month : 12/2023 302 results

GOODBYE, 2023: This year’s 10 most-commented WSB stories

Time for the only year-end look back that we publish every year – the 10 WSB stories that drew the most reader comments. Not necessarily the most-read stories or the most-important stories, but this is one thing our publishing system allows us to objectively quantify. So, with hours remaining in 2023, here’s this year’s countdown:

October 21, 2023 – 190 comments
If you are a frequent reader, you won’t be surprised to see that the uproar over Seattle Parks’ plan to build pickleball courts on a paved pad that once held tennis courts has multiple spots on this year’s list. As of now, the plan remains on hold, at least until warm-weather season.

October 27, 2023 – 198 comments
They did, sort of – an online briefing about West Seattle projects including this one.

December 29, 2023 – 200 comments (so far)
A few cars stopped traffic on the bridge, briefly, and people inside them waved Palestinian flags out the window. The minutes-long demonstration touched off a days-long discussion.

October 23, 2023 – 225 comments
Back to the park pickleball plan.

October 17, 2023 – 249 comments
For a while, city crews were under orders to push ahead with the plan.

October 31, 2023 – 254 comments
This was the most-commented pickleball-related story. The “two-week pause” has so far lasted two months.

May 13, 2023 – 295 comments
To date, no arrest has been announced in the shooting death of 25-year-old Davonte Sanchez.

July 16, 2023 – 311 comments
A man slammed his car into Madison Kelly‘s car so hard that she and her car were pushed over the seawall and into Elliott Bay; bystanders pulled her out. She spent many weeks in the hospital/rehab. To date, the driver who hit her has not been charged.

November 10, 2023 – 320 comments
Some current and former workers at West Seattle’s only movie theater announced they were going on strike. They picketed off and on for some days afterward; the theater remained open.

September 16, 2023 – 337 comments
A huge Fourth-of-July-quality fireworks show off the west side of Puget Sound was heard around the region. To date, no official confirmation of who it was for, but The Seattle Times followed the trail quite a distance.

PREVIOUS YEARS: Here are our previous most-commented-stories lists, going back to 2011:


(Image by starline on Freepik)

Looking for a new job in the new year? West Seattle Junction Association searching for new full-timer

December 31, 2023 3:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Looking for a new job in the new year? West Seattle Junction Association searching for new full-timer
 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

A new year often brings new opportunities. At the West Seattle Junction Association, the door is opening for a new full-time staff member. Until now, executive director Chris Mackay has had only a part-time assistant – but Jill Maio is leaving that job for new focuses in her life, and WSJA will hire a full-time replacement to serve as Marketing and Events Manager. The full job listing is on WSJA’s website – here are the toplines:

Organization: West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) aka “The Junction”
Open Position: Marketing & Events Manager
Salary: $60-$65K, DOE
Location: mainly on-site at the WSJA office in the West Seattle Junction
Starting Date: February 1, 2024

About the organization

The mission of the non-profit West Seattle Junction Association is to develop and promote activities that enhance a healthy economic and social climate for the West Seattle Junction. We support the businesses within our city-designated boundaries, clean and beautify the neighborhood, and produce a range of events for the community.

About the position

The WSJA is seeking applications for a newly-created full-time staff position: Marketing & Events Manager. The M&EM will divide their time between marketing (with a heavy focus on social media) for the Junction itself and the businesses within its boundaries, and overseeing the Junction’s events, which include Summer Fest, Wine Walks, GLOWS and more. The M&EM will hold one of only two full-time positions at the Junction, so should enjoy a lively but small, all-hands-on-deck kind of environment.

More information on qualifications and duties, and how to apply, can be found in the full listing. WSJA’s office is at 4210 SW Oregon.

P.S. Is your business/nonprofit hiring? Post the job for free in the West Seattle Jobs Offered section of our community forums (where the WSJA job will appear soon too)!

WEEKEND SCENE: Washington State Black Legacy Institute hosts Business Festival During Kwanzaa at new Admiral home

Since our visit for this story earlier this month, the Washington State Black Legacy Institute has added new displays at its new home in the city-landmark former church previously known as The Sanctuary at Admiral. Portraits of historic Black community leaders and entrepreneurs line the lobby’s main wall, and curator Roger Evans says more are on the way. But today the focus is on modern-day entrepreneurs, as the three-day Business Festival During Kwanzaa concludes. An afternoon of free workshops complements a vendor fair in the main room.

