year : 2024 556 results

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Back-to-school Monday

6:00 AM: Good morning! It’s Monday, February 26, back-to-school day for those who were on midwinter break last week.

WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES

Today’s forecast is for clouds and colder temperatures, with rain/snow possible, high in the mid-40s. Sunrise will be at 6:56 am, sunset at 5:49 pm.

TRANSIT NOTES

Metro today – Regular schedule; check advisories here.

Water Taxi today – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you need to see where the boat is.

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

SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

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:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: All functioning traffic cams citywide are here; 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/water, please text or call us (when you can do that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if they’re not already on scene). Thank you!

BIZNOTE: Another milestone for West Seattle-based Rebellyous Foods’ revolution

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than four years after Rebellyous Foods relocated its “revolution” in plant-based “chicken” to West Seattle, it’s ready to deploy the next weapon in that revolution.

From the start, Rebellyous – headquartered in the SK Foods building at 37th/Snoqualmie – has emphasized that it’s a technology company more than a food-production company.

Its founder, Christie Lagally (above), is a former aerospace engineer. Her company has been working on the second iteration of its patented manufacturing technology, aimed at streamlining and speeding up the process of making dough for plant-based meat, while bringing the production cost down. And now, they’re preparing for the first installation of the new system – known as Mock 2 – so they put out a Request For Proposals (read it here) to find a home for it.

After hearing about the RFP, we revisited Rebellyous HQ – almost exactly a year, it turns out, after our previous visit for an update on this unique local company. They’ve come a long way – when we first visited in fall 2019, they were producing 1,000 pounds a month of plant-based “chicken” nuggets, tenders, and patties; now they produce that much per hour. School districts are their largest customers – more than 200 districts around the country are buying and serving Rebellyous Foods products, and their sales continue to grow exponentially, according to Lagally. They’re also selling to other big clients, recently scoring a contract with the Vizient health-care system. Their production is done at Orca Bay‘s plant (still in West Seattle) – they’ve long since outgrown the space in The Triangle, though they have plenty of other uses for it, including research and development, and storage.

Components of the Mock 2 system are there, waiting for their future home. (Off-camera – since it’s proprietary technology.)

In its new home, the Mock 2 system will be used to produce Rebellyous Foods products and potentially other companies’ products too. Lagally says Mock 2 will be able to produce at least 2,500 pounds per hour – more than twice the current pace – and eventually up to 5,000 pounds an hour. The speed and efficiency means the cost of production will be reduced, and she says that’s a large part of what it’ll take for plant-based “meat” to truly compete with animal meat. The RFP declares that Mock 2 will result in a “60% lower cost of manufacturing than all current dough-making methods currently available to manufacturers.”

The central feature of the new system is continuous mixing – the dry ingredients are continuously hydrated and mixed into dough along the line, rather than being dumped into, say, a giant bowl, along with liquid, and mixed there. Of course, that’s a vast simplification, and they’re working on other efficiencies and improvements – we peeked inside one of the rooms where staffers were doing tests to come up with better ways to emulsify as well as testing viscosity.

When you’re inventing new ways to manufacture, you have to invent new components, too. Lagally says some of the Mock 2 parts are all new, some are modified. And the size of the Mock 2 installation requires some other customized equipment too – like a huge custom dishwasher that can handle the equipment’s parts. Associated equipment is part of the plan for efficiency too; they’re testing an energy-saving chiller, for example.

All this will serve the longstanding goal, Lagally says: “I’m very happy that our original mission still stands – getting plant-based meat into more (places).” Mock 2’s impending installation will be a major milestone, but Lagally and Rebellyous Foods won’t be resting on their laurels (or feathers) – they’re working already on Mock 3.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Delridge search (updated); hit-and-run with stolen car

Two incidents in West Seattle Crime Watch:

SEARCH FOR SUSPECT: This is happening right now in Delridge. Police were at the Salish Landing complex in the 6900 block of Delridge Way SW looking for a domestic-violence suspect. They made forced entry into an apartment and found the suspect used sheets and blankets to escape down the exterior of the building, and was last seen running “into the woods.” Officers gave this description to dispatch – Hispanic man, 20s, bald, 5’7″, slim, green checkered pants, white or gray tank top. They’ll be using a K9 to search so if you’re in the area you may hear sirens and loudspeaker announcements. 7:29 PM UPDATE: Police told dispatch they have found the suspect.

