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VIDEO: SYML @ Easy Street Records

Before his sold-out show in Columbia City, SYML – Seattle-area musician Brian Fennell – took the stage this evening at Easy Street Records in The Junction. WSB’s Jason Grotelueschen dropped in for a bit of video. SYML’s first album officially goes on sale in early May; tonight’s Easy Street audience got a preview. (Here’s the story behind the name, among other things.)

ROAD-WORK UPDATE: Avalon project, after 2 days

That’s the traffic revision on Avalon at Genesee, as we saw it while driving through late this afternoon, on the second day since the year-plus Avalon/35th/Alaska repaving/rechannelization project started gearing up. We’ve also received an update from SDOT‘s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth:

After assessing the project corridor today, we will be staging our equipment at 30th Ave NE from SW Avalon Way to the nearest driveway. This location was chosen because it minimizes impacts of people traveling from SW Avalon Way to the Delridge neighborhood. Local Access and Driveway access on 30th Ave SW will be maintained via SW Yancy and SW Genesee streets. Crews will be storing equipment and materials for our work in Zone B at this location. We expect this closure to last up to 3 months.

Additionally, we have a no left turn in place for southbound SW Avalon Way at the SW Genesee St intersection. The no left turn is in place for safety of people driving due to the inability for a left-turn queue during construction as we begin work near the SW Genesee St intersection.

Zone B is the Genesee-to-Yancy section of Avalon where work will be done first; early next month, work will start on 35th between Avalon and Alaska. For more project details, including the rest of the phasing, see the preview we published last Friday.

SPORTS: After 10 years at West Seattle High School, boys-basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio goes collegiate

(WSB photo from March 4, 2017, after WSHS boys took 3rd place at state – Coach Fazio, 2nd from right)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“So many great memories.”

After 10 years at West Seattle High School, that’s what boys-basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio will be leaving with.

He has just announced that after this school year is over, he will be taking a new position, coaching men’s basketball at Seattle Pacific University under head coach Grant Leep.

WSHS athletic director Corey Sorenson is not surprised. “I realized during my first year at West Seattle that Keff should be coaching at the college level.”

Fazio has been head coach of the Wildcats for six years, with a 92-64 record, after four years as an assistant coach. He’s a two-time Metro League Coach of the Year (2017 and 2018); 2017 was the year the WSHS boys finished 3rd place at state – their highest finish ever. The team also went to state this past season, and appeared in the district tournament six times during Fazio’s tenure.

(WSB photo from 2019 state tournament)

“It has been a true honor to coach for the community that I grew up in,” Fazio told WSB. “I have had many family members attend WSHS and I hope we made you all and the community proud. Coaching in the Metro League was an amazing experience, and helped shape the man I am today. I enjoyed competing against all the great players and coaches our league has to offer. Our focus at WSHS during my time was a philosophy on preparation and belief. I think we accomplished that, but you don’t win many games without great players, and I have been fortunate to coach some really good ones.” He adds, “I will always cherish the players and the memories,” especially daily interactions at practice.

AD Sorenson says the search for Fazio’s successor will start immediately. And it’ll be a challenge: “Coach Keffrey has been the heart and soul of our basketball program and an irreplaceable leader within our school. This opportunity could not have gone to a more deserving person. It has been a blessing to have him lead our basketball program these past 6 years. Seattle Pacific University is getting a phenomenal coach. I look forward to following his career for years to come.”

And Coach Fazio’s parting words: “I would like to thank the West Seattle community for your support. So many people helped me get our program to where it is today. West Seattle is truly a unique place. I am forever grateful to you all. To the families, thank you for putting up with me. The players, thank you for believing in me, and my coaches, thank you for supporting me. Last, but certainly not least my family for encouraging me to pursue my dreams and supporting me, and my wife Janelle for being a constant source of support and love through the good and tough times. I would not have been able to give my all to WSHS without her being by my side.

“I would also like to thank the WSHS admin team and teachers for their support.”

He’ll start at SPU in July.

UPDATE: Vehicle fire on 35th SW

4:17 PM: Haven’t yet heard which side it’s on but a car-fire response might make traffic tricky on 35th SW near Trenton for a while. Seattle Fire and Police are both headed that way.

4:28 PM: Photo added. 35th SW is shut down between Cloverdale and Trenton right now. No injuries.

5:04 PM: SFD has closed the call. We’ll be checking in a few minutes to see if the street has reopened.