Among the participating entrepreneurs is Denise Leonard, with hats and jewelry from her business A Sista Thang Fashions:

She told us these creations channel her passions, and she’s hoping to inspire young women. She’s on the north side of the room, while on the south side you’ll find art by Edimbo Lekea of Natty Dread Illustration:

Other vendors are listed here. Here’s the workshop schedule for the rest of the afternoon:

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Pearl Nelson. “1st-time Homebuyer”

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Melany Bell. “Food is First”

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Evan Poncelet. “Fundraising for Community and Venture Scale Businesses”

All are welcome; WSBLI is at 2656 42nd SW, and the festival concludes at 5 pm.

Remembering Walfrid U. Styrk, 1933-2023

Family and friends are remembering Wally Styrk, and sharing this with the community:

Walfrid Uno Styrk

Wally Styrk was born on February 14th, 1933, in Kearsarge, Michigan. His family later moved to Butte, Montana, and finally to Washington state, where they made their home in West Seattle. There, Wally attended Cooper Elementary and West Seattle High School. He always said that he “loved every minute” of his childhood, when his days were mainly spent at the Delridge gymnasium or hunting golf balls at West Seattle Golf Course.

After high school, Wally married Julie Anne Neale and joined the Army, where he served in the Canine Corps training German Shepherds for the Korean War. He remained fond of German Shepherds and enjoyed one as a family dog for many years.

Upon completing his time in the Army, Wally returned home to Seattle and was the first person to disembark the ship. His arrival was featured in the Seattle Times and included a picture of him on the dock reuniting with his wife, Julie.

Together, Wally and Julie made their home in the Alki area of West Seattle and raised four children, including Pam (Doug) Crim, Greg (Linda) Styrk, Lynne (Matt) Crockett, and Karen (Darrin) Williams. They had eight grandchildren: Bryan Crim; Ryan Styrk and Jenni (Styrk) Condon; Elli (Crockett) Surber, Mariah, Hannah, and Salvador Crockett; and Zachary Williams. At the time of his death, Wally had four great grandchildren: Skyler and Memphis (Crockett) Surber, and Campbell and Miller (Styrk) Condon.

Wally spent most of his life working on the Seattle waterfront as a longshoreman and foreman. He worked alongside his father, Karl Styrk, and brother, Bill Styrk, as well as friends he had known since childhood. Wally believed in hard work, often working seven days a week.

As a foreman, Wally was known as a tough but fair boss. He was particularly proud that his daughter-in-law, Linda Styrk, worked for the Port of Seattle. They had many spirited discussions over the years!

Wally loved sports and was an avid fan of the Seahawks, Sonics, and Mariners. He was just as passionate for the sports his children and grandchildren participated in, and he attended as many of their events as he could. He was extremely proud of their achievements, and he bought each grandchild a letterman’s jacket to recognize what they’d accomplished.

Family vacations were an important part of Wally’s life. Two of his favorite places to go were Hawaii and on cruises in Alaska, where his son, Greg, piloted the ships. Wally was also proud of his Finnish heritage, and he travelled to Finland with Julie and his daughter, Pam, to visit all his relatives.

In their later years, Wally and Julie built a beautiful home on the Hood Canal waterfront in a small community named Holly. It became a special place where the family enjoyed an abundance of time together, with countless memories created over the years. Wally lived in Holly until his last days.

Wally died on December 22nd, 2023 surrounded by his large family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Karl and Ellen Styrk, and his wife, Julie, and survived by his brother, Bill Styrk. He was 90 years old. His big booming voice and good-hearted nature will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

No service is planned. Donations in remembrance of Wally can be made to:
Holly Community Club
24283 Seabeck Holly Road NW
Seabeck, WA 98380

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

New Year’s Eve parade, parties, walks, and much more for your West Seattle Sunday

(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor – Space Needle illuminated ahead of tonight’s fireworks/lights/drone show)

Wave goodbye to 2023! Here’s what’s happening today and tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and Holiday Guide:

FARE-FREE TRANSIT: Most metro-area transit services are fare-free all day and into the night for New Year’s Eve – here are the details.

