day : 05/05/2024 8 results

VIDEO: Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrates 40 years, and looks ahead to many more

May 5, 2024 10:43 pm
|    Comments Off on VIDEO: Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrates 40 years, and looks ahead to many more
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Story by Tracy Record
Photos/video by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

On a peninsula where people have lived for millennia, 40 years of history is a blink. But for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, it’s been an eventful 40 years – and that’s what SWSHS supporters gathered Friday night to celebrate.

Some in the room at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) were there in the organization’s early days – like former executive director Clay Eals, the night’s co-auctioneer.

Some were descendants of those whose West Seattle history stretches back all those millennia, like Ken Workman of the Duwamish Tribe, a former SWSHS board member born nearby, who noted his people “have been here since the Ice Age” and gave a welcome in “the language that was taken from us so very long ago.”

Two other Duwamish members were among the three featured speakers – another steward of history, Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center director Kristina Pearson, granddaughter of Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen. Pearson observed that “the past is not only a series of events to be studied – it’s a living tapestry of traditions and teachings.” Here’s everything she told the SWSHS:

The tribe is excited about collaborating with the SWSHS, Pearson emphasized.

Those gathered at the gala also heard from Michael Halady, who carved the totem pole that has stood at the Admiral Way Viewpoint since 2006. It factored into the SWSHS celebration because it’s been 10 years since the organization’s Log House Museum put up the pole that Halady’s work replaced. He spoke briefly about the Admiral pole and about his apprenticeship under a prolific carver:

Learning from the past while looking to the future – “Navigating Our Past Anew” – was the theme for the night. Board president Nancy Sorensen recounted accomplishments of the past year – including major maintenance for the museum – and making some collection materials available onlin: “We’re working hard to develop and improve our museum and reach out to our community.” While the SWSHS currently is without an executive director, Sorensen lauded programs and community-outreach director Elizabeth Rudrud for her work. Rudrud spoke too, starting with words of remembrance for someone Sorensen had also mentioned, former board president Kathy Blackwell, who died earlier this year:

“This place contains a multitude of stories,” Rudrud noted, including the life stories of some in the room, including Carol-Ann Thornton, who played a key role in desegregating Seattle schools in the ’60s:

Staff and volunteers will continue working to “transform how people interact with SWSHS,” Rudrud promised. “We are all part of the peninsula, here because we love this place and share a vision for its future.”

A general reflection about why organizations like this matter was delivered by Alex Gradwohl, program director for the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area:

As Gradwohl underscored with her story of a group of volunteers, each of whom had traveled a different path to come to the project, “history can bind us together … engaging people with stories of our past.”

Stories were behind the featured live-auction items of the night, with Eals (above) and Mike Shaughnessy (below) serving as auctioneers.

Three people bid $600 each for tours of the West Duwamish Greenbelt with Workman (who is not only Duwamish but also a direct descendant of Chief Seattle). A historic West Seattle business, Husky Deli, donated an item that went for $1,600 – a chance to make an ice-cream flavor, name it, and launch it at a party with up to 20 people. And the artist who’s been commemorating history makers via signal-box murals, Desmond Hansen, will join a $1,200 bidder in designing and painting a custom mural, either on a box or for personal display (the winning bidder. B.J. Bullert, said she had Earl Robinson in mind, a West Seattle-born music luminary about whom she made the documentary Earl Robinson: Ballad of an American).

Between the live and silent auctions, the gala raised at least $50,000, surpassing the SWSHS goal. That would likely have gladdened the heart of Elliott Couden, who founded the organization in 1984. Eals recalled interviewing Couden 20 years ago, not long before his death, and quoted him, from a booklet that’s in the Seattle Municipal Archives: “I think we’re in a crucial time. We will never be challenged more to love instead of hate, to trust instead of distrust, than we are right now … society … can’t stay together in harmony unless we are deliberately willing to sacrifice as necessary to help change things. I just hope we’ll all feel our own personal responsibility to reflect understanding and sharing, and love and caring.”

The love and caring those in the room showed for SWSHS was obvious – and the organization is working to ensure it serves all of the peninsula’s 100,000+ people.

WHAT’S NEXT: Every month on the second Thursday night, SWSHS has an online speaker in the Words, Writers, Southwest Stories series – next Thursday (May 9), see and hear Luther Adams. Friday and Saturday most weeks are when you can visit the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens) in person, noon-4 pm. And 1,000+ collection items are available for online viewing any time.

