West Seattle, Washington
So close! West Seattle High School‘s softball season ended tonight, but not before a thrilling comeback attempt. At Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex, the Wildcats lost to Lake Washington 9-7 in the district tournament. At one point they were down 6-1 – and then they battled back to take the lead, 7-6, with a three-run homer by Kaila Ignacio a big factor in that. But the Kangaroos weren’t done yet, and scored three runs in the seventh to take the win. West Seattle finishes the season with a 13-7 record.
Three weeks ago, the State Legislature adjourned without finalizing a new drug-possession law. Today, in a brief special session, both houses approved a revised version of the same bill that failed in April, SB 5536. Here’s the final version, quickly signed by Gov. Inslee. His website explains it:
Washington state’s new drug possession statute prioritizes treatment, establishes a gross misdemeanor penalty for drug possession and public use of drugs, and offers some local control to municipalities. …
A hallmark of the new bill is the degree of flexibility afforded to courts, prosecutors, municipalities, and community service providers.
The original bill that failed in the final hour of the regular session pre-empted local control. A difference in the latest version, one critical to its bipartisan support, was the continued ability for municipalities to approve or prohibit local “harm reduction” providers. Harm reduction services include needle exchanges, safe injection sites, and other programs designed to prevent disease or overdose. The ultimate bill signed by the governor lets local governments maintain some influence over these activities.
Prosecutors and courts were also granted some discretion in the final bill. Rather than have the Legislature set a rigid course for the new pretrial diversion program, courts and prosecutors may consider other alternatives to traditional prosecution. A defendant with behavioral health issues who is also addicted to drugs may benefit most from inpatient behavioral health treatment. A veteran fighting chemical dependency may be diverted to a veteran’s court program. Conversely, a defendant that has serially rejected treatment may be sent to jail. This flexibility may help courts find the right course for each defendant.
The three West Seattle-residing legislators who represent our area and the rest of the 34th District voted the same way they did in the regular-session vote – Sen. Joe Nguyen voted yes, as did Reo, Joe Fitzgibbon (who is also House Majority Leader), while Rep. Emily Alvarado voted no. The final House roll call was 83-13; in the Senate, 43-6.
As we’ve been reporting, candidates interested in this fall’s local elections have to formally file by 4 pm Friday. King County Elections is publishing a running list, so we’re noting the local highlights each evening:
Topp is the newest to join the race for the seat Leslie Harris is leaving. She is legal counsel for the King County Executive’s Office and a former chair of the 34th District Democrats, currently the organization’s parliamentarian.
We’ve already reported on the candidacies of Burien Mayor Aragon and Seattle City Councilmember Mosqueda. Also filing today was perennial candidate GoodSpaceGuy.
Costa, who filed today, is, as are the three who filed Monday, one of the six who had already announced plans to run.
Again, if you’re interested in running for one of these (or other offices up for election this fall), here’s how; filing deadline is 4 pm Friday (May 19th).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Award-acceptance speeches are generally about gratitude – with words of thanks to the award-givers as well as those who helped the recipients get to where they are now.
What was said at today’s Westside Awards celebration went beyond that, with inspiration, reminiscences, and community history.
The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce presents the Westside Awards each year in four categories – Business of the Year, Emerging Business of the Year, Westsider of the Year, and Not-for-Profit of the Year. This year’s recipients were announced in April and honored during a breakfast event this morning in the Brockey Center at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge.
If you weren’t there, you can see and hear the winners’ speeches in our videos:
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Easy Street Records
Easy Street proprietor Matt Vaughan was introduced by fellow Junction entrepreneur Jack Miller of Husky Deli, who declared “the reason West Seattle is cool is because of Easy Street” and observed that the music shop/café “is like a sacred place for a lot of people.” That includes the musicians whose work ESR deals in – of the artists, Miller mused, Easy Street “is a place where they want their music to be sold at.” Here’s Vaughan’s full speech:
Vaughan talked about his staff, his customers, his community, and his family – wife Kisha, kids Archie and Daisy (pictured with him above). “When it comes down to it, this is a family business, and they’re the reason I do it.” He estimated that he’s employed “more than 2,000 people over the years.” And he shared an LP’s worth of personal history, starting with growing up as a “rec-center kid .. between rec centers and record stores, I found my safe place.” He told the tale of going from record-store employee to record-store owner as a college sophomore, first taking over a space a few doors up California SW, then moving to the corner after a few years. How did he nab such a prime spot? Back then, “every other storefront in The Junction was vacant,” he explained. And after 35 years and many trials and tribulations – he recalled back-to-back burglaries in 1990, for example, and a six-figure embezzlement – the shop is alive and thriving, as is he. Words he said he lives by include “A kick in the ass is still a step forward.”
