattle resident for around 15 years. Since she arrived in West Seattle, she has been a beloved consistent face at Luna Park Cafe. She found her chosen family at the cafe in her coworkers and regulars who she truly loved so much. She was a face so many looked forward to seeing during breakfast time especially at the cafe. Luna Park was her home and it was a part of her heart.
Kalilah had so many friends in so many different circles and was so very loved by all who got to know her. When she first arrived in the Seattle area, she was very active in the punk scene. For years she was a valued integral part of The Morgue underground punk venue. It was there at The Morgue that she made so many lifelong connections that she cherished so much. She always spoke about The Morgue with so much love and admiration, and she was very nostalgic about that very special time in her life. In general, though, as many know about her, first impressions were not her strong point. But with a bit of patience, once she let her guard down, she showed the loving and caring person she was protecting. Sometimes her love came natural and sometimes folx had to work for it. And I assure you, it was worth the wait, because to love her and be loved by her was a true gift. Her family circle was far and wide and included all different types of individuals, never with judgement, only with love.
Kalilah’s list of interests and accomplishments are vast. She was a yearly participant in the Polar Plunge and raised a lot of funds for the Special Olympics over the years, and she was a huge supporter of ASL (American Sign Language). She was a true advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and she always was ready to stand up and fight for equality and human rights. Shmeow was an incredible artist and produced hundreds of drawings and paintings during her art career. From cartoon characters to portrait realism, her immense talent was recognized by all. She was a proud member of the HappyTime Apocalypse art gallery at The Greenwood Art Collective for many years. Cats were prominent in her work, reflecting the intense love she has for all of the kitties of the world. Her art is a legacy that will bring joy and happiness for lifetimes to come. And her sense of humor was unmatched. She is truly one of the funniest and quirkiest people you ever have met, hands down. Laughs were always present in her company to say the least.
Sadly she leaves behind her kitties, Lilly and Ajah, best doggie friend Noodle, father and 2 sisters, incredible partner Lincoln, roommate Rachael, her favorite kiddos Victor and River, and SO very many of us who considered her family and loved her dearly. This is a loss of epic proportions for many and our lives will never be the same without her. Kalilah’s impact on the world was immeasurable, and she will truly live on in the hearts of all of those who she touched. She will be sorely missed forever.
Tributes from a few of those she touched:
“We are saddened to say that our beloved Kalilah has passed away. As most of our regulars know, Kalilah was a Luna Park staple. She started at Luna 15 years ago as a very young shy hostess. She blossomed into a great waitress loved by all her customers. There has never been such a sweet and quietly funny member of the Luna team. The Luna staff has always been family where most are lifelong friends. We were looking forward to Kalilah coming back when we reopened. She will be missed by all her customers, friends, and family. Rest in peace, sweet Kahlilah.” – John A. Bennett
“My family have been Luna Park regulars since before I was born, and that tradition has continued for the past 21 years. Though I’ve spent the last 5 years working with Kalilah at Luna Park, our relationship began with me as a wide-eyed kid in her section every week, in awe of her older, quirky, punk coolness. In this way it feels like I’ve known her my entire life, and I guess I have. I’ll never forget how excited she was when, at 16, I started working at Luna, and how immediately welcomed I felt, due in no small part to her enthusiasm and warmth (she is likely somewhere cosmically cringing at being described as warm and enthusiastic, but it’s true.) She was endlessly patient with me at this time, and despite my incredible awkward-teenagerness when we began working together, she always treated me like her peer. Over the years that we worked together and in the last few years specifically, she became my close friend and one of my favorite people in the world. I don’t think I ever told her this, but every week I eagerly scanned the schedule to see if we were working together (we always were), as the prospect of getting to spend time with her made me excited about getting up in the morning. She was endlessly cool and funny and truly, deeply, badass. Despite her badass exterior, however, she was never truly cynical. She loved so hard and so deeply, and if you had the honor of being her friend, you know how dedicated she was. She was unwaveringly loyal to those whom she loved, and was earnestly dedicated to making sure they felt it. I will feel honored to have known her for the rest of my life. I have enough stupid anecdotes of the shenanigans we got into to fill a whole book, but I’ll spare you that right now. I hope that wherever she is, she knows how incredibly loved she is. By myself, my family, and the community at large. F*cking love you, Shmeow. I’m gonna miss you. – Clara Humphreys & the Messier-Humphreys family (Tom, Carolin, and August.)
(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)
9:27 AM: Pelicans emailed with a warning: “Was entering the westbound WS bridge from the southbound 99 ramp in the dark. There is a HUGE pool of standing water there and it is deep!”
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, December 30th.
This is the 8th day the low bridge has been closed to surface traffic, with SDOT saying they don’t yet have a timeline for repairs.
A new map is out for the (long) bicycle detour.
WEATHER & WATER
Rainy and breezy, high near 50. There’s another Coastal Flood Advisory until 1 pm, though it predicts “minor” flooding; high tide is at 10:49 am.
TODAY’S TRANSIT STATUS
-Reminder that most transit services will be fare-free on Saturday
–Metro is on a regular schedule today but still down buses for repairs – 12 of the 126 had been fixed by the end of last week – keep watching notification channels such as @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations and route suspensions.
-The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule – note that it won’t run Sunday or Monday
-WSF’s Triangle Route remains on its two-boat schedule- check here for alerts/updates.
Delridge cameras: Updating this recent report, five are now live. Besides the one below (Delridge/Genesee), cameras are also up at Delridge/Oregon, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Orchard, and Delridge/Henderson.
High Bridge – the camera at the top.
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way).
1st Ave. S. Bridge – the south route.