5:27 PM: Fully open.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2019: Registration ends next week

130+ sales are now ready to be mapped for the 15th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, coming up Saturday, May 11th. If you’re planning a sale, here’s your reminder that registration ends next week – Thursday, April 25th, is the cutoff, so we can get busy with the map and listings, which will be available in clickable and downloadable/printable formats one week before WSCGSD as usual. We have sales signed up all over the peninsula, north to south, east to west, probably something in walking distance of wherever you live – every year we hear from people (both sellers and shoppers) who say they most enjoyed meeting neighbors. 9 am-3 pm are the official sale hours on May 11th, but if you plan to start early and/or end late, just be sure that’s part of the “ad” you include when you register, so it’ll be mentioned on the map. Ready to register? Here’s where to start.

HAPPENING NOW: All-day awareness event @ South Seattle College as part of funding fight

(WSB photos)

60 percent of our state’s college students, 40 percent of the funding. That’s one rallying point as educators and students fight for more funding of the state’s Community and Technical Colleges, including South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge, where an all-day awareness/advocacy event continues until about 3 pm at the Clock Tower Plaza. Participants have numerous options for sending messages to Olympia, where a bill to “Reinvest in Our Colleges” got stuck in committee:

Other messages are on display in signage reflecting SSC’s multicultural, multilingual student body:

Among the educators we found at the plaza, SSC president Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap:

Dealing with the budget was a major challenge she listed when we talked with her as her presidency began last fall. Meantime, the background for today’s event and others around the state is here.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: More stolen golf clubs

For the second time this week, we’ve received a reader report of a car prowler getting away with golf equipment. This report is from Danielle:

I wanted to report that car prowler got into my husband’s car early Sunday morning —sometime between 1a and 7a parked in front of our home in Westwood. The prowler tried to steal our car, but apparently can’t drive a manual… so settled for stealing my husband golf clubs (an amassed collection Ping G30s, some Titleist, a couple of TaylorMade, and an old Karsten from his grandpa – who passed) in a beige Adams golf bag. They’re more sentimental value than anything, but would love and appreciate it if people could be on the lookout for the clubs, maybe abandoned somewhere.

And one more reminder that, as featured in the daily list, you can talk with/hear from local police at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

9 for your West Seattle Tuesday

(“Backyard raptor” photographed by Gary Jones)

Lots going on:

HOLY WEEK CONTINUES: Our list of local churches’ special services/events is here.

SYML AT EASY STREET: Solo performance in-store at 6 pm, signing to follow. Free, all ages. (California/Alaska)

STUDENT ART SHOW: Chief Sealth International High School‘s International Baccalaureate program invites you to come see its students’ visual-arts creations, years in the making. 6:30-8 pm. (2600 SW Thistle)

ZECHARIAH VALETTE: “Professional pianist and vocalist extraordinaire” performs at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), musical selections from the ’50s through the ’70s, and all are invited, 6:30 pm. Free. More info here. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

EVENING BOOK GROUP: Reading/read the 2019 Seattle Reads book? “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui is the featured title for this month’s High Point Library book group, 6:30 pm. (3411 SW Raymond)

TOASTMASTERS: Local club 832 invites you to visit at 6:30 tonight at Brookdale West Seattle. What’s Toastmasters, you ask? The club is “part of Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organization that teaches speaking and leadership skills. Toastmasters educational program offers self-paced supportive learning environment where you can build your leadership skills, improve speaking skills and gain self-confidence.” Second floor. (4611 35th SW)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: Monthly chance to hear from and talk with local police about West Seattle crime/safety concerns, as well as a special guest – this month from the Internet Crimes Against Children unit. 7 pm at Southwest Precinct. (2300 SW Webster)

UNPLUGGED – A MUSICAL GATHERING: Tonight’s acoustic night at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. All genres, all ages. Come play! (5612 California SW)

MEET THE CANDIDATE: City Council candidate Phil Tavel‘s drop-in “Tuesdays with Tavel” event is 8-10 pm, upstairs at Ephesus Restaurant this week. “Share comments, suggestions and concerns about issues or opportunities in D1.” (5245 California SW)


From the WSB Easter/Passover/More page: St. John’s unique Stations of the Cross

All week long, along with non-religious events like egg hunts, our Easter/Passover/More page is where to find special local services and gatherings. Tomorrow night (6:30 pm Wednesday), St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church invites the community to a unique Stations of the Cross observance:

The devotion known as the Stations of the Cross is an adaptation to local usage of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem: the offering of prayer at a series of places in that city traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death.