EMERGING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Papa Tony’s Hot Sauce
Tony Wilson rose from an even rougher childhood, which he said he chose to share with the audience so they could “see in human form what it is like to defy the odds.” Here’s his full speech:
Emerging from a difficult upbringing, and battling depression and anxiety resulting from childhood trauma, he started on a life of community service, starting with Hurricane Katrina relief. He also “worked in the music world and performed spoken word” – and then during an intensive home-cooking phase of the pandemic days in 2021, he invented “The Sauce.” After moving to Seattle, he turned “The Sauce” into a company – he’s selling it at farmers’ markets and stores, and has big plans to go regional and then nationwide. Wilson said he “had to learn about my power … the power you feel inside,” and strongly believes in ethics, morals, and community involvement. “We succeed by building together and not tearing each other down.”
WESTSIDER OF THE YEAR
Bell owns Seattle Sorbets and the commissary-kitchen business at which it’s based, Distinguished Foods Kitchen Rental, in The Triangle. It’s home to 13 food-and-beverage businesses now, and, said Chamber executive director Whitney Moore in introducing him, he’s “putting entrepreneurship on the radar for so many young people.” Here’s Bell’s full speech:
Bell declared the Westsider of the Year honor to be “a team award,” saying his team started with his grandparents’ expectations of hard work and achievement, followed by his parents’ expectations of excellence, and onward. “Even when things were extremely bad, I never questioned that I was on the right team.”
NOT-FOR-PROFIT OF THE YEAR
Providence Mount St. Vincent
Emcee Brian Callanan introduced The Mount’s administrator Charlene Boyd by noting the center’s century-long history, including child care at its much-lauded Intergenerational Preschool. Here’s his introduction and Boyd’s speech:
Boyd observed that “We’re fortunate to live in a place where neighbors are helping neighbors” and recalled how that has played out so often for The Mount – when calls for help were answered with everything from masks during the pandemic to air conditioners during a historic heat wave. Dating back to its founding by the Sisters of Providence, The Mount has built “relationships that span generations,” Boyd said.
The event concluded with a reminder of other upcoming Chamber-presented events – as listed on the organization’s website – starting with the Battle for West Seattle softball game Sunday, which is a fundraiser for the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks.
P.S. You can see the lists of past Westside Award-winners – chosen each year from community nominations – by going here.
Less than two months ago, the mayor proposed a billion-dollar renewal/expansion of the city Housing Levy. Some wondered what the money from the current one is being spent on. Here’s an example. The city has announced $147 million in grants for projects totaling 1,150 housing units, from sources including the current levy, as well as the “JumpStart” payroll tax and developers fees from the HALA-born Mandatory Housing Affordability program. The projects receiving grants are shown in this slide deck. None are in West Seattle. The nearest are two in South Park – a 78-unit complex that Sea Mar will build and 30 townhomes that Habitat for Humanity is planning.
12:43 PM: Cleanup is under way today in north Morgan Junction, where a duplex was damaged when part of an under-construction building next door at 5952 California SW fell down onto it last night. Nobody was hurt, and the duplex owner told us the damage wasn’t major, but questions remain about why it happened – the initial report was that the wind blew the pieces down, though last night’s short-lived wind didn’t seem particularly strong.
We checked city files for the project at 5952 California SW; they show its “plywood sheathing” had undergone a construction inspection by a private firm just last week. And now last night’s incident has led to a complaint filed today with the city Department of Construction and Inspections, asking for urgent investigation and action; we’re checking on that with SDCI, and also attempting to contact the project’s owner. It’s been seven years since an apartment building was first proposed for the site; the property was sold last year.
ADDED TUESDAY EVENING: We asked SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens about the newly filed complaint. Stevens replied, “Inspectors are aware and looking into it” but didn’t expect an update until tomorrow. The online file also indicates that evaluation of the complaint is “in progress.”