HIT-RUN WITH STOLEN CAR: Thanks for the texted tip and photos.

Above is a stolen Hyundai Sonata that someone crashed into parked cars southeast of Westwood Village late last night, after 11 pm. At least two were damaged:

After the crash, witnesses told police they saw three people in dark clothing – believed to be teenage boys – get out and head toward Westwood Village. No injuries reported.

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: 9 views, tree to sea

Before the weekend’s over, we have another gallery of reader-contributed West Seattle bird photos! Above, two Northern Flickers, from Chi K Photography; below, two Common Mergansers, photographed by James Tilley along Alki:


And two Crows – one leucistic – who posed for Michelle:

Mark Dale sent this photo of a Cooper’s Hawk in flight over Gatewood:

Two photos from Erin B. Jackson in Arbor Heights – first, a Spotted Towhee:

Next, a White-crowned Sparrow:

From Gentle Tassione McGaughey, a Townsend’s Warbler:

And this Ruby-crowned Kinglet was photographed by Greg Harrington:

Thanks to everyone for sharing their photos – best way to send us a pic, bird or otherwise, is westseattleblog@gmail.com (dfor breaking news info and photos, text 206-293-6302)!

UPDATE: Power outage southeast of Westwood Village

4 PM: Thanks for the tip. On this blustery afternoon, a fallen tree/branch is blamed for that 46-customer power outage southeast of Westwood Village. The reader who texted us says, “We heard a loud boom and then everything went dead.” No other outages reported in West Seattle so far today.

5:31 PM: Our tipster tells us the power was restored around 5.

YOU CAN HELP: Here’s what West Seattle’s only emergency shelter needs right now

(WSB photo, December 2023)

The Westside Neighbors Shelter, co-housed with the West Seattle Veteran Center and American Legion Post 160, is preparing to help people during another round of cold weather, and shelter manager Keith Hughes just sent word that they could use some community help:

Another round of overnight mid-30s cold on the way. The needs for the Shelter right now are:

instant oatmeal packets
instant hot chocolate
Top Ramen
Cup of noodles
laundry detergent pods
disposable razors
cotton gloves
winter-weight socks

The shelter is at 3618 SW Alaska and usually open for donation dropoffs 7 am-5 pm daily.

READER REPORT: Missing a gym bag?

The photo and report are from Laurie – we’re publishing it here rather than in the Lost/Found section because the circumstances suggest possibly stolen/dumped rather than simply misplaced:

Saw this gym bag on my walk this morning. I didn’t look inside but maybe you can post in lost and found. Found halfway down stairs at 60th & Spokane on the left side.

Remembering Kim D. Buty, 1955-2024

Family and friends are remembering Kim Buty, and sharing this remembrance with his community:

Kim David Buty passed away at age 68 on February 9, 2024, at his beach home in West Seattle. He was born November 9, 1955, in Seattle, the fourth child of Frank and Bettie Buty. He attended Our Lady of Fatima Parish School and O’Dea High School, later studying at Western Washington University and then graduating from the University of Washington. He was married August 7, 1982, at Holy Rosary Church in Seattle.

Kim started working for his father’s Independent Delivery business at an early age and later owned and managed Master Movers, another family enterprise that was one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in Seattle. Initially his main customer was Washington Natural Gas. His customer base evolved as he specialized in moving seniors into retirement homes. His efficient work and kindness toward seniors gained him many friends in Seattle retirement residences.

Kim was a devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, great-uncle, and cousin to a large extended family. His fun-loving nature brought him a wide circle of friends as well. For him, hosting a large gathering on the Fourth of July was always the highlight of the year. He was a 38-year member of the Northwest Alfa Romeo Owners Club, serving three years as treasurer and two years as activities chair.