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meet at 9 am at rotating locations – today it’s Dough Joy Donuts (4310 SW Oregon).

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, the market is open as usual between SW Alaska and SW Oregon on California, offering early-winter vegetables and fruit as well as cheese, fish, meat, baked goods, condiments, fresh-cooked food, beverages (from cider to kombucha to beer/wine), nuts, candy, more! Here’s today’s vendor list.

BUSINESS FESTIVAL DURING KWANZAA, DAY 3: 11 am-5 pm, workshops and vendors at the Washington State Black Legacy Institute (2656 42nd SW), as previewed here. See today’s event lineup on this RSVP page.

NEW YEAR’S EVE WALKS: The Emerald City Wanderers again invite you to celebrate on foot. 5K and 10K walks, leaving from St John the Baptist Episcopal Church [3050 California SW]. And hot soup and snacks to help you recover. Start anytime between 3:30 and 6:30 PM; the 10K goes down to Alki and around Duwamish Head and then back up to North Admiral – the 5K goes down through The Junction. No change but donations are welcome. Flashlights are highly recommended.

ASTRA LUMINA: The celestially inspired light show continues on the grounds of the Seattle Chinese Garden at the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, opening at 5 pm. Tickets and info here.

NOT-SO-SILENT NIGHT PARADE:HPAC and HPIC will be holding our annual ‘Not so Silent Night’ Parade on NYE. Bring a lantern or lights, your favorite noise maker, family and friends. We’ll meet at Highland Park Corner Store and wander loudly through the neighborhood welcoming 2024. Plan to be at the start point by 6 pm.” (7789 Highland Park Way SW)

’80s PARTY AT THREE 9 LOUNGE: 8 pm-1 am, “Dress in your favorite ‘80s wear to be eligible to win a $100 gift card for the best dressed! Celebration of the Ladies of the ‘80s Playlist – Giveaways throughout the evening – Complimentary Midnight Toast.” (4505 39th SW)

THE ALLEY’S SUNDAY NIGHT JAZZ & NYE PARTY: Triangular Jazztet plays The Alley (4509 California SW) as usual, 8-10 pm, but tonight it’s part of the bar’s Black and Gold New Year’s Eve party, also featuring a DJ at 10:30 pm and champagne toast at midnight.

SOUL TRAIN NYE AT REVELRY ROOM/JET CITY LABS: 9 pm-1 am. Info here! Check to see if any tickets remain. (4547 California SW)

PARTY & DRAG SHOW AT ADMIRAL PUB: “New Year’s Eve party & Drag Show at Admiral Pub featuring Jolene Granby, Sid Seedy, & Jizzuhbell Johnson, with VJ Lacefront 9 pm. Free. With free Champagne Toast at Midnight.” (2306 California SW)

‘SEATTLE UNLEASHED’ NYE AT WEST SEATTLE BREWING: 9:45 pm, “untamed energy with an homage to the grunge legends,” party with live music, no cover. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

COUNTDOWN PARTY AT BENBOW ROOM: DJ Tony Goods with ’80s and ’90s throwbacks – party starts at 10 pm at Benbow Room. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

FIREWORKS, DRONE, LIGHT SHOW: The Space Needle will do it again to greet 2024, starting with light shows on the Needle at 10, 10:30, 11, and 11:30, then the fireworks and drone show to welcome the New Year. You can watch from many northeast-facing West Seattle viewpoints and shoreline areas, if you’re not going downtown to experience it close-up.

IF YOU’RE WATCHING ON A SCREEN … look for West Seattle band THEM on the KING 5 broadcast/stream (details in our preview).

SPARKLING CIDER TOAST AT WEST SEATTLE ARCADE:West Seattle Arcade is hosting a family-friendly New Year’s toast! Open until after the Space Needle fireworks show, (which can be seen from the sidewalk out front), we will provide Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice in champagne flutes to everyone in the arcade at midnight. This is an alcohol-free event.” (2758 Alki SW)

Something to add for NYE? Text us – 206-293-6302! Something further in the future for our calendar – one-time or recurring? Please email us the info – – thank you!

FOLLOWUP: Jury acquits defendant in deadly SODO shooting of West Seattle man

We’re continuing to go through court files of cases we hadn’t checked in a while, and found another one has been resolved – the shooting death of a West Seattle man near the SODO Costco store in July 2022.

