West Seattle, Washington
Chas Redmond died this week.
If you’ve been active in civic life in West Seattle at any point over the past two decades, you’ve probably already heard.
If not, we want to tell you a little about why his passing is such a loss.
Chas, gone at 76, was someone who seemed to us like a strong candidate to make it to centenarianhood.
He was a prolific walker, notching miles at a time. In fact, the first of the 337 WSB stories in which he is mentioned was about the city’s plan to remove a crosswalk in his neighborhood, Gatewood. The third was about the first-ever West Seattle Walking Trails map. As part of his quest to make the peninsula more navigable for others on foot, he helped bring that map and these kiosks to life:
They were installed starting in 2009. Some are still standing. Transportation was a focus of Chas’s activism in those years. He was involved with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition from its start a decade ago and was on its board until relatively recently. He also served on neighborhood groups such as the Morgan Community Association. In the mid-2010s, he helped shepherd a historic-resources study ensuring that West Seattle would know more about its past before too much more was swept away by its future.
In 2015, Chas was one of nine candidates in the first City Council District 1 election – the first to declare, starting his run in late 2013. He didn’t make it out of the primary. He had $2,500 in campaign cash left – and donated it to two nonprofits, the West Seattle Food Bank amd Sustainable WS.
(2013 Sustainable WS holiday party)
Aside from the myriad projects in which Chas was involved with so many groups, you might have enjoyed the results of his volunteer work in another way and never realized it. He was the sound guy for countless local festivals and events, in some cases curating the music. He provided a soundtrack for West Seattle’s summers, including the Delridge Day festivals he helped produce as a key member of VIEWS (Visualize Increased Engagement in West Seattle).
This was all just part of what he did in his later years, after moving here in the early 2000s; earlier in life, Chas served in the U.S. Army and spent decades at NASA in public affairs (as noted here). His family promises a formal obituary at some point, and we trust that will run through the full details of a storied life. In a WSB interview during his City Council run, he said his strengths included “a lifetime commitment of honesty, integrity, and followthrough.” That accomplished much for West Seattle during his time here.
We’re awaiting word from his family on celebration-of-life plans.
–Tracy Record, WSB editor
If you need help to get a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the table this year, you have two opportunities next weekend to get a free turkey. Both are happening on Saturday, November 18. Starting at 9 am, Eastridge Church will give away hundreds of turkeys and bags of groceries, at 39th SW and SW Oregon (across from West Seattle Bowl). Starting at 10 am, the West Seattle Food Bank will present its annual turkey-and-food-box giveaway in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). Both are first-come, first-served, while supplies last, and neither requires any ID or proof of need.
Though the election results won’t be finalized and certified for another two-plus weeks, after today’s count, the daily results updates will be down to a trickle. Most notably in our area, this means Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda will be moving to the County Council, with ballots counted from 40 percent of voters in District 8, which includes West Seattle, White Center, Vashon and Maury Islands, and spans southward to Burien:
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8
Teresa Mosqueda – 32,811 – 54.77%
Sofia Aragon – 26,908 – 44.91%
Mosqueda’s term in citywide Position 8 had two more years to go. Her successor will be appointed by the new council. Speaking of which, it’s definitely final in D-1:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1
Rob Saka – 17,880 – 54.35%
Maren Costa – 14,872 – 45.21%
45 percent of voters’ ballots have been counted in these results, only 1 percent less than have been received. In the six other council districts, two of the three incumbents who did run for re-election are leading their opponents – Tammy Morales and Dan Strauss. If these results hold, the council will have six new members and three holdovers. Next ballot count is on Monday.
Still deciding what to do tonight? You can visit the Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) tasting room and try two just-released Washington red wines that are both new and not-so-new:
Winemaker Ben Viscon explains, “These are new vintages of some of our longtime customer favorites – our new 2021 Heart Box Red Merlot, and our 2021 Rhyme and Reason Syrah.” The Viscon Cellars tasting room – where you can also enjoy wine by the glass – is at 5910 California SW, open 5-9 pm tonight and 1 pm-6 pm tomorrow (Saturday, November 11).