Kim enjoyed sailing and boating, beach time, his Samoyed dogs, tropical fish, travel, restoration of antique clocks, and gardening. He took pride in his garage he organized to house and display vintage cars and all things Alfa Romeo.

Besides his parents, Kim was predeceased by his sister, Sherry, and nephews Ryan and Nicholas. He is survived by his wife Paula, son Rocco, brothers Frank (Carlene), and Steven (Erin), nieces Nina, Christie Heartquist (Scott), and Shelley McCanna (Pat); nephew Mario (Janelle), as well as great-nieces and great-nephews. And Kayli, the family’s Samoyed.

Memorials may be made to Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation or the American Parkinson Disease Association.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Family burial service will be at Calvary Cemetery.

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

10 possibilities for February’s final West Seattle Sunday

(Camellia in West Seattle neighborhood, photographed by Jerry Simmons)

Here are highlights from the listings for today/tonight on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

MINI-POLAR PLUNGE: 9 am every Sunday, you’re welcome to join a group plunge into Puget Sound off Alki – meet at Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki).

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 winter vegetables and fruit plus 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.

CHOCOLATE BEER WEEK CONCLUDES: Last day of this special event at The Beer Junction (4511 California SW), which is open 11 am-10 pm today.

WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Need to borrow something for a home project? Visit the WSTL 11 am-4 pm. (4408 Delridge Way SW, northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center)

ART EXHIBITION: Final day for 29-artist show at Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery (9414 Delridge Way SW). Open today noon-4 pm.

‘BORN WITH TEETH’: 3 pm, the run at ArtsWest (4711 California SW) concludes with a change in plans due to an actor’s illness – an onstage reading will be presented instead, as explained here.

CLASSIC NOVELS (AND MOVIES) BOOK CLUB: 3 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), this month “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is the topic. Details in our calendar listing.

WEST SEATTLE ART MONEY WORKSHOP: 6 pm at Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW), an open invitation to “the region’s artists, talent buyers, brokers, music venues, promoters, event space managers, and municipalities to get insider information for how everyone can make great money in the arts.” Our calendar listing has the RSVP link.

LIVE MUSIC AT THE ALLEY: See and hear the Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8-10 pm.

Planning something that should be on our community event calendar – one-time or recurring? Please email us the info – westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation

911 callers on and near Alki Point reported hearing what sounded like gunfire – and police are finding what appears to be evidence of it. So far, “one live round” in the 3400 block of Beach Drive SW.

BASKETBALL: West Seattle HS boys’ season ends with loss in state opening-round game

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Despite a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback, the West Seattle High School boys’ first game in the state 3A tournament was also their last game of the season, a 60-56 loss to Tacoma’s Lincoln High School this afternoon at Bellevue College. The Wildcats fell behind midway through the first quarter; they trailed the Abes 14-6 after the first quarter, 31-18 at halftime. But WSHS came out fighting for the second half, opening with a three-pointer by #2, sophomore Sully Janiwade. They shaved Lincoln’s lead down to five points twice before the third quarter ended, with back-to-back baskets by #0, junior Alex Pierce:

He was West Seattle’s top scorer for the day, with 15. Second-highest for the Wildcats was #3, senior Bo Gionet, who contributed the first two points of the fourth quarter, bringing them within three of Lincoln:

Half a minute later, #23, senior Pawlose Aschalew, cut the Abes’ lead to one, and followed that basket with a three-pointer, giving WSHS the lead, 47-45, with six and a half minutes left in the game.

The two teams alternated leads and ties until about the two-minute mark, and WSHS fans were on their feet:

But those last two minutes were filled with missed opportunities, and when two foul shots put Lincoln up by four with :14 to go, victory was out of range. The Wildcats finish the season 16-12.

Two more notes: After the game, the tournament organizers announced the Sportsmanship Awards; WSHS’s winner was #13, senior Nathan Schiavo. During the game, head coach Dan Kriley was absent from the bench; we asked athletic director Corey Sorenson and principal Brian Vance, both of whom were at the game, why, but both said they couldn’t comment.