Alki Point Lighthouse tour season to start later this month

Again this spring/summer, the historic Alki Point Lighthouse will open for free weekly tours, as announced today:

Alki Point Lighthouse Tour Season starts May 26th

(USCG Auxiliary photo by Debra Alderman)

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers will be offering free lighthouse tours most Sunday afternoons between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. (No tours June 16th.)

First visitors enter the site at 1 p.m. Last tour begins at 3:45.

Address: 3201 Alki Avenue SW


Any tour updates will be published here on Friday each week:

Or refer to this website for more details.

The lighthouse dates back 111 years – you can read its history here.

LIST: 24 fundraisers on the 500+-sale map for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day on May 11

So far the forecast looks promising (sunny and warm!) for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day next Saturday (May 11), and that’s great news for all 500+ sellers on this year’s map (clickable online version here, printable PDF guide here) and the neighbors/shoppers who’ll be visiting them. Starting tonight, we’ll publish daily previews, including mini-lists of popular sale categories, starting tonight with the (updated) 24 sales that are at, and/or benefiting, nonprofits/schools – click these numbers on the map to see locations and listings:

Sales #20 and #220 are benefiting the White Center Food Bank
Sale #71 is benefiting Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby
Sale #94 is at the West Seattle Eagles
Sale #111 is benefiting Puget Sound Goat Rescue
Sales #139 and #173 are raising money to cure breast cancer
Sale #156 is raising money for Hazelwood Preschool
Sale #184 at Genesee Hill Elementary is raising money for a school in Liberia
Sale #189 at West Seattle High School is benefiting WSHS Care Coordination
Sale #221 in the St. John the Baptist lot next door is benefiting the WSHS Volleyball Team
Sale #282 is benefiting Highline Premier FC girls’ teams
Sale #295 is benefiting the West Seattle Timebank
Sale #351 is a “record swap and spin” at and benefiting Kenyon Hall
Sales #389 and #448 are benefiting Providence Mount St. Vincent
Sale #413 is the Solstice Park P-Patch‘s annual fundraising plant sale
Sale #415 is benefiting BSA Troop 284
Sale #422 is benefiting Delta Kappa Gamma educational programs
Sale #455 is raising money for rainforest work
Sale #465 is benefiting Fairmount Park Elementary
Sale #502 is benefiting the Pepper Foundation‘s work with foster kids
Sale #506 is the annual plant sale for the Lung Force Walk to cure lung cancer
Sale #509 is at and benefiting the cooperative elementary Bridge School

Official sale hours next Saturday are 9 am-3 pm – some sellers start earlier and/or later, and some even add extra days; see the listings for those details (in the guide, or click any number on the map to open an info-bubble showing the descriptive info).

West Seattle filmmaker presenting award-winning ‘Ultimate Citizens’ at SIFF

That’s the trailer for “Ultimate Citizens,” a documentary by West Seattle filmmaker Francine Strickwerda, which she describes as “a 52-minute gem of a doc about an Iranian American primary school counselor and ultra-athlete who helps refugee and immigrant kids in Seattle find belonging on their way to compete in the world’s largest Ultimate Frisbee tournament. The doc is ‘kid appropriate’ and seriously fun.” It’s already won awards on the road to its upcoming screenings at SIFF (the Seattle International Film Festival), on 12:30 pm May 12 and 4 pm May 14 (at SIFF Cinema Uptown on Queen Anne). More about the movie, from the news release sent to us:

While set in the worlds of primary-school education and athletics, ULTIMATE CITIZENS offers a fresh and compelling perspective on the immigrant experience in the U.S. Far removed from contentious media headlines are families who settle quietly, labor long hours, and find their way into the American Dream. The U.S. provided (69-year-old Jamshid Khajavi) safe refuge from the political turmoil in Iran that marked the late 1970s; in return, his contributions to the Seattle community have benefitted generations of kids, making the city and society at large better off.

A broader narrative of the film is the role that teachers, school counselors, coaches, and administrators play as extended family members for many students and parents, especially when parents must work multiple jobs or odd hours to make ends meet.

ULTIMATE CITIZENS is a captivating blend of bright colors, artful editing, and candid verité moments. Tender familial and community scenes are interwoven with the underlying tournament narrative in a film that culminates in the thrill of the “big game” with Khajavi’s underdog team competing against teams from wealthier, better-funded athletic programs.

