West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Diane for pointing out the tweet with this newly YouTubed video about West Seattle’s own Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), made on behalf of MOHAI (the Museum of History and Industry). As the YT page puts it, the hosts are trying to put the hysterical in historical. Or something like that. Anyway, it’s definitely not your standard stentorian-toned peek back into time. (If you don’t already know host Peder Nelson for his other endeavors – like music – you might remember our interview with him before he produced the Frances Farmer tribute at The Admiral in fall 2008.)
Those are some of the walkers who joined Evergreen High School senior Anastasia Janecke this morning for the culmination of her senior project, which has been two months in the making: A breast-cancer-awareness/fundraising walk through West Seattle. They left Keller Williams Realty in The Junction at midmorning and headed north on California SW to Seacrest, with a water stop at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) in the Admiral District along the way. At Seacrest, Anastasia told us she had two special inspirations for her project:
Ready to keep supporting the battle against breast cancer? As noted here when we first mentioned Anastasia’s project, Northwest Hope and Healing – which has many West Seattle ties, though it helps breast-cancer patients all over the region – has an event coming up: the Style ’10 fashion show, with WS boutiques participating, April 28 at Showbox SODO (tickets available online).
Music filled the cafeteria at Chief Sealth High School/Boren last night, during the Sealth music program’s annual benefit Tamale Dinner. Above, you can see and hear a sample of one of several mariachi groups that performed – this one features Sealth alumni (of whom Sealth principal John Boyd told us at the dinner he’s “very proud”). The program featured choir music too; you can find out more about the Sealth music programs at chiefsealthmusic.org – including a page with info on how to help with financial and/or instrument donations.
On Saturday, West Seattle’s newest martial-arts studio played host to an expert teaching the Filipino art of Panantukan:
The instructor is guro Andy Wilson, who spent Saturday afternoon at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts (across from Jefferson Square, co-housed with Limber Yoga), shown in our video with SIMA’s Bob Heinemann. Another special event’s coming up at SIMA – a women’s self-defense class April 28th (info on the SIMA home page).
(WSB photos and video by Cliff DesPeaux)
Under one of the LED streetlights that are being tested on a few blocks in the Genesee-Schmitz area, that’s City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, leading a tour last night to talk about the new lights, as the city moves ahead with plans to swap out all streetlights for energy-/money-saving LEDs within 5 years. Click ahead for more details, including a quick video demonstration of the difference between the new lights and the “old” ones, plus information on when they’ll be shining along your street:Read More
(Our first, as-it-happened HONK Fest West report can be seen here)
That photo shared by Eileen captures the brassy boisterousness of HONK Fest West, making its first West Seattle appearance, with bands spread along two blocks of The Junction in a five-hour-plus period this afternoon. So does this clip, in which we follow the Hubbub Club as its musicians “march” (more like danced, bounced, strode) their way from the designated performance area by the Junction Wells Fargo, to the SW Alaska sidewalk, then back:
And a serious dose of dancing-in-the-streets ensued in the raised crosswalk between Oregon and Alaska – where we found the Carnival Band during our 2nd HONK Fest visit, at midafternoon:
If you didn’t get a close-enough look at the Hubbub Club’s grinning tuba in our clip, Luckie‘s photo captures it for posterity:
And even the little ones were entranced by the splendor of the costumes as well as the music – witness Holli‘s photo of the Minor Mishap Marching Band (visiting from Austin, Texas):
So will this lovably loony street festival return next year? We’ve got the question out to organizers, though they may well be getting ready to recover after 3 days around town (Fremont on Friday, Georgetown on Saturday, then West Seattle today, plus a few bands’ performances in venues elsewhere tonight). Meantime, here’s the official festival website; here’s its Facebook page; and here’s a site where they’re encouraging people to upload photos. The whole thing runs on volunteer power and donations, as carts like this one reminded festivalgoers in The Junction today:
If you didn’t have any cash to throw in the kitty while you were enjoying the show(s), you can make an online donation here. P.S. Added Monday, one last shot from Colby – seems there wasn’t just dancing in the streets, there was a little bit of lying around in the streets too:
At the Southwest Community Center play area (video above), the preschoolers dashed – while the action at West Seattle Thriftway was more like “streaming in”:
Those are two of the egg hunts we checked out this morning. Like most, Southwest CC separated the hunters by age group – this photo is from the youngest group as they toddled around the back lawn, with parents close by:
Back inside Thriftway, eggs lined the aisles (the eggs are filled, by the way, by folks at Highlands Community Church in Renton) as the littlest searchers (who get a head start) went through:
Many egg hunts featured additional activities – at SWCC, kids could color while waiting for the big event:
And then there was the Eastridge Christian Assembly egg hunt at Lincoln Park:
They even had a bouncy slide:
And Eastridge was collecting diapers for WestSide Baby:
In all, those were among at least eight egg hunts in West Seattle this morning, including all five city-run community centers – Marco shared this photo from High Point CC:
Some local churches will offer egg hunts after services tomorrow, and St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church is even having one a week from tomorrow (April 11) at 11:30 am. ADDED: Thanks to Annette for sharing a photo collage from one of what we are sure were many egg hunts at private homes – this one in Gatewood:
The 64-car Chetzemoka is the first new vessel built for Washington State Ferries in more than a decade – since the Jumbo Mark II class trio – and this morning it made its Elliott Bay debut, leaving Todd Pacific Shipyards on Harbor Island under tow, headed for some finishing work in Everett. We watched it from a spot just east of Anchor Park – one week after standing at almost the exact same spot, watching that visiting gray whale. According to the project page on the WSF website, Todd has a contract to build two more ferries like the Chetzemoka, which is destined for the Port Townsend-Keystone route, where the state’s been using a leased ferry since the Steel Electric-class vessels were taken out of service (the 2nd will go to that route as well, while the third is scheduled to run between Tacoma’s Point Defiance terminal and Tahlequah at the south end of Vashon). If you’re wondering about the name Chetzemoka, it’s explained here. ADDED 11:15 AM: A closer view from further along the journey (from a photographer who asked not to be credited):
That’s a bit of video from Constellation Park/Richey Viewpoint south of Alki Point, favorite haunt – in weather like this – of TV crews and intrepid stormwatchers. We saw both represented while we were out, briefly, at dusk. Note the past/future driftwood in the surf – extra-dangerous, so don’t get close. (We were there about an hour ago; high tide was at 9:15, so the surf will pull back a bit in the hours ahead, with the next high tide at 7:44 am.) Meantime, on the forecasting front, the National Weather Service‘s wind advisory is now extended till midnight, and tomorrow morning looks showery/breezy (egg hunts are still on, though – schedule here). ADDED 1:05 AM: John Polnik shared this video from central Alki, where he says a small outage hit Phoenecia – we had driven through after 8 pm and saw the streetlights appear to be “strobing”:
City Light’s outages page did not show any West Seattle outages so whatever this was, was apparently small. SATURDAY NIGHT NOTE: Phoenecia was part of that micro-outage and tells the story on Facebook.
The weather eased a bit at noon, just as that group gathered in The Junction to commemorate Good Friday in a unique outdoor manner – walking “A Way of the Cross” along several blocks of the business district, with readings, chanting and prayer. Our video is from the beginning, as Hope Lutheran Pastor Keith Eilers reads, before the group begins walking southbound on California SW. (This was a nondenominational event, as is this Sunday’s annual West Seattle Sunrise Service at Forest Lawn, just after 6:30 am)
Look who’s just joined the project team at the Westwood site where Chief Sealth High School is being renovated and the new Denny International Middle School is being built: Goats from Rent-A-Ruminant. According to the project team from DKA, the goats are clearing blackberries and other undergrowth near newly planted evergreens on the west/north sides of the site, and will be there for about two weeks. We snagged a quick iPhone clip:
Meanwhile, landscaping work and other components of the current phase of the project may involve heavy equipment on nearby streets, so a doorhanger is being distributed to nearby homes; here’s what it says. Though the project website has a webcam, you’re not going to see the goats on it – they’re up on the slopes rather than down in the thick of the construction.
Two more video views of the gray whale that amazed West Seattle whale-watchers on Saturday (no sightings today, although grays were spotted in other areas of central Puget Sound, including off north Seattle shores, and this one could have been among them): First, nighttime views from photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux, who spent several hours at Jack Block Park late last night/early this morning, the last West Seattle sightings before whale-watchers called it quits for the night. Next, from John at Gypsy Soul Productions, who shot this video as the gray whale meandered around the shore by Harbor West (the condos built on pilings over the water):
If you’re interested in whale sightings and not already on the Orca Network e-mail list, sign up here – they send a daily/nightly roundup of sighting reports, often with photos, not just orcas – you’ll often see news about grays and humpbacks, too.