68-year-old Bob Jensen, described by friends as a longtime West Seattleite, was shot and killed after getting out of his vehicle on 4th Avenue South to confront a driver who reportedly refused to let him merge at a spot where two lanes narrowed to one. Police said the man who shot him, then-38-year-old Angel A. Valderrama of Kirkland, told police he shot Mr. Jensen because he was holding something that might have been a weapon. None was found on Mr. Jensen’s person or in his pickup. Valderrama was not arrested at the time but was charged with second-degree murder a month later. Court documents show that Valderrama was found not guilty by a King County Superior Court jury last month, after a trial that lasted less than two weeks. Jurors had the option to convict him of manslaughter but found him not guilty of that too; the trial minutes show they deliberated for a day and a half. Jurors also had to decide an extra issue, whether the defendant proved that the use of force was lawful; a “yes” verdict would have entitled him to compensation for lost wages while jailed. The jury’s decision was “no.”

READER REPORTS: Indecent-exposure, sexual-harassment incidents

We received both of these reports today from readers who wanted to alert the community:

INDECENT EXPOSURE: The teenage victim’s mother sent this:

A couple of weeks ago, while my 15-year-old daughter was walking home from school by Holy Rosary. A car pulled up along side of her and stopped. She looked at the person and realized that he was masturbating while staring at her. She ran as fast as she could to our house. She described this person as older male 40-50 yo., black hair, dark complexion. The car was light blue and was beat up. My neighbor provided me a photo of the car driving.

My daughter confirmed this was the car. Unfortunately, it doesn’t capture much. I have made a police report. So incredibly horrible for her to be assaulted and so angry that this coward is getting away with this.

The police report number is 23-358983.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: From the victim:

I wanted to share a harassment event that happened to me on 12/28/23 at approx 3:40 p, I was screamed at by a man (appeared to be in mid-late 40s?, dark hair and skin, slim to medium build) in a truck at the intersection of 35th Ave SW and Thistle who said “man, you’d be fun to [sexually explicit term].”. It appears that this is likely a repeat offender – with something similar happening to my friend who lives at the same intersection with a similar vehicle last year. It’s highly concerning that this has happened again and the things being said are increasingly explicit and want other women to be aware of this person and vehicle.

(Photo from 12/28/23 incident)

Color: Black, Model: Maybe Silverado, Year: Older, Type: Truck

In the 2022 event, the victim reported that the man in the truck parked and watched her mow, then showed that he was recording her on his phone, and hollered (in crude language) that he would watch the video and gratify himself. When the recent victim posted on a social-media site earlier today, she said, another person commented, “This same person shouted something similar to me on Roxbury and 29th on Wednesday around 3:30 pm.” The recent victim’s police-report number is 23-373893.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Pre-sunset rainbow, and New Year’s Eve forecast

Thanks for the photos! (Above, from Curry Gibson; below, from Lynn Hall.) The rainbow toward the north/east preceded tonight’s pink-gold sunset.

(added) And Gene Pavola sent this sunset photo:

This followed a showery day, but the forecast is good news if you’re going out New Year’s Eve, especially if you plan to watch the Space Needle fireworks, drone, and light show, from near or (West Seattle viewpoints) far – rain isn’t anticipated to return before Monday night at the earliest. (That’s good news for the New Year’s Day Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim, too.)

P.S. See what else is up for New Year’s Eve/Day via our West Seattle Holiday Guide!

Sing in 2024! Boeing Employees Choir – open to all – invites you to its West Seattle rehearsals

December 30, 2023 3:26 pm
|    Comments Off on Sing in 2024! Boeing Employees Choir – open to all – invites you to its West Seattle rehearsals
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

You don’t have to be a Boeing employee to sing in the Boeing Employees Choir! In fact, the choir is casting a wide net for new members, and the first step is to show up for one of its West Seattle rehearsals. Here’s the announcement from the choir’s marketing director Mika Kitamura:

The Boeing Employees Choir has Open Rehearsals January 9, 16, 23, 30 and February 6, 2024 (Tuesdays), in West Seattle @ 6:30 PM at the West Seattle American Legion Hall, 3618 SW Alaska St.

