day : 02/02/2024 10 results

UPDATE: Crash on eastbound West Seattle Bridge

11:36 PM: Police are blocking all lanes of the eastbound West Seattle Bridge except the exit lane to northbound 99, because of what so far appears to be a one-vehicle crash, with the driver apparently having walked away from the scene – possibly westbound in the eastbound lanes.

12:07 AM: Officers just told dispatch that all lanes on the bridge have reopened. The mystery of the driver hasn’t been solved yet; officers went to the South Seattle residence of the vehicle’s registered owner but reported back that no one answered the door. (Added: The vehicle is a Hyundai Sonata.)

VIDEO: Teen shooting victim’s family and schoolmates protest again. Next stop, City Hall

For the second time this week, relatives and schoolmates of 15-year-old Mobarak Adam gathered outside Chief Sealth International High School and marched to nearby Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool, where he died 10 days ago in a shooting that has been classified as a homicide. Police have not disclosed what they have learned so far about the circumstances of the shooting in a restroom at the center. Whatever happened, the protesters say, Mobarak is another young life lost to gun violence that needs to stop. Like Monday’s rally, this one had short, often emotional speeches. Mobarak’s brother remembered him as “the best brother anyone could have”:

Some of Mobarak’s friends spoke too:

Adults spoke as well, including a family representative:

Some like Chief Sealth assistant principal Hope Perry and Denny International Middle School principal Mary Ingraham reminded the students that they have a role in keeping each other safe:

Government reps were there too – including School Board member Gina Topp, who did not speak. From County Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda‘s office, Chris Lampkin vowed to be “a partner” in the family and schoolmates’ quest for justice:

And Mobarak’s sister Leyla said they’re taking their demands and concerns directly to City Hall next.

She told the crowd about plans for a protest/rally at City Hall for next Friday (February 9th) – no time set yet. While City Councilmember Rob Saka was at Monday’s protest, he was not in view today, but he wrote about the situation in his weekly newsletter, sent this afternoon. He said of Monday’s rally, “Students presented some demands which I strongly support.” Specific to one of them, the lack of working cameras at Southwest Center, Saka wrote that he spoke with Parks Superintendent AP Diaz: “I was informed that the department is assessing the appropriate next steps for the cameras, which may include a replacement of or potential new system. It is very important to me that this be addressed with due haste.” And he wrote, “We all know well that there must be some more stringent laws to prevent gun violence.”

SATURDAY: Early morning Olympic trials viewing party

One of the most unusual events on our calendar happens early Saturday morning at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor):

We are going to host another viewing party for the Olympic Marathon Trials!! We will open the doors at 7 am; the (regular weekly) run will take place as usual at 8 am for those interested. Either Tim or Lori will stay at the shop rather than run so those who wish to stay and view can do so. It will be going still for folks as they return from their run (depending on their distance).

You are also welcome to just show up for the 8 am run.

FOLLOWUP: One less canvas for tagging vandalism

February 2, 2024 5:05 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: One less canvas for tagging vandalism
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

Shortly after publishing this story about the city graffiti law, we went to the future Morgan Junction EV-charging lot to check on the much-tagged fencing mesh that Seattle City Light had promised would be removed. As you can see in our photo above, the fencing wrap has been removed; we last recall noticing it still in place on Tuesday, so this would have happened sometime in the past few days. Morgan Community Association president Deb Barker brought up the longrunning vandalism at her organization’s meeting last week (WSB coverage here); when we then followed up with SCL, they said the mesh wasn’t needed any more anyway, so they’d remove it. The fencing went up after an environmental cleanup and tree/shrub removal at the 42nd/Morgan/Fauntleroy site, which is expected to open for EV charging in about a year.

FOLLOWUP: City Attorney’s Office says graffiti law is enforceable again

(Reader photo from 2023, aftermath of what sender called a ‘rampage’ of vandalism north of The Junction)

The city’s graffiti law is enforceable again, according to this announcement this afternoon from City Attorney Ann Davison‘s office:

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed a lower court ruling that halted the City of Seattle’s ability to enforce its misdemeanor graffiti ordinance.

City Attorney Davison appealed the lower court ruling on July 3, 2023 and made oral arguments to the Court on Jan. 9, 2024. The Court of Appeals made its ruling this morning.

“The people of Seattle won an important victory today when the Ninth Circuit upheld our City’s right to enforce our laws against graffiti property destruction,” said City Attorney Davison. “Graffiti is a massive problem for our City, costing taxpayers, businesses, and residents millions of dollars while creating widespread visual blight. We must have as many tools as possible to protect neighbors and residents impacted by graffiti.”

In June 2023, the U.S. District enjoined the City from enforcing its graffiti ordinance, Seattle Municipal Code 12A.08.020(A)(2).