COUNTDOWN: Two weeks until West Seattle recycling/shredding event

Need motivation for pre-spring cleaning? We are now two weeks from the annual recycling/shredding event presented by the West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce – 9 am until noon on Saturday, March 9, in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor). From the official flyer, here’s what you can bring:

No charge, but some limits – primarily four boxes of shreddable paper – and there’s a list of what will NOT be accepted in our calendar listing.

VIDEO: Luna Girls on Alki, 10 years later

West Seattle videographer Mark Jaroslaw shares that video as a reminder of an anniversary – 10 years ago, Lezlie Jane‘s sculpture “Luna Girls on Alki” was installed between the heart of Seacrest Park and Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). It’s a reminder of West Seattle waterfront history a century earlier. The artist has many other works along the peninsula – check them out via the MORE tab on her website.

PHOTOS: Orcas in Elliott Bay

2:37 PM: If you have some time for Saturday afternoon whale-watching, head toward the Elliott Bay shore – Kersti Muul just texted that transient killer whales are heading into the bay. Let us know if you see them!

3:51 PM: Jamie Kinney sent that camera-screen shot of an orca he saw from Don Armeni Boat Ramp. He says they’re still visible from there right now!

4:43 PM: And shortly thereafter, the whales headed out of the bay, per commenter EH.

6:41 PM: Thanks to those who’ve sent photos! These three are from Jamie:

And these two are from Robert Spears:

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Little Free Library arson; car break-in

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY ARSON: Diane sent the report and photo:

This morning at 5:25 am we woke up to the smell of fire and noticed someone had taken all the books out of our little free library and lit them on fire. Fire department responded quickly. Earlier this week someone had taken all the books out and left them all on the ground, but last night the same thing happened and they were all lit on fire. There was also other personal products, lotions, ceramic figurines, etc. that were on fire. We are at the 7200 block of 39th Ave SW.

Diane has reported this to police; we’ll add the number when we get it.

CAR BREAK-IN: This report is from M:

Just wanted to share a reminder to not store car registration or title in your car. (You can use a digital copy of your registration.)

My car was prowled this morning at 3:38 am (near 39th and 100th SW). They broke a window and stole the vehicle registration (in a lock box that they probably thought would contain something much more exciting), along with a binder of car repair records.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Food trucks, beer, costumes @ Special Olympics of Washington’s Polar Plunge fundraiser

(WSB photos)

11:55 AM: Alki’s biggest post-holidays winter event is happening now – the Special Olympics of Washington Polar Plunge. The “plunging” doesn’t actually start until 1 pm, but the accompanying food-trucks-and-beer festival is happening now:

We counted 11 trucks – from west to east, Off the Rez, Thai-U-Up, Tabassum, Kathmandu MoMoCha, Whateke, The Cheese Pit, Sam Choy’s Poké to the Max, SeoulBowl, Theo’s Gyros, Alaska Weathervane Scallops.

Sorry, no lineup for the beer garden, but you can buy tokens for tastings:

And heaters are set up!

This is all scheduled to continue until around 4 pm, near Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), with a costume contest coming up pre-plunge, shortly after noon.

ADDED 7:06 PM: Thanks to Robert Spears for sending photos from the costume contest and plunging!

City approval for major work at Delridge/Orchard gas station

From the “in case you wondered too” file – the land-use-action sign out front of the Arco station at Delridge/Orchard is for major work that just got city approval this week. The owners plan to “remove 2 underground storage tanks and install two new tanks (one 22,000-gallon and one 25,000-gallon tank).” Also: “Existing piping system, dispensers, and trash enclosure to be replaced … (project) includes 1,800 cu. yds. of grading (900 cu. yds. of backfill).” Publication of the decision opens an appeal period, with a March 7 deadline; this notice explains how.

26 notes for your West Seattle Saturday!

