day : 23/12/2023 9 results

What’s being done to help Southern Resident Killer Whales survive? Here’s what The Whale Trail’s winter gathering heard about

(J pod southbound in Puget Sound November 2023, by M. Sears – Permit 21348)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than 40 people filled C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) Thursday for The Whale Trail‘s winter gathering – with the theme on that solstice night, as executive director Donna Sandstrom put it, “finding light in the darkness.”

She opened with The Whale Trail’s origin story, going back to her involvement with the rescue of Springer the orphaned orca 21 years ago, fast forwarding to the challenges the Southern Resident Killer Whales face today – they could be extinct within a century if the factors contributing to their decline don’t change. At its heart, The Whale Trail is a long stretch of viewing spots with interpretive signage along the Pacific Coast (inland waters like Puget Sound too, with locations including four signs in West Seattle), “from San Diego to Prince Rupert, B.C.,” but in practice it’s much more – like Orca Talks and gatherings such as this one, dating back to 2010 – plus other forms of advocacy (Sandstrom served on the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force created by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2018).

That task force addressed many threats to the resident orcas’ survival; Sandstrom’s special interest was shipping noise, including that generated by whale-watching boats. Now there are rules to reduce it, as well as a voluntary pledge program for other boaters. Then, starting in 2025, all boaters will have to stay 1,000 yards away. Sandstrom told attendees that she is serving on an advisory group working on how to ensure all boaters learn about this rule – “we want to make it easy for (boaters to help whales).”

Though the SRKWs’ population isn’t growing, there is reason for hope, Sandstrom said – their three pods (J, K, and L) have nine calves under 5 years old, and six of them are female. She said it’s important for people to leave gatherings like this one “inspired.”

She also paid tribute to longtime supporter Chas Redmond – “he was a super-connector and a joyous human being.” Now, highlights from the guest speakers:

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TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: Two in Admiral

December 23, 2023 7:06 pm
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 |   West Seattle Christmas lights | West Seattle news

Two from Admiral tonight – first, the house at 45th/Stevens that’s known well for its Halloween spirit is also brightly lit for Christmas; we took the photo while out looking around one recent night. Below, a North Admiral home photographed by Brendan:

He found that one in the 4300 block of SW Atlantic. … Any last-minute tips? We’re headed out on one last scouting trip tonight – – thank you! (To see everywhere we’ve shown, click WEST SEATTLE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS beneath the story headline above, and scroll through that archive.)

WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAY SCENE: Cocoa Cris Cringle @ Easy Street Records

The most-mischievous Santa’s helper to appear in West Seattle each holiday season is at Easy Street Records right now – Cocoa Cris Cringle! Until 8 pm, you’ll find him at Easy Street Records for “foto fun”:

$20 gets you a turn with Cocoa Cris Cringle (with props if you want, including hats) – kids and pets welcome too. (If you somehow haven’t been to Easy Street yet, it’s on the northwest corner of California/Alaska.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Seen this VW Golf? Car stolen while owner was fundraising for charity (UPDATE: Found)

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Remember the food-bank-fundraising buskers we told you about earlier? We just found out that one musician’s car was stolen while they were performing:

Stolen VW Golf, 2005
Gray, WA plate 612-ZHK
(Pic shows roof just before it was repainted, roof now has new paint)

Parked at the paid lot on 44th, between Alaska and Edmunds
(paid and have the receipt!)
Parked at 10:50 am today, Saturday Dec. 23 to busk for the Food Bank
Returned to the lot at 1:15 pm and the car was gone.
It’s a manual transmission, so hopefully it didn’t go too far.

Police report filed.
If you see the car please call 9-1-1 and give report # 23-367922

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Found … abandoned one lot away from where it was taken … with a candy cane and “Merry Christmas” note on the door.

READER REPORT: Mail found in the street

December 23, 2023 2:34 pm
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 |   Highland Park | West Seattle news

From the WSB inbox, sent by Ralph:

This morning, Saturday, December 23, I found about 10 pieces of mail in the middle of my street, 7700 block of 14th Ave. SW.