We reported on that ruling here.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Fauntleroy eatery to open soon with ‘baked goods, pizzas, deli items’ for starters

(File photo)

It was exactly one year ago today that we first reported that the former Original Bakery space in Fauntleroy would be taken over by the owner of CHOW Foods, which operates Endolyne Joe’s next door. It’s been a few months since we last checked in, so we contacted owner Peter Levy to ask about the status – and he just sent the official announcement, including:

bel gatto (a handsome cat) will begin the day with a focus on an assortment of daily in-house baked sweet and savory breakfast pastries and espresso in a café format with all items packaged to go or to be enjoyed in bel gatto’s tiny dining room. Come lunch, options will include an assortment of Sicilian pizzas available in three sizes or by the slice along with a roster of Italian delicatessen sandwiches and salads. A majority of the baking will take place in the 85-year-old double deck Rainier oven that has been in place since this long running bakery’s inception. Chef/Partner Anthony Hubbard said, “We cannot wait to fire up that beast of an oven and start rolling out our pastries & Sicilian pizzas for the neighborhood.” Mr. Hubbard has assembled a corps of bakers from notable bakeries from both West Seattle and Vashon Island to man the ovens of bel gatto.

Open daily at 7 am, bel gatto will focus on those baked goods, pizzas and delicatessen items throughout the day and into the early evening hours with service through 7 pm daily. Come late spring, this neighborhood upstart will be offering an intimate Italian menu in its 28-seat dining room and operating hours will extend to 9 pm. With the commencement of dinner service in the spring, the all-day menu of pizzas, sandwiches and salads will continue to be available packaged to go thru the 9 pm closing.

Levy said they’re hoping to open bel gatto at 9253 45th SW “on or about” February 20th, with initial hours 7 am-7 pm daily.

HELPING: Local advocate invites you to ‘extend your love’ by helping her organize West Seattle blood drive

If you can give blood on February 23, Aliye Menzies would love to have your help organizing a blood drive in West Seattle that day. She needs 35 people to commit to donating in order to book a Bloodworks Northwest mobile donation vehicle for a spot outside Just Another Barbershop, across from Seacrest, at 1617 Harbor Avenue SW, 10 am-4 pm. Aliye advocates giving via her nonprofit Tithing Foundation; we asked her to tell us more about it and why she is organizing a blood drive:

The importance of using people’s 10% is a core foundation on what I stand on for Tithing Foundation. I know it can be difficult to get people to give to their community due to the many other commitments within life. Tithing Foundation helps everyday people in the community use 10% of their time, resources, or finances (or blood) to impact the community. That’s also why I partnered with Just Another Barbershop; as a new business, they expressed the importance of being community pillars and making an impact in people’s lives.

      The reason why I chose BloodWorks NW was an easy pick. In the month of love, everyone is focusing on giving to the people they know and love. Well, what about all the lives that are at risk because they are unable to receive enough blood transfusions? Can’t we look at extending our love this month even to people we may not know? Blood is the life source, and if we choose to donate something that comes freely to us, we will save lives.

To help make this happen, you can respond via this online form. If you have a question first, contact Aliye at

The list for February’s first West Seattle Friday

February 2, 2024 10:21 am
|    Comments Off on The list for February’s first West Seattle Friday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Thursday photo by Thomas Bach, taken from Alki)

Mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here are highlights for the rest of your Friday:

FREE TODDLER GYM #1: Happening now – Fridays 10 am-11:30 am, little ones and their caregivers are invited to open gym time at Arbor Heights Community Church (4113 SW 102nd).

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: Open 1-6 pm at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor).

DIABETIC SUPPORT GROUP: 1 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).

FREE TODDLER GYM #2: 3-5 pm at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW).

VISCON CELLARS: Tasting room/wine bar open – wine by the glass or bottle – 5-9 pm at Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor).

BASKETBALL + FOOD DRIVE: It’s West Seattle HS vs. Chief Sealth IHS tonight at WSHS (3000 California SW) tonight, and if you’re going, you’re asked to bring a donation for this food drive, too. Boys’ junior varsity game at 5:30 pm, girls’ varsity at 7 pm, boys’ varsity at 8:30 pm.

FREE FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: 6-8 pm, come watch “The Little Mermaid” at West Seattle Christian Church (4400 42nd SW). Free admission; bring diapers/wipes to donate if you can. Concessions available for purchase.

TEA-ROOM POTLUCK: You’re invited to the Friday Feast at My Necessitea (3237 California SW), 6:30 pm: “Potluck for new Seattle residents.” Bring a dish to share.

LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Mother-and-son guitarists Little Birdie Duo at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm, all ages, no cover.

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

‘BORN WITH TEETH’: Second night for the new play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7:30 pm – tickets here.

LIVE AT THE SKYLARK: 8 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), Dining Dead, Les Ailes, Mia Day, Timothy Kontoff. $10. Read more about Les Ailes in our calendar listing.

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

Something to add to our calendar? – thank you!

Celebration of Life planned February 24 for Valerie O’Mara, 1957-2024

That reader photo shows more heart lights in Gatewood – which we learned, after featuring two others, are not just for Valentine’s Day; some homes are displaying hearts in honor of a beloved neighbor who recently passed away. (Added – here’s neighbors’ video of more of them.)