This is filmmaker Strickwerda’s third documentary (we reported on “Oil and Water back in 2010). She is co-proprietor of the West Seattle-based creative-video agency Hullabaloo. Tickets to her film’s SIFF screenings are available via

‘Give Them Space’: How boaters can help Southern Resident Killer Whales this season, even before new law takes effect

This weekend marks the official start of boating season, and boaters are encouraged to keep their distance when Southern Resident Killer Whales are in the area. Here’s the reminder from a coalition of advocates and authorities:

(Photo of Calf J56 [Tofino] and Mother J31 [Tsuchi], by Mark Sears, NOAA Permit #21348)

Last year the Washington State Legislature passed a new law requiring boaters to stay 1,000 yards away from the critically endangered Southern Resident orcas, beginning in January 2025. With the opening of the boating season, national and regional conservation groups encourage boaters to take the voluntary pledge at and give the whales the space they need today.

The Southern Resident orca population currently consists of 74 individuals, nearing their historical low of 71. “There are nine calves under 5 years old in the population, including Tahlequah’s newest calf, and six of those are female,” said Donna Sandstrom, director of The Whale Trail. “The future of the population is here. Their ability to survive and thrive into adulthood depends on the actions that we take today.”

“Our goal is that every boater in Puget Sound, and through the Southern Resident orcas’ range, will take this pledge, and do their part to give the whales the space they need, even before it is required,” said Rein Attemann, Puget Sound senior campaign manager at Washington Conservation Action. “Boaters have a unique opportunity to play a role in the Southern Residents’ recovery, simply by avoiding them while at sea, and making it easier for the whales to find and catch their prey.”

“The Southern Residents are on the brink of extinction due to human-caused threats, including lack of prey, toxic contaminants and disturbance by boats and noise,” said Kathleen Callaghy, Northwest representative at Defenders of Wildlife. “Giving the whales space is the simplest and most immediate way we can help them, and we don’t have to wait until 2025 to do so.”

The law implements a recommendation from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) based on recent science showing that when vessels approach closer than 1,640 yards it significantly reduces the whales’ ability to find and catch prey. The harm from vessel noise and disturbance is more pronounced in females, who abandon hunts when boats approach closer than 400 yards.

Currently, commercial whale-watching operators are required to stay 1,000 yards away from Southern Residents most of the year, while other boaters are allowed to approach as close as 300 yards. The new law resolves that difference. Having one distance for the majority of boaters gives the whales the space they need to forage successfully, and the rule will be easier to communicate, comply with and enforce.

“Even though the distance requirement is not mandatory until 2025, there’s no reason to wait to give the whales the space they need,” said Lovel Pratt, marine protection and policy director at Friends of the San Juans.

“On the long road to recover the Southern Residents, Washington State has taken a big step forward,” said Miguela Marzolf, ocean policy coordinator at the Seattle Aquarium. “We encourage the federal governments of Canada and the United States to follow suit and give the whales the space they need throughout their range.”

“WDFW’s Orca Regulations Communications Advisory Group, or ORCA Group, is working hard to help the Department get the word out about the upcoming change to the distance regulations,” said Julie Watson, WDFW’s Killer Whale Policy Lead. “Everyone can help by spreading the word and setting an example now by practicing the 1,000-yard setback before it goes into effect in 2025.”

SPORTS: High-school baseball, softball postseason games this week

May 5, 2024 9:44 am
|    Comments Off on SPORTS: High-school baseball, softball postseason games this week
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools | WS & Sports

Local high-school baseball and softball teams play postseason games this week:

BASEBALL: Postseason play is already under way. West Seattle HS (16-5) plays Seattle Prep at 4 pm tomorrow (Monday), Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center (1321 SW 102nd), after a 2-1 postseason win over Lincoln on Saturday … Chief Sealth IHS (12-12) plays Bishop Blanchet at 4 pm Wednesday, also at Steve Cox Memorial Park, after a 7-0 postseason win over Roosevelt on Friday.

SOFTBALL: The first postseason games are this week – CSIHS (6-12) plays Rainier Beach at 4 pm Tuesday, WSHS (9-8) plays Eastside Catholic at 1:30 pm Wednesday, both at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).

PHOTOS: Emerald City Ride crosses westbound West Seattle Bridge, circles peninsula

7:17 AM: That’s a screenshot from a few minutes ago as the SDOT traffic camera at the crest of the West Seattle Bridge showed the first bicyclists crossing the bridge on the Emerald City Ride. Between now and 9 am, the riders, who started near the stadiums and are accessing the bridge via southbound 99, will head over the westbound bridge and onto Harbor Avenue to continue the ride around West Seattle. The ride is on the westbound lanes only; eastbound remains open to motorized traffic. After riding around Alki and down to Fauntleroy, they’ll head back through eastern West Seattle and via the regular path on the low bridge. (Here are ride details sent to riders.) Updates to come.