The photo and report are from Sean in Admiral:
My truck was stolen again. It’s been seen several times in West Seattle. The driver won’t stop so there’s nothing police can do. If someone sees it parked, please call police. It was stolen on Tuesday and reported same day. 1992 Nissan pickup B27758P. Police report number – 23-322544.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Admiral Theater is open today, according to its owner and management, despite picketing outside.
We went to the theater this morning after a media advisory from City Councilmember Kshama Sawant‘s office announcing what was on flyers posted around the area (thanks to everyone who sent us photos of those late last night and this morning) – a “rally and strike” alleging that an Admiral Theater staffer had been fired for trying to organize a union and that there were problematic working conditions, plus making demands including a $25 hourly wage.
Sawant herself wasn’t there but a community organizer from her office, Adam Ziemkowski, who said he also is with Workers Strike Back (founded by Sawant), emceed the rally and a news conference for us and the other media crew that showed up. The former worker spoke, as did two men who identified themselves as current workers, and other local labor activists.
First, some background: The Admiral Theater is owned by a Bainbridge Island-based company called Far Away Entertainment, which also owns five other small theaters around the region. At the Admiral, they own the business, but not the city-landmark building, though Far Away led the renovations that converted it into a first-run moviehouse in 2016-2017.
At this morning’s event, we spoke with Kylie (above center), the former manager who was fired; one of the demands is that she be reinstated. She said she had worked for the Admiral for a year and told us her firing earlier this month followed two days in which she had sent messages to management calling out problems. She says she was being “asked to break labor laws” and that the small staff was so overworked they weren’t getting breaks. We checked state systems but couldn’t find any past complaints on record; Kylie said an unfair labor practice claim would be filed today.
We also talked to current employee Matt, who said he has been working for the theater for about six weeks. He’s a West Seattleite and says he “really appreciates what the theater means to the community” and that’s why he wants to see improved working conditions, Besides the demand for a higher wage, he expressed concerns about pest problems in the building, rodents and termites, noting that he had four years of experience in the pest-control business. He said his advice to company management for dealing with the pest problems was disregarded.
Here’s what they and a third worker, plus the event organizer, said at the news conference:
After returning to our HQ, we spoke with Far Away Entertainment owner Jeff Brein by phone. First, he said, since there’s no union, “there’s no strike” – the picketing is “a protest.” He says the protest “took us by surprise” because a proposal to organize a union had not been brought to him or upper management, and they of course would be open to talking about it. “I’m not anti-union, I’d be happy to sit down and talk.” He said Kylie was fired “for what we believe to be just cause.” As for a $25 hourly wage, he says what his company pays is “a fair, workable wage … at or exceeding what Regal and AMC [corporate theater chains] pay.” Business at the Admiral still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, Brein says. “We’re slowly growing back.”
He denies all the other allegations, including that labor laws were broken. “We’re fully compliant with every workplace regulation and have never had a complaint.” He also says they have regular pest-control visits and that the recent sighting of apparent termites was addressed promptly. Mold? He’s not aware of that, though acknowledges some water trouble from a roof leak had to be dealt with, but he says the building is safe. (We checked the city code-compliance files, and no complaints were on record there since one about trash in the alley last year, ultimately ruled unfounded.)
Most of all, Brein said, he’s puzzled that a city councilmember would lash out at his business without attempting to contact him first, but he says he’s never heard from Sawant or her staff.
So what happens now? The picketers say they’ll be there all weekend. (Checking the view of the sidewalk outside the Admiral via the nearest live traffic cam, it appears at least one person is there handing flyers to passersby.) Former manager Kylie says their request for the community is, “Don’t go to the movies right now.” Owner Brein says his message is, “The Admiral is open,” and wants to stay that way: “It’s disheartening to be subjected to this harassment.” Meantime, we’ll watch for the formal filings in the unionization matter.
Transient killer whales are in Elliott Bay right now, Kersti Muul reports via text – westbound off Duwamish Head and “very close.”