The number of stations-which at first varied widely-finally became fixed at 14. Of these, eight are based directly on events recorded in the Gospels. The remaining six (numbers 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 13) are based on inferences from the Gospel account or from pious legend.

In this innovative and adaptive version of the liturgy; elements of art and music are blended to create a unique experience of Jesus’ passion. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to experience prayer, live-painting, stringed instruments, and candlelight woven together into a blend of story and emotion as we prepare to walk the final days into Jesus’ death and resurrection.

St. John’s is at 3050 California SW. See what else is happening this week by browsing our page here.


(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

7:02 AM: Good morning! No traffic or transit alerts so far, but two reminders:

AVALON PROJECT: SDOT‘s big project continues.

STADIUM ZONE: Mariners are home again at 7:10 pm vs. Cleveland, so there’s extended West Seattle Water Taxi service.

VIDEO: Miss Reese Fashion Club on the runway at VAIN, inspired by ‘Rebel Girls’

25 girls who’ve been studying design in the Miss Reese Fashion Club showed their creations at VAIN in the West Seattle Junction on Monday night. This year, the inspiration was “Rebel Girls.” Each participant focused on one special “rebel” who inspired her – for Luka, Rosie the Riveter:

For Pilar, Mata Hari:

For Emily, Hatshepsut the Pharaoh:’

For Audrey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

In our photo, she’s with Miss Reese herself, who teaches the design class at West Seattle Art Nest. In addition to modeling outfits designed with their inspirations in mind, the girls also created presentations about them:

And of course proud families were at VAIN to cheer them on:

The other girls and their inspirations: Emma, Michelle Obama; Gigi, Nancy Wake (WWII spy); Maria, Ada Lovelace (mathematician); Ilya, Helen Keller; Clare, Jill Tarter (astronomer); Myla, Coco Chanel; Sam, Alek Wek (supermodel); Jada, Beyoncé; Monroe, Madonna; Lola, Marie Callas; Gracie, Audrey Hepburn; Ava, Misty Copland; Gabby L., Simone Biles (gymnast); Dylan, Jessica Long (swimmer); Gabi K., Mary Kom (boxer); Ella, Grace O’Malley (pirate); Bella, Anne Bonny (pirate); Lainey, Jacquotte Delahaye (pirate); Shai, Brenda Chapman (director); Layla, Christina, Queen of Sweden; Marlies, Cleopatra.

VOTE! Which five District 1 projects should get Neighborhood Street Fund money?

It’s time! The city has opened voting on proposed Neighborhood Street Fund projects. Through May 5th, you can use this ballot to vote for five projects you’d like to get funded. Assuming you want to vote in West Seattle/South Park District 1 (you can choose a different district on the ballot if you prefer), here are your choices – we’ve linked them to the full-proposal PDFs as also linked on the ballot:

*Trenton Street Improvements
*West Seattle Bridge Trail Connections
*Admiral Junction Pedestrian Crossing Improvements
*Sylvan Way Low-Cost Sidewalks
*Pedestrian Crossings in The Junction
*SW Holden Street Improvements
*Sylvan Way SW Improvements
*Highland Park Way Improvements
*Marine View Drive SW Guard Rail
*Delridge Pedestrian Crossings
*Westwood Transit Center Improvements
*Longfellow Creek Safety Improvements
*Crosswalk at 26th and Cambridge
*SW Brandon Street Sidewalks

Eligibility rules:

Voting is open to anyone age 11 and up who lives, works, goes to school, worships, receives services, volunteers, or is part of a program in the City of Seattle.

The ballot’s also available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Somali, all linked here. If you’d rather not vote online, you can also do it at Seattle Public Library branches, or at a pop-up voting event – nearest one will be April 24, 3-6 pm, at Roxbury Safeway (which is, oddly, outside city limits, but not by much – 9620 28th SW). Results of this vote will go to the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee for final decisionmaking.

Looking for college cash? Application time for West Seattle Rotary’s Gambriell Scholarship

One of the ways in which the Rotary Club of West Seattle serves the community is by offering college-scholarship money. It’s application time for one of their programs – here’s the announcement:

Scholarship opportunity – The Rotary Club of West Seattle Service Foundation offers the Vern Gambriell Scholarship, an annual award totaling about $6,000, to one or more students in order to make it possible for students to pursue a post-secondary educational program at an accredited institution.

The specific desire of this West Seattle donor (Vern Gambriell) is that assistance is provided to students who would not otherwise be able to attend college and that preference will be given to residents of West Seattle. Therefore, this scholarship is awarded based on financial need and academic merit. Funds may be used for tuition and fees and is sent directly from the Scholarship Fund to the school once the information from the student is provided.

