day : 29/01/2024 11 results

Full room and many topics at Gina Topp’s first community-conversation meeting as Seattle Public Schools Board director

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than 20 people filled the meeting room at High Point Library on Sunday afternoon as West Seattle’s new Seattle Public Schools Board director, Gina Topp, held her first community-conversation meeting.

These meetings are casual “what’s on your mind?” events rather than meetings with a speaker, an audience, and a preset agenda. Topp opened by acknowledging it had been her most “difficult” week since taking office two months ago because of the shooting death of Chief Sealth International High School student Mobarak Adam. Elaborating later, she lamented, “There’s nothing I can say to make the situation better .. as a community, we have to look at how did we get here, as policy makers, how do we make sure this never ever happens again.”

An attendee added that Mobarak Adam was remembered at a swim meet a few days earlier with a moment of silence, as well as an acknowledgment of the first responders. Topp said that safety and mental health are two issues of great concern to her; on the latter, the city has allotted millions to help youth, but the district has to figure out how to tap into it. (Chief Sealth IHS and Denny IMS are part of a pilot program.)

Everyone in attendance was invited to introduce themselves and explain why they came.

More than half said they were SPS parents; one was a grandparent. Others were SPS employees past and present. Most were from West Seattle, but a few said they had come from other parts of the city just for the chance to get a school-board member’s attention. One, in fact, expressed concern that community members aren’t really being heard when they comment at board meetings. It’s difficult to sign up for a spot, agreed another attendee.

School funding was a common concern voiced by several people, including the equity issues that accompany the practice of PTAs fundraising for staff members their schools otherwise wouldn’t have.

Read More

ORCAS: Southern Resident Killer Whales’ J-Pod baby vanishes

(Photo by Maya Sears, NMFS Permit 27052)

Sad news tonight about the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales’ newest calf, whose birth was first reported by photographer Brittany Noelle one month ago. The Center for Whale Research reports J60 has disappeared:

The Center for Whale Research is sad to report that the youngest member of J pod, J60, was missing during our most recent encounter with the pod. On January 27, CWR researchers conducted a photo ID survey of J pod in San Juan Channel (Encounter #8). During the encounter, photos were obtained of all other members of the pod, including all potential mothers for J60, but J60 himself was not seen. Given his young age, it is extremely unlikely that J60 was off on his own for the entire duration of the encounter. While our protocols require at least three full censuses of the group to confirm mortality, we now believe that J60 is likely deceased.

The calf was believed to have been born in central Puget Sound, though the “residents” range far and wide. CWR’s report says that while the presumed death is sad, it’s not surprising: “The mortality rate for young calves, especially those born to first time mothers, is very high in the southern residents.”

REPORT #2: ‘Something has to be done eventually’: Hundreds rally and march in memory of 15-year-old killed by gunfire

That’s an old family photo of Mobarak Adam, shared by his sister after a rally and march in his memory this afternoon. He was photographed before entering Denny International Middle School, some of whose students joined today’s gathering along with hundreds of his schoolmates from Chief Sealth International HS, six days after Mobarak’s death at age 15 at Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center.

After the rally and march, his sister told reporters that the family has not heard anything from police about what they’ve learned regarding the circumstances of the gunfire that killed him.

Part of the uncertainty is complicated by the fact a camera in the center was not working. Seattle Parks confirmed that today when we asked: “There is a camera at SWTLC/Pool but unfortunately it was not working at the time. We are taking down that camera and working to get an operational camera up as soon as possible.” That’s one thing protesters asked for (last night’s announcement of the protest included others). But regardless of who was responsible for the gunfire that killed Mobarak Adam, the students who spoke decried the easy availability of guns.

They said action must be taken – from students speaking out if they see one of their peers with a gun, to leaders taking action to get guns off the street. “We’re concerned for our safety, our classmates, our neighbors,” said Mobarak’s sister. Speaking after her, City Councilmember Rob Saka promised to help, saying the death was “entirely tragic, unnecessary, and, I think, preventable”:

Another speaker urged the students to seek help for dealing with grief; when he asked for a show of hands by those who knew Mobarak, many went up, and then many went up again in a call for who wants to “end gun violence”:

That call was echoed by one of Mobarak’s brothers:

“No one deserves what happened to my brother – there has to be more regulation of these guns …people in charge, it’s their responsibility to protect us.” After tragedies, he said, “nothing is ever done … something has to be done eventually.”