(Our first report, with morning sightings, photos and video, can be found here)
Any closer, and it would have needed a reservation for a table. That’s video we got via iPhone about an hour ago, when the gray whale that’s been hugging West Seattle shores all day turned up just west of Salty’s on Alki. As noted in our first report this morning, it was sighted south of Brace Point in the 7 o’clock hour, then made its way slowly up along Lincoln Park, Lowman Beach, Beach Drive, Alki Point, then turning into Elliott Bay, where it picked up quite a fan base on shore:
That’s what we found when we first pulled over by Anchor Park (see the anchor in the foreground – this is also known as Luna Park since part of the old amusement park’s natatorium used to be under that pier). As the whale moved eastward into the bay, the crowd moved with it. We lost track of it when it went under for an extended time after the Royal Argosy passed by Salty’s. If you’ve got photos/video to share, we’d love to add more – meantime, the two people who shared photos earlier have shared more – first, two from Trileigh – no, we don’t know what the orange spot is in the closeup:
And from Rick:
As for whether the whale’s OK or not – we know at least one citywide-media friend was trying to track down experts. Certainly they are seen around here from time to time. Again, our earlier report with more photos and video is here.
1:12 AM UPDATE: We gave up the whale watch for the night just before dusk but a hardy crowd has stayed out looking – and been rewarded with sightings off Jack Block Park. Josh Trujillo of seattlepi.com has published amazing shots – check them out here. And depending on who else is out overnight, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #alkiwhale to get the latest.
That’s a tow truck finishing the two-step process of pulling a flipped car back to the upright position, about an hour after that car overturned on Delridge at Willow (map) around 1:10 am. The second car you see in the video was parked when the black car hit it, police told us at the scene. They say someone from the flipped car was taken to the hospital, though we don’t know how badly they’re hurt. The crash happened in the northbound lanes at a wide spot in the road, so Delridge wasn’t closed to traffic for long – cars were directed around the wreckage, using the center and southbound lanes.
Though the wind stayed away from many other parts of West Seattle, it blew strongly enough off Alki for these adventurers to get in some good runs – Christopher Boffoli was there to capture it on video.
Followup to last night’s 1st report on the West Seattle workshop for Mayor McGinn‘s “Youth and Families Initiative“: The gathering was hosted by Denny International Middle School, whose music director Marcus Pimpleton led his Seattle All-City Band in a rousing warmup for the event. An estimated 300 people – which would be the largest crowd at any of these meetings so far – heard the mayor explain his inspiration and hopes for the initiative:
As happened at other gatherings, participants broke into small groups to discuss questions, particularly “What would you like to see in five years – what should Seattle look like then?” The “achievement gap” was mentioned frequently; though Seattle is considered one of the most-educated cities in America, several speakers said, our schools seem to have a tough time keeping up. Another frequent mention: More data-gathering is needed to find out which programs work and which don’t. And there were calls for helping figure out how kids who are falling behind can get a boost to catch up. Next steps: The fifth and final kickoff workshop is next Monday night at Garfield Community Center; right after that, it’s a month of Community Caucuses. The city’s not setting the times and places for these – they’re asking who wants to host them; find out more here. And a Youth Summit is planned at City Hall on April 8th; RSVP here.
It’s not every day – or every year – or sometimes, ever – that you get to show off for somebody who is a true master at something you happen to love to do. So it was quite the honor for students at Alki Taekwondo this past Friday to get the chance to demonstrate their martial-arts skills for Grand Master Chin Ho Lee, a mentor of Alki Taekwondo’s chief instructor, Steve Coates. Edgar Riebe from West Seattle’s Captive Eye Media was there and offered to share this video of the big occasion. He says there was a great turnout to watch the demonstration and hear from the Grand Master. Alki Taekwondo was founded in 1982; the Grand Master was the first to open a Korean Martial Arts school in the Pacific Northwest, back in the ’60s, and had a storied career in other areas too – according to Alki Taekwondo’s original announcement of this event, he also served as an FBI Special Agent after emigrating to the U.S. from Korea, where he returned many years later and worked as an executive for Hyundai.