Application Deadline – May 17. Click here for more information.

FOLLOWUP: Updates on 3 West Seattle parks’ play-area projects

(WSB photo from High Point dedication day, March 23)

With the recent completion of the renovated play area at High Point, you might have wondered what’s up with the three other West Seattle parks where play-area renovations are planned. We asked Seattle ParksKaren O’Connor today.

*Puget Ridge and EC Hughes: “Puget Ridge Play Area Renovation project and E.C. Hughes were bundled and put out to bid together to make the projects more enticing to bidders. Bid opening was in February and we are waiting on final contracting review prior to awarding the construction contract. It has not been determined if the contractor will start EC Hughes or Puget Ridge first. We are going to be working with the contractor and SPU to set the timeline for these projects.” (Seattle Public Utilities is involved because the Puget Ridge site – where we covered a design meeting last summer – needs some drainage improvement.)

*Lincoln Park South: “We anticipate putting this out to bid in early summer and start construction in the summer.” (This project dates back to the summer of 2017, when the previous play structure had to be taken out of service due to safety concerns.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Bank robbery in The Junction

3:58 PM: If you’ve noticed the police response in The Junction – they’re investigating what was initially described in radio communication as a robbery or attempted robbery at HomeStreet Bank (4022 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor). They’re looking for a suspect described as having headed north up the alley north of the bank, a white man in his 30s, buzzcut hair, about 6’2″, thin build, gray hooded sweatshirt with green/white lettering or emblem, blue or black bandanna, jeans. A K9 is helping police search.

4:03 PM: Radio communication indicates money was taken, so this was a robbery. First bank robbery/attempted robbery in our area in almost two years, according to our archives.

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Counting down to recommendations

The next mile-marker in the planning of West Seattle to Ballard light rail is this Wednesday, when the Stakeholder Advisory Group meets to make its recommendations for routing/station locations to send into the environmental-study phase. Their recommendations are to be considered by the Elected Leadership Group nine days later (April 26th), and then the Sound Transit Board has final say in May. To prepare for this week’s meetings, both groups were sent the “scoping comments” last week, earlier than originally planned, as had been requested by ELG members including City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.

Meantime, the Seattle Planning Commission has just sent another comment letter to the ELG, urging among other things that the “representative project” be “removed from consideration” – here’s the letter the commissioners approved at their meeting last Thursday:

The SPC is a city-appointed advisory group. It also sent comments during the scoping period, it was noted during last Thursday’s meeting downtown.

WHALES: Dead gray in Elliott Bay today; Orca Talk on Thursday

Two whale-related notes:

DEAD GRAY WHALE: Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip on this – a dead juvenile gray whale was found near the Coast Guard station on the downtown waterfront and towed away. Cascadia Research Collective will do the necropsy to determine the cause of death.

ORCA TALK THURSDAY: The Whale Trail‘s next Orca Talk is 7 pm Thursday at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). The announcement, if you haven’t already seen it in our calendar:

(Spyhopping Southern Resident, 12/18, Mark Sears, Permit 21348)

Recovering the Southern Residents: lessons learned from other populations
Presentation by Dr. Timothy Ragen

With just 75 individuals in the population, the southern resident orcas are in danger of going extinct. Is it too late? What will it take to recover the southern residents, and what can we learn from similar efforts with other populations?

Dr. Tim Ragen will review the status of the southern resident killer whale population and then review conservation efforts for other marine mammals to highlight lessons learned and relevant to killer whale conservation.

Whale Trail Director Donna Sandstrom will also give an update on orca legislation, and Governor Inslee’s Task Force on SRKW Recovery.

Buy tickets now to reserve your seat.
$5 suggested donation; kids free.

Donna also sent word today that TWT has just been spotlighted in this KNKX Radio feature.

SAFETY: Free ‘Mindful Self-Defense for Employees’ class – RSVP ASAP

When the West Seattle Junction Business Block Watch meets this Wednesday afternoon, a short free class in “Mindful Self-Defense for Employees” will be featured – and there’s still room to RSVP. Lora Radford from the West Seattle Junction Association says it’s “geared toward employees and staff of small businesses.” If that includes you and you can be at Windermere West Seattle (4526 California SW) 2-3 pm Wednesday (April 17th), go here to RSVP ASAP (and to read more about the class).