11:50 AM: Just got word from Kersti Muul that a group of transient killer whales is heading northbound, approaching the Fauntleroy ferry lane at last report, but trending toward the west side of the channel, so you definitely need binoculars. Let us know if you see them!
12:56 PM: Kersti says in comments that another group is headed this way from Burien.
3:00 – The Potholes
4:00 – Waves Crashing
5:00 – Once For Kicks
6:00 – Randy Campbell
7:00 – Dusty 45’s
8:00 – Shaina Shepherd
9:00 – Polyrhythmics
12:00 – Mode Music Showcase
1:00 – School of Rock
2:00 – Warren Dunes
3:00 – Mikey Moo
4:00 – Memphis Radio Kings
5:00 – Final Body
6:00 – Acid Tongue
7:00 – Jarv Dee
8:00 – Sandrider
9:00 – The Cave Singers
DJ Yo Adrien
As shown above, music is just on Friday and Saturday again this year. Festival hours will be 1-8 pm Friday (music later), 10 am-8 pm Saturday (music later), and 10 am-5 pm Sunday (including the Farmers’ Market). More Summer Fest previews in the weeks ahead!
It’s cooldown Tuesday! Here’s what’s ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
POSTCARDS TO VOTERS: Long-distance political advocacy and networking continues 10:30 am at C & P Coffee Company – just drop in to join in. (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
CHESS CLUB: Tuesdays 1:30-3 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon): “Are you looking for a new activity to keep your brain sharp and clear? The Senior Center Chess Club welcomes both novice and experienced players. Join us at 1:30 p.m. for lessons, short tutorials, and chess for all levels of expertise.” (Questions? Email email@example.com.)
DEMONSTRATION FOR BLACK LIVES: Long-running weekly sign-waving demonstration at 16th/Holden. 5-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t have your own.
SCRABBLE NIGHT: 6-10 pm, you can play Scrabble at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW).
IMPROVE YOUR SPEAKING SKILLS: That’s part of what you can do with West Seattle Toastmasters 832, meeting online at 6:30 tonight.
OPEN MIC: 7 pm at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way).
TRIVIA X 3: Three West Seattle places where you can play Tuesday nights – 7 pm at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska).
BELLE OF THE BALLS BINGO: Play bingo with Cookie Couture at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm. Free, all ages!
You can look into the future any time via our event calendar – if you have something to include on it, please email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Family and friends will gather June 10th to celebrate the life of Betty Spadoni. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:
Elizabeth “Betty” Spadoni
December 3rd, 1955-January 31st, 2023
On Monday, January 31st, we lost Betty to the battle she has had with her health in recent years. In true Betty form, she fought fiercely and never lost the spark we love so much.
Betty’s personality was one of a kind. Her quick wit and “always something to say” humor was what she was known for by friends and family. Born into the infamous Spadoni family to Dorothy and Henry in 1955, she was one of ten siblings that were raised in West Seattle. She joins her family including five of her brothers and sisters in paradise and leaves behind her children Jason Holmes, Sarah Holmes, and Mariah Lillie, as well as grandchildren Bella, Sicily, Jason Jr., Hudson, and Marquis. This is in addition to her four living siblings, Don (Judy), Marianne (Dan), Irene (Doug), and Steve (Debbie) as well as many nieces, nephews, and loved ones.
Always gaining energy from interacting with others, Betty spent her career working around people. This included being a lunch lady at Our Lady of Guadalupe school and working at her family-owned and operated restaurant Whizburger/ Huckleberry Square in Burien.
A celebration of life for Betty will be held at St. Bernadette Hall at 11 am on June 10th at St. Bernadette Parish School, 1028 SW 128th, Burien.
(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)
6:01 AM: Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 16th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Hot weather’s over for now – on to simply “warm.” Today’s forecast: Sunny, upper 70s. Sunrise was at 5:31 am; sunset will be at 8:41 pm.
Metro – Regular schedule, but trip cancellations are still happening.
Water Taxi – Continuing the spring/summer schedule, including later runs Friday and Saturday nights.
Washington State Ferries‘ Triangle Route continues on the 2-boat schedule but with the chance of sailing cancellations on short notice, so check here for alerts/updates and see Vessel Watch for boats’ locations.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!