An Alki business is closing, and is also now up for sale. Here’s the announcement we received from Outer Space Seattle:
It is with a mix of emotions and deep gratitude that Outer Space Seattle, the beloved Indoor Playground and Party venue located on Alki Avenue, announces it will be shuttering its doors this December.
Outer Space Seattle, known for its space-themed play structure and creative artwork, has been a haven for children and families in the West Seattle community since its inception just four short years ago. Outer Space hosted countless memorable events, was often present at outdoor community events, and fostered a sense of belonging among its patrons and staff.
Owner Caitlin Huertas is currently seeking another organization, individual, or group who may be interested in carrying forward the spirit and legacy of Outer Space Seattle, either at its current location or via a relocation of its play structure to another suitable site. Absent a suitable successor, their last day of operation will be Friday, December 22nd. Outer Space would like to remind families that if you have any active gift-cards or play passes, to please redeem them before closing as we are unable to provide refunds.
For more information please contact Caitlin Huertas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For inquiries, or expressions of interest in acquiring Outer Space Seattle, please contact Susanna Tran or Julie Shizukuishi of West Coast Commercial Realty at 206-283-5212.
Susanna Tran email@example.com
Julie Shizukuishi firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
VETERANS DAY CLOSURES: Most government offices are closed, but libraries are open (they’ll be closed tomorrow). Here’s the Seattle Parks facilities’ plan.
ADMIRAL THEATER PROTEST: According to flyers around West Seattle (thanks to everyone who’s sent photos) and a media advisory we received this morning from Councilmember Kshama Sawant‘s office, workers at the Admiral Theater plan a 10 am protest claiming retaliation for union organizing and complaints about working conditions. We’ll be there to report on this.
VETERANS DAY YOGA: Noon at Dragonfly, a class is raising money for a veterans’ group, and free to any veteran who attends. (3270 California SW)
SCRABBLE CLUB: You can play 12:30-1:30 pm at Margie’s Café inside the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room/wine bar open 1-6 pm on the north side of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), student-produced wine by the glass or bottle.
VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room/wine bar open – wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor). Try the newly released red wines!
DANCE NIGHT AT THE SPOT: Fridays are DJ Dance Night at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), 7-10 pm.
‘THE LARAMIE PROJECT’: West Seattle High School‘s new student production continues tonight, 7:30 pm – ticket info and more in our calendar listing.
AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm, Enigma ASD’s Quarterly Music Showcase at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), all ages until 10 pm.
DJ NIGHT AT REVELRY ROOM: Music 9 pm-1 am on Fridays! (4547 California SW)
Something to add to our calendar? email@example.com – thank you!
A group of Holy Rosary School alums is looking for classmates from the ’60s and ’70s and asked us to publish this announcement:
We are actively searching for classmates who attended Holy Rosary Elementary anytime between 1962 and 1970 and graduated high school in 1974. We are putting together a reunion/gathering celebration for next Spring/Summer in West Seattle and would like to include everyone.
I am attaching a Google Doc that can be filled out with your contact information if this description fits you and you are interested in being involved.
6:03 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, November 10th. Most government offices and schools are observing Veterans Day today, but not everyone is off, so we’re proceeding with the usual transportation info as well as a few holiday changes.
WEATHER AND SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Chance of showers, then rain, breezy, , high in the low 50s. Sunrise today is at 7:07 am; sunset, 4:39 pm.
VETERANS DAY CHANGES
No Water Taxi service today or Saturday, except for a special schedule this afternoon/evening intended for Sounders FC playoff match-goers.
If you’ll be driving to a part of the city with paid street parking, note that the “parking holiday” – no charge – is TOMORROW, not today.
OTHER TRANSIT TODAY
Metro – Regular schedule today despite the holiday observance; check advisories here.
Sound Transit is on regular weekday service too.
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):
1st Ave. S. Bridge – southeastern route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:
BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on Twitter/X shows whether 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 that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if applicable). Thank you!