‘No Parking’ means ‘No Parking’: Urgent alert from SDOT’s Avalon project team

The photo is from SDOT‘s Avalon project team, with this urgent alert:

Last week we placed “no parking signs” up along SW Avalon Way but this morning we noticed many cars were still parked along the west side of SW and a few still parked along the east side of SW Avalon Way. Unfortunately, we will need to tow cars that are parked within the work zone if they are not moved before noon today so we can begin our work.

As we reported again Friday with this in-depth preview, work on the year-long repaving/rechannelization is starting today.

Junction development feedback, macramé, and more for your West Seattle Monday

(Seen from West Seattle, photographed by R: Celebrity Eclipse, first cruise ship to call in 2019)

First, this reminder:

HOLY WEEK: Church listings for the week leading up to Easter continue, part of this special WSB page. (If your church hasn’t sent its schedule yet, it’s not too late – westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!)

Next, highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

LIBRARYLAB – IT’S ELECTRIC! 4-7 pm drop-in event at Delridge Library. “Learn about electronic components and basic principles of electronics with Snap Circuits” in today’s all-ages LibraryLab activity. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

JUNCTION 7-11 SITE PROJECT FEEDBACK: 5-6 pm drop-in “early community outreach” event for the 4800 Erskine Way project, 60+ apartments with no offstreet parking, planned for the Junction 7-11 site. Meeting is at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (4217 SW Oregon)

MACRAME MONDAY: 6-8 pm at Bird on a Wire. Ticket required – buy yours online here – for instruction and materials. (35th/Henderson)

PIGEON POINT NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 7 pm in the library at Pathfinder K-8 School. (1901 SW Genesee)

MONDAY OPEN MIC: Signups start at 7:30 pm at Parliament Tavern. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

SEE WHAT ELSE IS UP … via our year-round event calendar here, and our Easter/Passover/Etc. seasonal guide here.

West Seattle Garden Tour reveals beneficiaries that its 2019 proceeds will help grow

(Bee and lupin blooms photographed at West Seattle Bee Garden during 2018 Bee Festival)

The West Seattle Bee Garden – where you’re invited to enjoy the annual Bee Festival on May 18th – has just been announced as one of this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour beneficiaries. Here’s the WSGT announcement:

The group of grant applicants this year was impressive and the deliberation was tough, but we are very pleased to announce proceeds from the 25th annual tour will support improvements to three public gardens, a playground renovation, habitat restoration and a live community theater program.

With the sale of garden tour tickets and sponsorship revenue, the committee intends to raise and distribute over $25,000 to these six amazing local non-profits: ArtsWest, City Fruit, Community Orchard of West Seattle, Gatewood Elementary School, The Fauntleroy Watershed Council, and West Seattle Bee Garden. Read more about their community-centric projects.

The Garden Tour is on Sunday, June 23rd. Read more about this year’s nine showcase gardens here, and order your ticket book (which shows you the locations and gets you in to see them) here.

Celebration of Life on Saturday for Richard M. Tada, 1961-2019

Family and friends will gather Saturday (April 20) to celebrate the life of Richard M. Tada. Here’s the remembrance that’s being shared with the community:

Richard Makoto Tada passed away peacefully on January 26, 2019, surrounded by friends and family after a valiant thirteen-month fight against pancreatic cancer.

He was born in Seattle to Koji and Yohko Tada on November 18, 1961 and attended public schools at Schmitz Park, Madison Junior High, and West Seattle High School. He earned a Ph.D. in Greek and Byzantine History from the University of Washington in 2008.

He loved to travel and explored many countries from this historical period and was fluent in ancient and modern Greek. As a talented writer, his many scholarly historical articles and book reviews were published in such magazines as the National Review and Military History Quarterly. He enjoyed his work colleagues and assignments as a technical writer at Quorum Review in downtown Seattle and was a dedicated member of Seattle Chinese Baptist Church.

Richard is survived by his parents, younger brother Steve, his aunts, and cousins.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 20th, 2019 at Seattle Chinese Baptist Church, 5801 Beacon Avenue South.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)


(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:49 AM: Good morning! A lot to start with:

AVALON PROJECT BEGINS: SDOT‘s big project is scheduled to get going this week. Our final preview, published Friday, has details on the sequencing and what to watch for.

SCHOOLS REOPEN: Districts that were on spring break last week (in our area, Seattle, Highline, and Vashon Island) are back in session today.

STADIUM ZONE: Mariners are home again tonight, 7:10 pm vs. Cleveland, which means extended West Seattle Water Taxi service.