We dropped by the Denny International Middle School cafeteria just before lunch today – to visit the fabled Lunch Ladies who had let us know earlier this week (as reported here) about their plan to try to break a record for most school lunches served in a day. The old record was 599 – and Doree Fazio-Young sent word late today that they did it, serving 604! We talked to her moments before they started serving – and she explained the day’s OTHER big events:
Doree and Sue have worked together for 20 years. Congrats on the record!
Update: The snow that others had seen earlier didn’t reach WSB HQ till just now. No, it’s not heavy; no, it’s not sticking. But it’s something of a serious snow shower, at least here, so we’re capturing video for posterity. (As noted here over the weekend, we had this same type of light snow right about this time last year, too.) This is right in line with the midmorning forecast: “scattered rain and snow showers.” (Got pix or vid? We’ll be happy to add – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!) 1:11 PM UPDATE: Definitely not sticking, and intermittently mixed with rain, so no need to panic about getting home later, etc., at this point!
West Seattle’s State Sen. Joe McDermott is one of the sponsors of a bill that’s getting a lot of buzz in the State Legislature’s waning days: SB 6250, with the official title “providing fiscal reform,” but the bottom line, it would ask voters whether to implement income tax for those making more than $200,000 a year. Sen. McDermott explains the bill in the video clip above, shot and shared by Senate Democrats staff; it got a public hearing Thursday night in the Senate Ways and Means Committee (of which he’s a member). This report from our citywide-news partners at the Seattle Times suggest it might not have much hope of passage this time around.
We still don’t know where they were from or where they were headed, but we sparked some discussion on Facebook by noting this late-in-the-day flyover involving two double-rotor choppers (Chinooks, we believe) – and then Jeff J was kind enough to send in his iPhone video of the sighting, so we’re sharing.
Story, video and photos by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
As powerful aftershocks rumbled through central Chile today, closer to home, Seattle firefighters scrambled over a twisted pile of steel reinforced concrete and mangled cars.
Throughout the month of March, SFD is doing structural collapse training at their Joint Training Facility on Myers Way on the southeastern edge of West Seattle, part of their annual rescue training aimed at providing every city firefighter with the necessary skills to deal with what they may someday have to do here in Seattle.
Dana Vander Houwen, Public Information Officer for the Seattle Fire Department, told me today that even though the SFD actually has an excellent specialized technical rescue team, if a catastrophic event were to occur in Seattle they “would not be able to be everywhere.” So by broadening the training for firefighters, the entire department will have essential rescue skills.
The rubble pile being used this month was designed by Seattle firefighters who have training in engineering a rescue environment. It is reasonably realistic but still is generally structurally sound and safe for firefighters to train in. Though Vander Houwen added that part of the training does involve having the firefighters assess for themselves the structural safety of the scene, adding bracing or support where necessary. Adult and child-sized dummies are placed strategically in the rubble:
During the training, firefighters also must make decisions about locating victims, prioritizing patients based on the severity of injuries and the complexity of extraction, and developing strategies to remove the victims in a way that is safe for rescuers. Throughout the process they will use an arsenal of rescue tools, including various saws, the jaws of life, rescue baskets, ropes, etc. Vander Houwen says that each year the training is varied. But the simulated earthquake theme this year seems particularly relevant after powerful earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well as this week’s anniversary of Seattle’s Nisqually earthquake. Vander Houwen says this particular training scenario “is a way for firefighters to get hands-on training for an earthquake scenario or terrorist attack.”
That short film – 7 minutes – is by two West Seattleites, Max Larkin and Emily Boardway, and if you can spare the time to watch and rate it, you could help them keep advancing the film’s mission: Telling the story of Young Onset Dementia. The short film, “The Music in Hugh: A Look at Young Onset Dementia,” shows Max taking care of – and sharing music and laughter with – his father, a practicing physician until stricken by YOD a few years ago at age 56. The film is entered in the 2010 Neuro Film Festival, launched by the American Academy of Neurology Foundation. If Max and Emily win, the prize will go toward their project Spoke Your Mind, not just raising awareness about Young Onset Dementia but also gathering support for the children of those with it. There are three prizes in the festival, including Fan Favorite, which is where your vote comes in – after you watch the video (or before), click through to its page on the YouTube site and rate it – you need a YouTube or Google log-in for that. The voting deadline is 3/17 (two weeks from today).
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