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
All functional city traffic cams can be seen here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see a problem on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
Tomorrow will mark one week since mechanical trouble closed the West Seattle low bridge to road and path users. Tonight, some updates, starting with a map for the bicycle detour:
“This is a long detour,” SDOT acknowledges in this post about options for getting around while the low bridge is out of service, adding “We have been working this week to clear recent windstorm debris from the route, install detour route signs, and review the asphalt condition to see if spot improvements can be made to support riders.” Also of note, SDOT says, “Should the closure extend much beyond two weeks, we’ll consider other options for enhancing travel without a car.” (Back during an emergency low-bridge closure in 2018, a shuttle was implemented.)
So how long might the closure last? Still no estimate. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson told WSB today, “Crews have been in the bridge every day since the recent incident, working to create a repair plan and timeline. We haven’t finished our analysis yet, but this is a high priority and we are working to fix the bridge as fast as we can.” SDOT also has published a recap of work that had already been done on the bridge, and what was planned – including this photo of work back in October:
Most of the low-bridge work was part of the same contract under which Kraemer North America repaired the high bridge. Looking into our archives, this July report projected that much of the low-bridge work was at the time expected to be done by year’s end.
THURSDAY EVENING: After last week’s big freeze led to crews skipping garbage/recycling/yard waste pickups for Seattle Public Utilities‘ Tuesday-Friday customers, this has been a catchup week – at least for garbage and yard/food waste, Though SPU said crews would “attempt” to catch up on recycling for “off-week” customers, so far we’ve only heard from people (ourselves included) whose recycling was not caught up. So we asked SPU about it. SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register didn’t have numbers on how many “off-week” recycling pickups have been made, if any, she did stress these points:
-Customers can set out double the amount of recycling next week on their collection day at no additional charge.
-If customers’ recycling is not picked up at the end of their off-week collection day, they should bring in their carts and set out double next week on their collection day.
So if you have Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday pickup and your recycling hasn’t been picked up, you’re out of luck until next week. One thing she’s still checking into for us – how much recycling constitutes “double,” since the SPU website says you can put out “one unit” extra each week, which theoretically would limit you next week to one bin plus three “units.”
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Register confirms that some customers served by Recology did get off-week recycling pickup this week. For everybody who was missed last week and did NOT get off-week pickup this week, you can set out up to four units next week – see the link above for the description of an “extra unit.”
Three more auto-theft-related West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
STOLEN PICKUP: The report and photos are from Sam:
My car, a 1996 black Ford Ranger XLT, was stolen near Alki on 12/28. The phone number for tips would be (updated) 206-625-5011 and the police case number is 22-346724.
(added) The plates on the truck when taken are C53926Y.
CHARGES FILED IN STOLEN-VAN CASE: The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed charges in a case we covered last week, in which a 39-year-old man is accused of abandoning a stolen van on West Seattle railroad tracks after hitting a police car while trying to get away from officers in SODO. The suspect, Jesse R. Volk of Burien, is charged with two felonies, possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude police. Court documents say Volk has one felony conviction on his record but four others filed and not yet resolved – three of which are also related to stolen vehicles. He remains in the King County Jail, where he’s been since his arrest eight days ago, in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CHARGE FILED IN STOLEN-CAR CASE: 43-year-old Nicholas V. Renion is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle – a car in which police say they found him early the morning of December 19th in West Seattle, shortly after the car was stolen in White Center. The owner of the Chevrolet Aveo had started it up outside his home in the 10000 block of 17th SW to warm it up; he left it running and went inside, and it was taken. He was able to track it via an Apple AirTag on his keychain, and within an hour, he and his parents found it parked in a lot in the 9000 block of Delridge Way SW. They notified Seattle Police, who found Renion in the car, and arrested him. He’s been in jail ever since, bail set at $15,000. Inside the recovered car, the victim found a bag that did not belong to him, and the documents say:
Inside the bag, officers found five access devices in the names of three different people. A Keybank debit card and a Bank of America debit card were located in (one person’s name). A Seattle Credit Union card was located in (another name). A BECU debit card was located in the name of (the car’s owner).
Renion has a criminal history dating back 29 years, with prior convictions including stolen-vehicle possession, burglary, and assault, plus another auto-theft case currently pending. He’s been in the King County Jail for 10 days, his third booking this fall; the previous two totaled 43 days.
The new year will be momentous for the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, celebrating its 100th anniversary. Its announcement today notes that’s a milestone marked by few:
In 2023, The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating 100 years of incorporation. “Of the nearly 3900 incorporations filed in 1923, only 38 exist today” (Source: Washington Secretary of State) and the West Seattle Chamber is honored to be among the 1% still operating!
In 1923, incorporating a business was quite a challenge. Incorporation paperwork was delivered to Olympia, Washington by horseback, steam wheeler, or train. Even if you owned a car, the roads leading to Olympia were virtually impossible to navigate.
To celebrate, the organization’s plans include:
*Unveiling a new “celebratory logo” on January 1st
*Distributing a new “Westside Guide“ around the area – including dozens of locations outside West Seattle – “to encourage people to visit the peninsula”
*Launching a new “Visit West Seattle” mobile app with city Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund money
*Special commemorative treats to be sold by member businesses (example: a custom Husky Deli ice-cream flavor next summer)
Dates are set for four major 2023 events, too:
Chamber Annual Meeting | Tuesday, January 26, 2023 @ Alki Masonic Hall
Cheers to 100 Years Chamber Birthday Party | Thursday, April 27, 2023 @ Admiral Theater
Annual Westside Awards | Tuesday, May 16, 2023 @ South Seattle College
Battle for West Seattle Softball Game – West Seattle Chamber vs. West Seattle Junction Association | Sunday, May 21, 2023 @ Mel Olson Stadium (Home of DubSea Fish Sticks)
Watch the Chamber website for details.
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