Other speakers included Aneelah Afzali of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound and Chief Sealth principal Ray Morales.

“We stand with the family … we love you, we want to support you,” he said, leading the crowd in a moment of silence for Mobarak. Morales also noted that there are now memorials to two young shooting victims “within 100 feet of our school.” (The other is for Ka’Don Brown, 20, found shot to death last year on the southwest edge of the CSIHS campus.)

Then a family friend had a message for the students: “Nobody ever wins with a gun. If you want to win, sit around a table.” And a relative built on that message: “It starts with you. When you see somebody who is doing something they should not, when you see someone with a weapon,” speak up. “Our children should be able to thrive – this happens too many times.”

Shortly thereafter, the hundreds of participants marched up SW Thistle to the pool/center:

That’s where a memorial is in place near the entrance:

Nearby, after the rally ended, the sister shared her memories of a younger brother who made her laugh and was “always helpful,” with a good heart. But, she said, the protest was not just about him – but “about them” – the people whose families she hopes will never go through what just happened to hers.

-By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand, West Seattle Blog co-publishers

FOLLOWUP: Yet another option for e-cycling

Three days ago, we noted the city’s campaign to ensure you know you can’t throw away batteries or electronics. Discussion of other options ensued. And now we have word of another option – from West Seattle resident Kevin Freitas:

Hello, neighbors! I have a passion project at where I photograph, catalog, make videos, restore, and gather people’s memories of handheld electronic or computing devices — and I accept donations! Tablets, unused phones, kindles, MP3 players, video games, digital cameras, old calculators, etc — I’ll either give it a home in my collection, donate to schools or charity, or get them to the proper local recycling spot.

Clean out those drawers or old boxes, then email or text 253-229-5093 anytime to arrange drop-off or pick-up.

DEVELOPMENT: Key land-use approval for 4747 California SW

(4747 California rendering by Ankrom Moisan)

A surprise sighting in the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin today – a key land-use approval for the long-paused project at 4747 California SW, which finished going through Design Review four and a half years ago. The project was designed to be a mixed-use building with a new home for Husky Deli, whose owner Jack Miller is a partner in the site-development team. Last time we updated the project was two and a half years ago, when another partner on the seven-story, ~79-apartment, ~41-parking-space project told us it was “on the shelf for a little while.” We have a message out to inquire whether today’s approval announcement means it’s actively moving forward now, or just means that city bureaucracy got around to the approval (the time span is longer than most we’ve seen)3031135-LU nod. Whatever turns out to be the case, the notice opens a two-week appeal period for the land-use approval, and explains how that works.

UPDATE: Chief Sealth IHS student protest, six days after 15-year-old’s shooting death – report #1

12:17 PM: That’s the scene outside Chief Sealth International High School, where a protest is getting under way, as announced last night by the sister of the 15-year-old boy who died last Tuesday of a gunshot wound across the street at Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center. Police have said that others were with him but have yet to say whether they believe the shooting was accidental or intentional.

12:59 PM: Thistle is currently blocked by police as protesters march to and gather outside SW Pool/Teen Life Center.

1:34 PM: It’s over and the street has reopened. Family members and others including City Councilmember Rob Saka spoke. Full report later.

6:33 PM: Find that report here.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Early-morning gunfire investigation

One incident of confirmed gunfire early today: 911 callers from North Delridge reported hearing suspected gunfire just before 3 am. Responding officers reported finding at least one spent casing “near the trailhead at 25th/Juneau.” No injuries were reported.

BIZNOTE: Here’s why the El Camion food truck vanished in Fauntleroy

Our photo from the 9200 block of 45th SW in Fauntleroy is more about what’s not in it than what is. It’s the spot usually inhabited by the El Camion food truck. Over the weekend, multiple readers wondered where it was and if it was coming back. Our archives reminded us that El Camion left the spot for some maintenance work around this time last year, and that’s what’s happening now too. Reached by email, El Camion management told us, “Currently we are having the transmission repaired because it currently only goes into first gear and reverse. We don’t have any time estimation at this point because they are still assessing the problem and trying to procure parts. This is a very slow time of the year for us at that location and financially, it’s hard to make ends meet and stay open, so we are using this opportunity to have repair work done.” The truck has held that spot in the heart of Fauntleroy’s Endolyne mini-business district since July 2019.