The Boeing Employees Choir strives to be an exceptional concert choir with an international reputation, reflecting the world-class standards Boeing has set for its airplanes and other exciting products. Our next international tour to Greece is set for Fall 2024 and we would love any new qualified members to join us!

Read more about the process of joining the choir here.

WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS: Final nights for ‘The 4040 House’

December 30, 2023 12:37 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS: Final nights for ‘The 4040 House’
 |   Holidays | West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

That’s Ryan, creator of the music-synched lights at “The 4040 House,” handing out candy canes on Christmas Eve. The photo was sent to us by a reader who visited that night, and sent others too:

We have the occasion to publish them because Ryan asked us to let you knoe there’s just a few more nights to see the display (previously featured here two weeks ago):

The final nights of the 2023 sound and light show at 4040 House are coming up?

The show runs every night from 6-9 through New Year’s Day.

A very special thanks to those who have stoped by and a major shout-out to all of our neighbors on 47th AVE SW.

The display has a website, – full address is 4040 47th SW, between Dakota and Andover, and a reminder: “We ask if people drive down, please park on Dakota or Andover and walk over.”

Crash near southwest end of westbound West Seattle Bridge

Thanks for the tips. Multiple readers have messaged about another crash near Walking On Logs, toward the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge. One lane is reported to be blocked. No major backup reported. The SFD response closed fairly quickly, which indicates no major injuries either.

New Year’s Eve-Eve and what else is up for 2023’s last West Seattle Saturday

(Hydrangea blooming in winter – photographed by Jerry Simmons)

Our three-day weekend begins with these notes, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE GROUP RUN, NEW YEAR’S EVE-EVE EDITION: Start your Saturday with this weekly West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) group run! “Come for our last group run of 2023! We have had quite a year. We will have sparkling cider and champagne for toasting afterward, as well as pastries.” All levels welcome. Meet at the shop by 8 am.

HEAVILY MEDITATED: Arrive by 8:50 am for community meditation at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska). Free event.

FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – see full details in our calendar listing.

BUSINESS FESTIVAL DURING KWANZAA, DAY 2: 11 am-7 pm, workshops and vendors at the Washington State Black Legacy Institute (2656 42nd SW), as previewed here. See today’s event lineup on this RSVP page.

FAMILY READING TIME: Every Saturday at 11 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).

VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: The center is open to visitors noon-3 pm, as explained here. (2234 SW Orchard)

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room open – wine by the glass or bottle – 1-6 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor). For New Year’s, you can try their first-ever sparkling wine.

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM CLOSED: The home of West Seattle history is on holiday break, reopening next Friday (January 5).

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room/wine bar open 1-8 pm, north end of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus.

ASTRA LUMINA: Celestially inspired light show starts at 5 pm on the grounds of the Seattle Chinese Garden at the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. Admission prices vary – tickets and info here.

BURGERS & BEATS: Saturday night food and music at Revelry Room – burgers start at 6, DJs at 9. (4547 California SW, alley side)

LIVE MUSIC @ C & P COFFEE: Jared Mitchell & The Wingtips, “a singer/songwriter show featuring 4-5 Seattle artists,” 7-9 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor). No cover, all ages.

‘MAFIA’ WITH COMEDIANS: “Laugh Until You Die” is a gaming and comedy event for New Year’s Eve-Eve, 7 pm at Meeples Games (3727 California SW). A few tickets left as of early today!

ALL-AGES OPEN MIC: 7-10 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)

WEST END GIRLS’ YEAR-END SHOW: West Seattle’s drag extravaganza – hosted by Cookie Couturewraps up 2023 at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), doors at 7, show at 8, tickets online or at the door.

Planning a concert, open house, show, sale, event, meeting, seminar, reading, field trip, fundraiser, class, game, or ? If the community’s welcome, get your event on our calendar! Please email info to – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Man shot in North Delridge

12:17 AM: Police are investigatng a reported shooting at Delridge/Findlay. One man is reported wounded, “shot in the back” per SFD dispatch. No suspect description yet except “male in a red shirt.” Updates to come.

12:26 AM: Police believe the shooting happened in front of the Shell station (which is closed for the night); they told dispatch they’ve found a casing. They’re also closing Delridge Way at the scene.

12:34 AM: The victim, a 20-year-old man, is being taken to Harborview by SFD medics. Police, meantime, now believe they’re looking for two suspects; a K-9 team is helping search.