The mail was was addressed to various recipients in the 8100 and 8400 blocks of 7th Ave. SW, and one item, a Christmas card, had been opened.

I turned in the likely stolen mail to the Post Office at Westwood Village.

HOLIDAY GIVING: Update from The Christmas People, including a volunteer request

(Added: Reader photo, from 600+ cookies baked by Tibbetts United Methodist Church ‘and friends’)

From The Christmas People, who are collecting homemade cookies through tomorrow, an update and a request:

We need a volunteer to help collect cookies on Sunday, December 24 at West Seattle Coworking, 9030 35th Ave SW, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The volunteer who was scheduled continues to be stuck at Iceland Airport due to a volcano eruption.

Home-baked Cookie response has been amazing. Residents of West Seattle have been incredibly generous. First day collection on Friday yielded over 3,000 cookies. Cookies are distributed to 10 shelters in King County area.

This week we have distributed more than 2000 lbs. of dry, staple supplies to 8 shelters. Saturday, Sunday, Monday we will deliver 1750 snacks, lunches, and dinners to 6 shelters.

To volunteer please call Rev. Fred Hutchinson, Christmas People Co-founder, at 206-719-4979 or email This is our 25th year. We are are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

WEST SEATTLE HOLIDAY SCENE: Caroling for a cause

If you’re in The Junction shopping/dining, you might hear the holiday sounds of We Carolers 3 – they’re busking on the northeast corner of California/Alaska, raising money for local food banks, until 1 pm.

P.S. If you missed them, here’s how to donate money to local food banks: West Seattle Food Bank here, White Center Food Bank here.

WHALES: Southern Resident orcas off West Seattle – for a while

11:26 AM: Orcas from J-Pod are off West Seattle, per text from Kersti Muul – southbound off Alki Point as of about 15 minutes ago. Let us know if you see them!

11:55 AM: They’re now northbound.

20 notes for your pre-holiday West Seattle Saturday!

(Newest image from SDOT’s West Seattle Junction camera)

Welcome to the long holiday weekend! Another two-part event list – first, the Christmas Eve-Eve happenings, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:

(canceled) SANTA AT WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY: Santa Claus’s traditional pre-Christmas visits to West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) conclude, 10 am-1 pm.

THE CHRISTMAS PEOPLE NEED COOKIES: “The Christmas People are once again asking for home-baked cookies for distribution to homeless and other marginalized people in our midst. Home-baked cookies may be brought to West Seattle Coworking, 9030 35th Ave SW, today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

WE CAROLERS 3: Busking for monetary donations to West Seattle and White Center Food Banks, 11 am-1 pm on the corner by Cupcake Royale (NE corner of California and Alaska)

POP-UP #1: “The Little Merle reimagined and upcycled jewelry will be available for their last pop-up of 2023. Stop by Swan Dive (4537 California Ave) from 11-6 for last-minute gifts and special stocking stuffers.”

GARY BENSON AT THRIFTWAY: Live holiday music at West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) with Gary Benson, 11:30 am-2:30 pm.

POP-UP #2: Cascadia Wicks will be at Future Primitive Alki (2536 Alki SW) noon-4 pm.

GIFT WRAPPING: 1-4 pm at The Discovery Shop, 4535 California Avenue SW:

The Clay Cauldron hosts gift wrapping by donation. We provide the wrapping of your gift purchases, tags and bows included. A percentage of the funds raised will be given to the American Cancer Society for cancer research.

COCOA CRIS CRINGLE: Don’t miss his annual visit to Easy Street Records for “foto fun,” 4-8 pm. $20, kids and pets welcome. (4559 California SW)

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.

‘SNOWED IN’ SOLD OUT: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) oresents the closing performance of its holiday show – no tickets left.

*************And these are the non-holiday happenings, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

FREE GROUP RUN: Start your Saturday with this weekly West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW) group run! 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.

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). Try the first-ever sparkling wine!

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM CLOSED: The home of West Seattle history is on holiday break.

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

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

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

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