(Friday sunset at Alki, photographed by Misa Moore)

Welcome to the weekend! Here’s what’s in our Event Calendar listings for today/tonight:

TRAFFIC ALERT: Northbound lane closures on the 1st Avenue South Bridge, 6 am-noon.

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.

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

POLAR PLUNGE + FOOD TRUCKS: 10 am-4 pm near the Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), it’s two events in one – the Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Washington (you can still register – costume contest noon-ish, plunging at 1 pm), and a food truck festival (10 trucks expected!) and beer-tasting event (tickets required).

SSC GARDEN CENTER: Scheduled to be open 10 am-2 pm today: “The Garden Center at South Seattle College provides Landscape Horticulture students the opportunity to increase their knowledge of plants while gaining real-world retail experience. Plants available for sale are selected, propagated, grown and presented by students. Additional plants are brought in from local growers. (6000 16th Ave SW, north lot)

PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-noon, Community School of West Seattle (9450 22nd SW) welcomes your visit.

MORNING MUSIC: 10:30 am-noon at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), Marco de Carvalho and Friends perform. Info about Marco’s music is here.

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

LUNAR NEW YEAR LANTERN FESTIVAL: Final celebration of Lunar New Year is at the Seattle Chinese Garden (6000 16th SW, off South Seattle College‘s north lot), 11 am-3 pm – details here.

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

SATURDAY SOCIAL AT NEPENTHE: Noon-5 pm, drop in and hang out at Nepenthe – “Mini massage, sound healing and tarot sessions offered. Tea, coffee, and juices served.” (9447 35th SW)

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN: The home of West Seattle history is open for your visit, noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens)

VIETNAMESE CULTURAL CENTER: The center is open to visitors noon-3 pm, as explained here. (2236 SW Orchard)

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room open – wine by the glass or bottle – 1-6 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor).

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS: Walk-in community clinic 1-4 pm at Community School of West Seattle (9450 22nd SW), ages 6 months and up.

LEARN TO MAKE CERAMIC EGGS: 1-3 pm at The Clay Cauldron (5214 Delridge Way SW) – check to see if there’s still room.

NORTHWEST WINE ACADEMY: Tasting room/wine bar open 1-6 pm, north end of South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus.

BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: The West Seattle High School boys play a state opening-round game this afternoon, 2 pm vs. Lincoln HS (Tacoma) at Bellevue College (3000 Landerholm Circle SE). Get tickets here. (We’ll be there and will update the score quarterly via X.)

CHARLES PETERSON AT EASY STREET RECORDS: The photographer signs his Nirvana book, 7 pm. (4559 California SW)

AT KENYON HALL: 7 pm, pianist Ray Skjelbred (solo), reservation link in our calendar listing. (7904 35th SW)

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

‘BORN WITH TEETH’: Final weekend continues for the current play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7:30 pm – tickets here.

JOHN STEPHAN BAND: Live music! 8 pm at Poggie Tavern (4717 California SW)

LIVE AT THE SKYLARK: West End Girls “drag extravaganza” at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 8 pm, all ages, advance tickets here.

BEATS: Saturday night DJ at Revelry Room – 9 pm. Go here to see who’s DJing tonight. (4547 California SW, alley side)

KARAOKE: Saturday night, sing at Talarico’s Pizzeria (4718 California SW), starting at 10 pm, with Michael Van Fleet.

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

Money talk and more at West Seattle school-board rep Gina Topp’s second community chat

The new Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors rep for West Seattle/South Park, Gina Topp, decided to try hosting her second community-conversation meeting online, after having her first one in-person. Result: Less than half the turnout. Could have been the day, time, the fact that many are on break since school’s out for conversation. Nonetheless, conversation ensued, though Topp and her attendees ran out of things to talk about after about 45 minutes, and the Thursday night meeting – announced for an hour – ended early. Like her first one (WSB coverage here), this was more of an around-the-table chance for everyone to bring up a question or comment, rather than an in-depth discussion of any one topic. School funding was a common thread for most, though, with SPS facing a nine-digit budget shortfall. Topp said the district needs to be able to show state reps that they’re being fiscally responsible. She also noted that principals have recently received their schools’ money information for the year ahead and will have to sit down with their Building Leadership Teams (as explained at the recent School Funding 101 event) to “make it work.” One attendee, West Seattleite Fiona Preedy – there though her children have graduated out of the district – spoke about the importance of funding for music, a program that keeps so many kids interested and engaged in school, yet has to fight for funding scraps and plead for donation.