12:47 AM: If you live in the area, you’ll hear police PA announcements and siren “chirping,” which is meant as a warning to possibly hiding suspect(s) that they’re nearby with a dog.

1:34 AM: So far, no success. Meantime, the street is open again.

UPDATE: Burien carjacking suspects tracked to West Seattle; stolen vehicle then involved in fiery crash

6:22 PM: According to radio exchanges between dispatch and police, Guardian One is over the Don Armeni Boat Ramp area because it’s assisting King County Sheriff’s Office deputies with tracking suspects in a Burien-area carjacking. Avoid the area.

6:29 PM: King County and SPD units are now pursuing the vehicle, described as the gold Suburban that was stolen in the carjacking, southbound on Harbor.

6:31 PM: According to radio exchanges, the vehicle is still on the move but one suspect is in custody at or near Harbor/Spokane.

6:39 PM: The stolen vehicle is now reported to be stolen in a fiery crash at West Marginal Way/2nd SW. Law-enforcement officers and the helicopter were reported to have lost track of the vehicle before this happened. At least one person may still have been in the vehicle, which is now reported to be engulfed in flames.

(Image from nearest SDOT camera)

6:44 PM: SPD says SFD is telling them no one is in the vehicle. … The Suburban reportedly collided with a semitruck, though we don’t know if it was moving or parked. … And now police are saying the other suspect IS in the vehicle.

7:07 PM: One person is going to be taken to Harborview, per SFD. Note that streets are closed and buses (routes 131 and 132) rerouted in this area because of the crash investigation.

(WSB photo)

7:35 PM: Above, that’s the Suburban, in a photo sent by our crew just after they arrived. And this is the semi:

(WSB photo)

7:51 PM: We and a few other media crews are awaiting an SPD public-information officer. Meantime the officers and firefighters at the scene are awaiting an SDOT incident-response team to clean up an extensive fluid slick and other debris.

7:56 PM: The official briefing hasn’t happened yet but SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo is there too and has told us that the 53-year-old truck driver was checked out and OK, while the driver of the stolen car was in critical condition when transported.

8:44 PM: Both SFD’s Cuerpo and SPD spokesperson Officer Brian Pritchard have briefed us. The only major details beyond what we’ve reported above are that the first suspect, (updated) 21 years old, was arrested when he jumped out of the stolen vehicle at Harbor/Spokane; the person left behind in the vehicle, a juvenile, decided to drive off, and that’s the person who crashed the Suburban and was pulled from the wreckage.

10:31 PM: Police at the scene just told dispatch that the streets are cleared and reopened.

UPDATE: Demonstration on westbound West Seattle Bridge

4:27 PM: Thanks for the tips. Flag-waving demonstrators are blocking the westbound lanes of the West Seattle Bridge at the crest. The only image we have so far is from a distance but it appears to be the Palestinian flag:

4:37 PM: It may have been a short-lived demonstration – 911 dispatch reports traffic is moving again. We can’t independently verify via traffic cameras as the video feeds remain broken (SDOT has no ETA on a repair). One reader says the demonstrators were in cars, not on foot.

(Added: Photo texted by Aaron)

4:42 PM: We’ve verified from the Fauntleroy end of the bridge that traffic is moving again, no further sign of the flag-wavers.

CAN YOU HELP? West Seattle pop-up for blood donors starts next week

December 29, 2023 3:10 pm
|    Comments Off on CAN YOU HELP? West Seattle pop-up for blood donors starts next week
 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

If you can donate blood, Bloodworks Northwest hopes you will sign up for a spot in their West Seattle “pop-up” starting next week. Here’s the announcement they asked us to share:

The month of January is usually a period of critical blood shortages. People stop donating blood during the holidays and when they get sick during cold and flu season. Blood drives can also get snowed out during the winter months.

More than 50 years ago — on December 31, 1969 — the president of the United States signed a proclamation designating January as National Blood Donor Month. The new monthly observance was meant to honor voluntary blood donors and to encourage more people to give blood at a time when more blood is needed.