7:27 AM: That’s from our photographer along Harbor Avenue, as the post-bridge riders head north/west along the West Seattle waterfront.

(added) And some video:

Meantime, the SDOT camera at 1st/Dearborn just showed another wave heading onto the short closed stretch of southbound 99, which closes to riders at 8 am.

This is a ride, not a race, so departures are going in waves.

7:46 AM: Still crossing. Noticed a recumbent rider too.

Thanks to Debra Salazar Herbst for this view of riders on Alki Avenue:

8:10 AM: This is the first Emerald City Ride since 2019; previous rides have included other iconic roadways such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct pre-demolition. The riders, meanwhile, are down to a trickle; SDOT has turned the high-bridge camera to look eastward:

Unrelated to the ride, a car has stalled/broken down on the low bridge (thanks to Rose for the word on that) so access to the westbound low bridge is backed up.

8:27 AM: Watching the live camera pointed north/west on the high bridge again. A few stragglers are still crossing.

That was as of a few minutes ago. Now they’re picking up the cones, so it looks like the bridge part of the course has cleared.

8:35 AM: Down on the low bridge, some riders are headed back to the SODO start/finish line, via the regular path:

8:45 AM: Haven’t seen cars on the high bridge yet (15 minutes remain until the official preannounced “no more bridge access” cutoff).

8:51 AM: High bridge now reopened to motorized vehicles. We’ll check with Cascade later to see what the final registration total was for the ride.

ADDED 5:24 PM: Thanks to Allyne Armitage for rider’s-eye-view photos:

Emerald City Ride, music, theater, art, more for your West Seattle Sunday

May 5, 2024 5:55 am
|    Comments Off on Emerald City Ride, music, theater, art, more for your West Seattle Sunday
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Here’s what’s happening for your Sunday, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

EMERALD CITY RIDE: Above is the SDOT traffic camera looking northwestward across the crest of the West Seattle Bridge, across which hundreds of bicycle riders will be in view, in the westbound lanes, after 7 am. As part of the Cascade Bicycle Club‘s Emerald City Ride, they’ll be on southbound 99, then the westbound high bridge, and then on surface streets around the peninsula before heading back to the start line in SODO. Only the westbound high bridge will be closed, and it should reopen by 9:30 am. Here’s our original preview with details. We’ll be tracking this in a separate story starting by 7 am and will include an update when the westbound bridge closure ends.

HIGH POINT LIBRARY CLOSED: The branch at 3411 SW Raymond is closed Sundays through at least early June as part of a schedule shuffle as the system deals with staffing shortages.

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: Meets at 9 am Sundays at rotating locations – today it’s Realfine Coffee‘s south location (35th SW & SW Kenyon).

BEE GARDEN NEEDS YOU: 10 am-noon, show up at the West Seattle Bee Garden (Graham/Lanham) and dig in!

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

KINDIE WEST CONCERT SERIES: Live family music with Johnny Bregar, 10:30 am at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW).

MAKERS’ ART MARKET: First market of the season! Local makers show and sell their creations at Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki), noon-5 pm.

CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO AT OUNCES: Noon-6 pm festivities including a food truck. (3809 Delridge Way SW)

POP-UP ART GALLERY: Noon-6 pm, the Feather in the Wind weekend pop-up‘s final day over Alki Arts (6030 California SW)

‘MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM,’ LAST CHANCE: See the Chief Sealth IHS Drama Club/Bayfest Youth Theatre production at 2 pm at the CSIHS Theater (2600 SW Thistle) – get your ticket(s) online here. Marc Giedeman, who sent the photo above, wrote: “It is an amazing fun modern abridged edition of the play. Please come out and see what amazing wonders a comedy of errors can be.”

(added) SOCCER: Free admission to preseason match for West Seattle Junction FC, 2 pm vs.United Cultures FC at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Club (2801 SW Thistle).

MUSICIANS FOR THE WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK: These regular performances at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) are part of why WSFB honored C & P with its Instrument of Change award this year. Enjoy music and support the WSFB, 3-5 pm.

LIVE MUSIC AT THE ALLEY: Your weekend’s finale can be music by the Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8-10 pm.

Are you planning something that should be on our community event calendar – one-time or recurring? Please email us the basics – – thank you!