Topp said the board doesn’t have a uniform policy for meetings like these – it’s up to individual directors whether to have them at all – but she intends to continue having them monthly. She also said she’s sharing feedback from her meetings with the rest of the board, so they know what she’s hearing. You can reach her other ways, too – her email address is here. She reminded those in attendance that the next board meeting will be March 6 (watch for more agenda details here). And when asked if she plans to visit schools, Topp said she’s already contacted all the schools in her district inviting them to let her know about occasions on which she can visit.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: One more Lunar New Year celebration Saturday

(Full ‘Snow Moon’ setting this morning, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

The arrival of the full “Snow Moon” brings an end to two weeks of Lunar New Year celebrations. Tomorrow (Saturday, February 24) you’re invited to the final community event announced for West Seattle – the Lunar New Year Lantern Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden. The garden borders the north edge of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus at 6000 16th SW on Puget Ridge. The festival is set to start at 11 am and continue through 3 pm, with music, dance, crafts, story time, tea, and more – the full schedule is here. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s what’s happening one month after 15-year-old Mobarak Adam was shot to death

(WSB photos)

The memorial outside Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool lingers, one month after the January 23 shooting death of 15-year-old Mobarak Adam inside the center. Steps away from the memorial, a crew worked on the outside of the building today:

We believe, but have not yet confirmed, they were working on the new camera system promised for the center. Last night, Seattle Parks’ chief deputy superintendent Christopher Williams told the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners that the new cameras would be in place within “a couple of weeks.” City records show an electrical permit was granted this week for installation of what the application described as “a CCTV system with 16 camera locations.” (The city website shows a similar permit was granted to a different contractor last June; we’ll be following up on why the cameras apparently weren’t installed then.)

Meantime, no new information from police; we had filed a public-records request four weeks ago for the initial report on the incident, and received a notice today that the request has been denied, with the explanation that “the records requested are associated with a case that is under active investigation and non-disclosure is essential to effective law enforcement.” (The reply invited us to try again in about six weeks.) But during Williams’ briefing at the Parks Board meeting last night, he said the city and Seattle Public Schools planned to participate in an upcoming meeting organized by the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA focusing on safety at the adjoining Chief Sealth and Denny International Middle School campuses as well as the center, pool, and stadium facilities across the street. He mentioned a tentative date in mid-March; we have checked with the Sealth PTSA and they say a date isn’t finalized yet.

‘Our goal is to bring The Kenney back to its former status’: New management for West Seattle’s oldest senior-living complex

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Kenney is under new management.

After nine years, East Coast-based Heritage Ministries has ended its operation of the 115-year-old West Seattle senior-living complex. Midwest-based SAK Healthcare is now running it, we learned this week.

“We’re quite excited about the prospects for renewal here,” SAK Healthcare’s chief strategy officer Rick Snider told WSB.

The state of The Kenney has been closely watched since an ambitious $150 million redevelopment plan announced a decade and a half ago, changed amid community scrutiny, and ultimately scrapped in 2011. In 2016, it announced a smaller-scale plan for change, but that too evolved, including a sale of some adjacent properties where The Kenney once planned to build apartments.

After learning about the management change, we asked Snider some questions via email. He says SAK Healthcare “is a leading national advisory specializing in distressed health-care facilities that require strategic redirection and turnaround management services.” The Kenney has not been sold, nor is it in bankruptcy or receivership, he said, though he said SAK Healthcare was hired last month “directly by the governing board for The Kenney in cooperation with the lender.”

