West Seattle, Washington
WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli has been shooting neon signs around West Seattle, and this is the first compilation he put together – after we took a look at it, we thought you might be interested too. See if you recognize the signs!
Tomorrow, it’s back to school for Seattle Public Schools students (among others) after a week of midwinter break. About 100 students spent four days of the no-classes week at Denny International Middle School in West Seattle, which offered a music camp for 4th through 8th graders again this year. Our video clips are from the week-ending recital at Denny on Friday afternoon. Music director Marcus Pimpleton told the audience that a hallmark of the camp was having the young musicians – who numbered more than 70 – mentored by high-school volunteers (more than 30!). You can see a few of the mentors in this clip of the steel drummers:
The high-school volunteers were from Chief Sealth and Roosevelt High Schools. Click ahead for two more clips from the Friday afternoon recital, including one student group with a ’70s classic:Read More
More than 60 people were at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center last night for U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott‘s “winter 2010 community meeting.” The big topic was the same as it’s been for months – health-care reform (McDermott, you may recall, also happens to be a doctor) – which he’s been involved with for years.
He said he remains optimistic a health-care-reform bill will be passed, but whatever is finally approved, won’t necessarily be “final” – his example was Medicare, first passed in 1965, worked on every year since then. McDermott said he would like to see the 1945 act creating state insurance commissioners repealed; his view is that one central set of controls would represent a more efficient system. Asked about voter anger, McDermott suggested that the most infuriating thing for a voter is to see her/his representatives do nothing – those are the people, he says, who will get voted out. On another hot topic, he said he supports ending the filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate that so often slow progress there to a standstill. Last but by no means least, he believes legislation will be introduced within a few months to negate the U.S. Supreme Court‘s ruling on “corporate personhood.” Got something to say to Rep. McDermott? His contact info is here. Meantime, three more elected officials who represent you are having a Town Hall meeting tomorrow – the 34th District legislative trio, State Sen. Joe McDermott (no relation to Jim), Rep. Eileen Cody, and Rep. Sharon Nelson. They’ll be at High Point Community Center, 11 am tomorrow (Saturday).
This is about as wild as it gets on Fat Tuesday in West Seattle – at least, before the sun goes down. For the second year in a row, Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) stores from around the area sent reps to the Admiral store for a celebration of paczki – filled-donut-type pastries that are Fat Tuesday traditions. That celebration included a 3-minute paczki-eating contest – our clip above shows the first half (or so) of the contest, and below, the announcement of the winner!
Same as last year, the winner was the rep from Queen Anne Metropolitan Market. Spectators were “winners” in their own way, treated to free paczki and coffee. And you can still buy paczki in the Metro Market bakery, four options for fillings – chocolate, vanilla, lemon or raspberry.
Monday in Olympia, supporters of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition were among those joining environmental and education advocates who rallied to raise concerns about the state budget (as explained here, with rally photos here). While DRCC is an advocacy group that also makes the rounds of neighborhood groups and festivals), much of their awareness-raising happens on the river itself. “Yes, it is a river,” as group leaders reminded during a recent tour. They pointed out the good, the bad, and the ugly – perhaps the best example of the former, the wildlife in our video above that’s found a way to co-exist with the industrial development: Two eagles (our video shows one) perched on the heavy equipment atop a barge. The river tour co-sponsored by ARCADE was meant to highlight the “built environment” as well as nature – ahead, more of the sights in both categories:Read More
Cheerleading isn’t just for sports – this routine was part of a mega-pep rally this afternoon at Seattle Lutheran High School on behalf of the Lutheran Elementary School Tournament participants from sister school Hope Lutheran. More than 60 students from Hope’s fifth- through eighth-grade classes have headed south to Concordia University in Portland for the 48th annual edition of the tournament, where more than 1,000 students from around the West are competing in academic and athletic events. According to Bil Hood, Hope students are participating in 10 events including swimming, music, math, drama, Knowledge Bowl, science, spelling, chess, basketball, plus cheerleading – the students in the top video – and drill team – the ones you see here:
Read more about LEST here; we’re expecting updates from Portland over the next few days.
Late last night, we published a note from the Alki woman attacked while driving a Metro bus last weekend in Tukwila, saying King County Executive Dow Constantine would meet with her this afternoon, and asking for community support. 2 TV crews went to Alki to see if anyone showed up; we spotted them interviewing Constantine afterward, and went over to ask him how the conversation went: He said it went as well as it could, considering the circumstances:
You heard him talk about the strength of the driver and her family; her daughter is the one who first wrote publicly about the attack, in a post one week ago in the WSB Forums. As for what steps Constantine might seek to improve driver safety, he said it just might be time to revisit the idea of some physical barrier between drivers and passengers – it was studied several years ago, he said, and not pursued at the time.