This January, the need has never been greater. 1 in 7 people entering a hospital will need blood and local hospitals are at capacity. In fact, blood is being transfused in local hospitals faster than it is being donated. Your donation this month is critical to health of our community.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in West Seattle (4001 44th Ave SW) is hosting West Seattle pop-up blood-donation days on Tuesday, January 2, Wednesday, January 3, Thursday, January 4, Monday, January 8, Tuesday, January 9, and Wednesday, January 10, in the gym. Please sign up to give blood! Appointments required. Bloodworks recently switched to a new appointment portal. If you need help booking your appointment, please e-mail or call 800-398-7888.

All donors in January can enter to win a $2,000 spa and wellness gift card. For information about eligibility, recent FDA updates, and more, please visit Bloodworks website

UPDATE: Car-on-side crash in 1300 block Alki Avenue SW

(Reader photo)

1:12 PM: Thanks for the photos. Seattle Fire and Police are on the scene of a car-on-side crash in the 1300 block of Alki Avenue SW.

(Reader photo)

1:16 PM: SFD says firefighters have extricated one person from the crashed car.

(Reader photo by Rick)

1:24 PM: Firefighters just told dispatch that one person is going to the hospital by private ambulance, which indicates injuries are not life-threatening.

1:35 PM: We’ve confirmed at the scene that the driver, a woman, was transported. One lane of traffic has just reopened at the scene. … Two parked vehicles were damaged – one hit by the driver and pushed into the other one.

4:05 PM: SFD tells us the 77-year-old driver was in stable condition when she was taken to the hospital.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Guilty plea to reduced charge in deadly Alki shooting

We’re catching up with the files in some long-running criminal cases. First: A reader tipped us that the case of a quadruple shooting at Alki Beach in June 2021, killing one person and injuring three others, has ended in a plea agreement.

(June 2021 photo by David Hutchinson)

Milton Arnold III of Des Moines, now 21, originally was charged with second-degree murder for killing 22-year-old Tilorae Shepherd of Federal Way and two counts of first-degree assault for wounding a man and woman (the fourth victim was a friend of Arnold, hit accidentally). The gunfire followed a confrontation over fireworks, as detailed in our first report on the original charges. At some point Shepherd reportedly displayed a gun but did not pull it. Arnold claimed he fired in self-defense, and prosecutors cited that as the reason for reducing the charges; he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. He had no prior convictions, and court documents show that last month King County Superior Court Judge Ken Schubert sentenced him to a total of four and a half years in prison. That will include credit for time served since his arrest two and a half years ago.

9 for your West Seattle Friday afternoon/evening

December 29, 2023 11:11 am
|    Comments Off on 9 for your West Seattle Friday afternoon/evening
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Cormorants, photographed in mid-December by Steve Bender on the Duwamish River at T-107 Park)

The low-key week-between-holidays continues, but you do have some options in the hours ahead:

SCRABBLE CLUB: 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 on the north end of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) is open 1 pm-8 pm.

BUSINESS FESTIVAL DURING KWANZAA, DAY 1: 2-7 pm, workshops and vendors at the Washington State Black Legacy Institute (2656 42nd SW), as previewed here. Today’s lineup is on this RSVP page.

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room/wine bar open – wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor). Viscon’s first-ever sparkling wine is available in time for New Year’s!

ASTRA LUMINA: One more week for the celestially inspired light show on the grounds of the Seattle Chinese Garden at the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus continues tonight, 5 pm. Timed tickets and pricing info here.

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Art Frankel performs at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm.

SHOWCASE AT THE SPOT: Fridays are Live Artist Showcase nights at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), 7-10 pm.

LIVE MUSIC AT WEST SEATTLE BREWING: Mercury Black, 8 pm. (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW)

DJ NIGHT AT REVELRY ROOM: Music 9 pm-1 am on Fridays! Tonight’s DJ: Lady Coco. (4547 California SW)

Something to add to our calendar? – thank you!

Laughing for Leopards: Comedy show January 11 to benefit Lafayette Elementary PTA

December 29, 2023 10:23 am
|    Comments Off on Laughing for Leopards: Comedy show January 11 to benefit Lafayette Elementary PTA
 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Cozy Comedy, run by two West Seattleites who produce shows here and around the region, has big news:

We have our FIRST charity comedy show coming up on January 11, 2024, benefiting the Lafayette PTA! Cozy Comedy will not be making a penny of profit from this show; all proceeds are going to the Lafayette PTA. Otter on the Rocks has graciously agreed to let us have an additional evening of entertainment in their business for this great cause!