The family of that neighbor, Valerie O’Mara, had in fact sent us this remembrance, as they prepare for her Celebration of Life on February 24:

Valerie Barrs-O’Mara, PA, of West Seattle died on January 26, 2024, at the age of 66. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side, after a nearly six-year battle with ALS.

She was born on December 17th, 1957, to George and Margaret Barrs, in Rockford, Illinois. She was raised by her mother, along with her two siblings, Kathy and Casey. Valerie and family moved to New Jersey when she was 16, where she graduated from Livingston High School. She attended Drew University, where she met her husband-to-be Michael, in her sophomore year. They met in Chemistry and wound up at the local pub after class. She graduated with a BA in Zoology in 1979. She often spoke of her college days and the lifelong memories that were made. She went on to attend Cornell Medical School’s Surgeon Assistant Program, in New York City.

Valerie and Michael moved to Seattle from the East Coast in 1981, after Valerie accepted her first Physician Assistant position with Providence. She was a PA in Cardiothoracic Surgery for nearly 40 years, with the bulk of her career at Overlake Medical Center. Before retiring in 2019 due to ALS, she served as the Valve Clinic Coordinator with Overlake-Kaiser Permanente, a role she cherished and loved. Her career was a true joy in her life. She cared deeply for her colleagues and the many patients she served. Upon her retirement, Overlake named an operating control room in her honor, in recognition of her 31 years of compassionate care and dedicated service to the Overlake Cardiac Program. She did get a kick out of having her own “control room.”

Valerie was a natural leader. She organized countless events for her children’s schools (Tilden and Our Lady of Guadalupe) including Halloween carnivals, field days, auctions, and fundraising. As a good friend pointed out, she accomplished more in one day than the rest of us get done in a month.

On March 9th, 2018, Valerie was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Even faced with this horrible diagnosis, she maintained her positive attitude and love of life. As Valerie has always done, she got to work quickly. She and her many supporters on “Team Badass” raised thousands of dollars to Walk to Defeat ALS. She served as a board member at the Evergreen Chapter of the ALS Association. She was on the organizing committee with MLB for Lou Gehrig Day. In 2020, Valerie threw out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners’ First Annual Lou Gehrig Day, with family and friends cheering her on. As a longtime Seattle sports fan and a Mariners season-ticket holder for 30 years, this was a proud moment for her.

Valerie had many relationships she cherished deeply. Her husband of 41 years, Michael, was her caregiver throughout her long battle with ALS. He lovingly took care of her and often said being her caregiver was “the most important job of my life.” They found humor in the day-to-day things and laughed often. She loved her three children, John, Caitlin, and Keegan deeply, and her life centered around being their mom. She had a wonderful, close relationship with her sister Kathy and her brother Casey, who supported her and visited regularly throughout her fight with ALS. She loved her grandchildren Tilly (5) and Hugh (2) more than anything in this world. It was not uncommon to see Val, with Tilly riding on her wheelchair, going through her neighborhood or down to Lincoln Park. She also had many friendships, new and old, and she maintained those relationships seamlessly. She was fiercely loyal to friends and cherished them. As a close friend said, “She had a way of making each one of us feel like her favorite.”

It is hard to sum up who she was because she was such a force. She meant so much to so many. She was thoughtful, smart, generous, optimistic, and non-judgmental. She was quick to smile and had a great laugh. She always followed through with what she said she was going to do. She would often let the “f-bomb” slip when telling a (longwinded) story. She was simply the best and will be missed immensely by her friends and family who loved her. She fought courageously and beat the odds, living six years with ALS. She battled this terrible disease with grace and strength until the very end. Her granddaughter Tilly says it best, “Grammy can walk again”.

She is survived by her husband Michael, her children John (Kelly), Caitlin (Dale), and Keegan; her grandchildren Tilly and Hugh; her sister Kathy (Tony); her brother Casey (Liz); her half-siblings Lance (Kathy) and Kerry; and her sister-in-law Kathleen (Gary), as well as her cousins, aunt, and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebration of Life on February 24th at The Hall at Fauntleroy in West Seattle at 1 pm. We also plan to celebrate her in Pennsylvania in the Spring.

Memorial donations may be made in Valerie’s honor at either:
ALS CURE Project:
The ALS Association: 19717 62nd Ave S, Suite D101, Kent, WA, 98032

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

TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Friday info + alerts

February 2, 2024 6:01 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Friday info + alerts
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

6:01 AM: Good morning. Welcome to Friday, February 2nd!


Partly sunny, low-50s high. Today’s sunrise will be at 7:35 am, sunset at 5:12 pm.


*Protest – Students plan another demonstration outside Chief Sealth International High School, this time at 2 pm. We don’t know if they plan to again march to Southwest Pool/Teen Life Center but you might consider avoiding SW Thistle between 35th SW and Delridge Way at mid-afternoon.

*Tunnel closure – The Highway 99 tunnel will close both ways from 10 pm tonight until 6 am Saturday. It’s a maintenance closure, says WSDOT, with planned work including cleaning cameras, HVAC maintenance, and vegetation removal.


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!