WEST SEATTLE MONDAY: 10 options, plus sunrise scenes

(Photo by Kent Rhodes)

Thanks to everyone who sent photos of the vivid sunrise that began what is forecast to be a warm-for-winter day. Here’s what’s on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BABY STORY TIME: Noon at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).

CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING MEETING: 2 pm at City Hall, the weekly meeting in which councilmembers talk about their plans for the week ahead. Here’s the agenda. Watch live via Seattle Channel.

(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

DINE-OUT FUNDRAISER: 3-9 pm at West Wings (2329 California SW), a portion of the proceeds go to support West Seattle High School boys’ basketball.

GET CRAFTY: 6-10 pm, Monday brings “Crafting and Creativity Night” at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW), info here.

D&D: Open D&D starts at 6:30 pm at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), all welcome, first-time players too. $5.

MEDITATION IN FAUNTLEROY: Free weekly Zen sitting/meditation at the chapel at Fauntleroy UCC (9140 California SW), 7 pm-8:30 pm.

(Photo by Jerry Simmons)

MEDITATION ON ALKI: The Alki Dharma Community invites you to Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) for meditation. 7 pm.

MONDAY NIGHT TRIVIA! Three options tonight – 7 pm at The Good Society (California/Lander); 7 and 8 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at Three 9 Lounge (4505 39th SW); 7:30 pm with QuizFix at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW)

MUSIC AT THE ALLEY: Live music with The Westside Trio, 8 pm at The Alley (behind 4509 California SW), 21+, no cover.

KARAOKE: 9 pm, Monday night karaoke at Talarico’s Pizzeria (4718 California SW).

Have a West Seattle/White Center event to add to our calendar and/or Holiday Guide? Please send info to – thank you!

YOU CAN HELP: Seattle Tigers baseball team ‘Raffle for a Ring’ for Cooperstown journey

The local youth-baseball team Seattle Tigers have launched a unique fundraiser to pay for a dream trip to the home of baseball’s history. Here’s the announcement they asked us to share:

The 12U Seattle Tigers, a local West Seattle travel bseball team, are gearing up for the opportunity of a lifetime – a trip to Cooperstown, the home of legendary baseball memories. They’ll get to play Summer tournament baseball with other 12U teams from across the US, visit the Hall of Fame and participate in a 7-day sleep-away camp with teammates and coaches.

To help turn this dream into a reality, the Tigers have launched a unique Valentine’s fundraiser – a raffle for a dazzling 1-carat diamond ring.

The 12U Seattle Tigers includes a dedicated group of 11 young baseball players, and dedicated coaches who have played together for years on various West Seattle BB, West Seattle LL, All Stars and travel teams. Each player has shown growth of talent and sportsmanship throughout their years. Competing in Cooperstown is both an honor and a challenge, requiring financial support beyond their usual means. The Tigers team is thrilled to invite the local West Seattle community to join them on this exciting journey.

The fundraising efforts center around ‘Raffle for a Ring’ – happening now until Feb. 12th. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this raffle is for a 1 carat round, brilliant cut diamond ring ($8,500 value) generously donated by Menashe & Sons Jewelers. Raffle tickets are priced at $50 each, providing community members with a chance to win this stunning prize while contributing to the Tigers’ Cooperstown fund.

=Members of the 12U Tigers Baseball Team will be in-person at the West Seattle Farmers Market Feb 4th + 11th, to interact and say hello to the public. Each player will have flyers in hand with information on how to purchase a $50 raffle ticket, and talk about Cooperstown!

Join us in supporting the 12U Seattle Tigers as they aim to hit a home run toward Cooperstown. Together, we can help these young baseball players achieve their dreams.

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: January’s final Monday

6:02 AM: Good morning. Welcome to Monday, January 29th!


After a record high of 61 on Sunday, today’s expected to be warmer than normal too – high near 60, partly sunny, chance of rain (especially tonight). Today’s sunrise will be at 7:40 am, sunset at 5:05 pm.


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

Metro today – Regular schedule; check advisories here.

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


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!