Tickets are available at this link –
Date and Time – Thursday, January 11, 7 pm show start!
Where: Otter on the Rocks, West Seattle
Benefitting the Lafayette PTA

Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral) is one of the venues where Cozy Comedy – whose backstory we told last year – presents shows each

FOLLOWUP: J-Pod’s new baby orca reveals gender

(Photo by Maya Sears, NMFS Permit 27052)

Back on Tuesday, we published photographer Brittany Noelle‘s report about discovering a new baby orca with the Southern Residents’ J-Pod. Now whale advocates are excited about the calf’s relatively speedy gender reveal. He showed himself to West Seattle researchers Mark and Maya Sears, and The Whale Trail‘s Donna Sandstrom sent us their photos and details last night:

Mark and Maya Sears were out with J pod again (Thursday). They encountered J60, and confirmed he is a male! They encountered the whales near Point No Point on the north end of Bainbridge Island.

It can sometimes takes a while to determine gender of an orca – when they are young, the only way to tell them apart is by the markings on their underbellies. A whale has to roll over so the markings are visible – which J60 did (Thursday), twice!

(Photo by Maya Sears, NMFS Permit 27052)

J60’s mom is J40 (aka Suttles), a 19-year-old female. This is her first calf (that we know of). Maya said that J46, a 13-yr-old female named Star, spent a lot of time around the new calf too.

An interesting bit of history – Mark and Maya were the first people to spot J40 in 2004, when she was a newborn calf. The Sears encountered J40 and her mom J14 (Samish) mid-channel between Lincoln Park and Blake Island on December 21, 2004:

(2004 photo of then-newborn J40 and J14, by Mark Sears)

Nearly nineteen years to the day after they spotted J40, they spotted her first calf (J60).

There’s long been speculation that central Puget Sound is a calving ground for the southern residents. At least for J pod, that appears to be true!

(Photo by Maya Sears, NMFS Permit 27052)

There are now 10 calves under five years old in the southern resident population, and six of those are female. The future of the population is here! Whether they survive and thrive into adulthood is up to us.

Here’s how people can help:
-Give the orcas the acoustic space they need to forage, rest, and socialize.
-Watch southern residents from shore, and stay 1000 yards away from them at sea..
-Take the pledge at and encourage your friends to take it too.
-Download the free app Whale Alert to learn when southern residents are near. Share any whale sightings with the app too..

This year Washington State passed legislation to establish a 1000-yard acoustic buffer around the orcas. The setback will become mandatory in 2025 – a welcome step forward. But the orcas need our help today. Take the pledge and help us give J60 a fighting chance!

J60’s birth brings the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales’ population to 76.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Last weekday of 2023

December 29, 2023 6:00 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Last weekday of 2023
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Friday, December 29, and we’re headed for another three-day holiday weekend.


Mostly cloudy, chance of rain, high in the mid-50s. Today’s sunrise will be at 7:57 am, and the sun will set at 4:24 pm.


Holiday previewsHere’s the announcement about most transit services going fare-free on New Year’s Eve (until 3 am New Year’s Day) … On NY Day, Metro buses will be on a Sunday schedule; the Water Taxis will be out of service (despite the big hockey event at T-Mobile Park).

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you’re wondering where the boat is.

Metro today – Regular schedule; check advisories here.

Washington State Ferries today – 2-boat service on the Triangle Route. Check alerts for changes, and use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.


(If you’ve noticed that the video options on SDOT’s camera map don’t work, SDOT tells us they’re working on it, but no ETA for the fix.)

Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, and Delridge/Oregon.

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:

1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem 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!

GRATITUDE: Stranded driver’s note of thanks

David sent this as an open thank-you letter for Thursday evening help:

At around 5 pm, my old 1984 gray Chevy Cavalier station wagon’s transmission finally died while waiting to make a left-hand turn on 35th Avenue SW and SW Thistle westbound with a load of groceries from the White Center Safeway.

I’d like to publicly thank the unknown young lady and unknown female driver of a big white pickup truck who came to my assistance and gave me a “heavenly shove” out of the left-turn lane onto westbound SW Thistle so I could safely wait for a tow to my residence in Upper Gatewood.