Since then, he said, “We’ve been on-site every week since then to conduct assessments and staff training, inspect physical plant issues, work on resolving vendor accounts that are outstanding, and put together short-term plans to stabilize the operations and finances.” This is not likely a long-term relationship, though: “Our turnaround engagements normally do not specify an end date, and they may run anywhere from twelve to eighteen months typically. Our goal is to bring The Kenney back to its former status as the premier senior living community in Seattle.”

What does that mean in terms of operational changes? Snider replied, “Our focus is to improve all aspects of resident care including clinical services and nursing, dietary, aesthetics and physical plant. We are working to rebuild the resident census to enable us to accelerate our improvement plans. We have already begun extensive efforts to restore the beautiful grounds for which The Kenney is known, partnering with Devonshire Landscapes. Many other items of deferred maintenance are also being addressed including the HVAC systems, elevators, and lighting.” Snider says the change has not resulted in any staff cuts, “and we do not plan to reduce staff. We are looking for additional senior living professionals to join the team, including a marketer, and additional staff to support clinical services and resident care.”

We also asked whether residents and their families had been notified of the change: “Yes, our leadership including our CEO, Suzanne Koenig, and our consulting team has met with the resident council and with all residents and family members in a town hall held at The Kenney. We are continuing to send out communications to keep residents and families informed of progress being made.”

Snider says his compay has high hopes for that progress: “The Kenney is a hidden gem and has incredible potential. With the collaboration of residents and staff and our vendors along with the Board, we’re moving the community forward to a brighter future. SAK Healthcare is very proud to have been asked to work with the community and provide its knowledge and skills to address the many challenges that have plagued The Kenney for years.”

The Kenney’s campus at 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, just north of Lincoln Park, includes independent- and assisted-living units, as well as memory care.

NEXT WEEK: See ‘Screenagers Under the Influence’ in West Seattle

“Practical solutions for keeping our teens safe in a changing world” is the focus of the newest film in the “Screenagers” series, and local families are invited to a free screening next Thursday at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW). In case you haven’t already seen it in our Event Calendar, here’s the announcement:

The fentanyl crisis is escalating. Kids are vaping in classrooms and school bathrooms. Dealers direct message teens on social media. And substance use among youth in West Seattle is a big issue. The Healthy Youth Survey in 2021 showed that one quarter of 12th graders at West Seattle High School used cannabis in the previous 30 days–almost 10 percentage points higher than the state average.

Parents and caregivers are looking for ways to protect their kids from substance use. But they’re up against some powerful industries that have literally copied the playbook of tobacco companies from decades ago and supercharged that strategy for our digital age. With the constant, 24-hour deluge of content pushing the normalcy of drugs, alcohol, and vaping on social media, TV, movies, ads, influencers, etc., the substance use culture has never been more appealing and accessible to teens than it is today.

Youth substance use prevention groups in West Seattle and White Center welcome parents, caregivers, and youth to watch the new documentary Screenagers Under The Influence: Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age. The screening is free and will take place at the West Seattle High School auditorium on February 29, 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Register at tinyurl.com/ScreenagersWSHS.

Screenagers Under The Influence is the third feature documentary in the Screenagers trilogy from award-winning Seattle-based filmmaker Delaney Ruston, MD. Trained at Stanford Medical School, Delaney has split her time over the past two decades creating documentaries and providing primary care. She has spent the past 11 years intensely researching the impact of screen time on youth and solutions for screen time balance.

She grounds her latest film in teens’ current reality of being flooded by images on social media, movies, and TV shows about vaping, drugs, and alcohol. Like the first two Screenagers films, Screenagers Under The Influence interweaves cutting-edge science with personal stories to create an informative and entertaining film experience for young people and adults alike. The documentary focuses on practical solutions for keeping our teens safe in a changing world.

The February 29 screening at West Seattle High School is hosted by:

Westside HEY Coalition, a community group focused on youth substance use prevention in the Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School attendance zone;

SW Seattle Youth Alliance, which is working to prevent youth substance use in the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School attendance zone;

Coalition for Drug-Free Youth, which works to keep youth off of substances in the White Center and North Highline areas;

West Seattle High School PTSA