An emotional Friday night at the Seattle Lutheran High School gym, for several reasons. This ceremony was one of them: A new board was dedicated to honor the school’s track-record holders, and it’s named after the man who holds four long-distance records for SLHS: Eric Engelstone, a 1983 SLHS alum who died in 2004. The ceremony was held last night while Bear Creek was visiting – and that’s who Engelstone’s daughter Kendall plays for:
With her – sister Christine, mom Shelley, and the man who coached Eric Engelstone in his recordsetting days, Bob Matthews. The rest of the night was one for the Kleenex, too, since it was Senior Night – photos and game highlights ahead:Read More
Those are just some of the highlights — shot by Captive Eye Media for WSB — from last night’s Chief Sealth High School boys’ varsity basketball victory over Franklin High School at Sealth/Boren, 72-58. It was considered one of the biggest games in the city last night, with Sealth #2 in its division (behind Rainier Beach), Franklin #1 in its own (and last year’s state 3A champion). Sealth’s Keon Lewis led the scoring with 28 points; here’s a full game wrapup from our partners at the Seattle Times. The girls’ varsity game (stats here): Franklin 63, Sealth 44. Also last night – at West Seattle High School, Bainbridge was the visitor; boys’ varsity score (game stats here) WSHS 39, Bainbridge 35; girls’ varsity (stats here), Bainbridge 43, WSHS 34.
(Our first Sunday report with other Polar Plunge video and photos is here)
As you saw in our first report about this morning’s Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Alki, there was a big law-enforcement contingent among the 350 people organizers say signed up – and that video shows them as the first group to dash into the 45-degree water. (At center, the Southwest Precinct’s commander, Capt. Joe Kessler, next to acting SPD Chief John Diaz – other law-enforcement luminaries who were on hand are shown in our first report. After plunging, Capt. Kessler pronounced the water “perfectly balmy.”) Tonight, Mary Do from Special Olympics reported in this WSB comment that the event raised $30,000. Also tonight, Chief Sealth’s Polar Plungers, who won the Spirit Award, are challenging any and all other high schools to “come try to take it away next year,” according to Michael Bunch, who shared this photo of the whole group afterward:
We had photographed Sealth athletic director Sam Reed with the trophy close-up – read on to see that photo and a few more we wanted to share before this event’s in the books:Read More
From the Polar Plunge to high-school hoops to NFL playoff-cheering, and beyond, it’s been an active weekend around West Seattle – and here’s one more event report to add to the mix: At Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights (WSB sponsor) on Saturday, residents played in a Wii bowling battle with a visiting team from Merrill Gardens-Queen Anne. In our video, you see Aida – top scorer on the day with 178 – getting a spare. Unfortunately, MG-AH’s Colleen Barnes reported later, that wasn’t enough for the West Seattle team to overcome the challenge; Queen Anne won 738 to 621, but AH had three of the top four scorers (Rudy with 168 and Mary Ann with 109, in addition to Aida, while QA’s Frank was #3 at 134). Wii bowling is popular with retirees – we spotlighted it at The Mount almost two years ago, at which time the Senior Center of West Seattle noted it had a Wii system on the way too.
That’s WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli‘s video from the Beach Drive slide scene, where city crews were back working today. Though SDOT had said the road would be closed, commenter Peter (on our earlier report) and Christopher both report that it’s been allowed through one lane at a time, with flagger help. SDOT had said they expected today’s work on the slope – which first slid last week – to be done by 4 pm, and that they would be monitoring the site daily TFN while evaluating what else to do. We’ll be heading toward the area soon to check on its status. 4:30 PM UPDATE: From Marybeth Turner at SDOT:
To aid with traffic, SDOT’s Street Maintenance crews made modifications on site that allowed one lane of Beach Drive SW to remain open. They were able to clear away the debris from the roadway while using flaggers to let traffic by. Our urban forestry crews also removed trees that might otherwise fall onto the roadway or power lines. SDOT crews finished earlier this afternoon and then left the street as it was before, with one lane open and drivers taking turns. We will continue to monitor this site.
Seems like it’s all about Lincoln Park today – this is the third item in which it’s factored, but undeniably the most pleasant – Gatewood resident Pam from Nerd’s Eye View shares that video from a walk along the LP waterfront. She observed that this is one of those afternoons in which West Seattle is definitely “paradise.” Meantime, Rob and Patricia Shiras shared this photo of an eagle seen near their Seaview home: “We see the eagle almost every day and sometimes just circles above us. The eagle gets chased away by the crows and seagulls.”
11:54 AM: That’s video of work being done at the slope with the slide that shut down Beach Drive in the 6000 block – south of there, it’s closed to the Lowman Beach intersection (as first reported here very early this morning), since there are no outlets. SDOT told us at the scene at midmorning that they needed to evaluate the stability of the top of the slope before figuring out what needed to be done to stabilize it, and how soon the road could be reopened. Note that Route 37 buses are being detoured TFN. We’re continuing to check with SDOT for the latest and will add updates as we get them. 2:02 PM UPDATE: Just checked the scene. Road’s still closed, and as some have noted, the tricky thing is that there is no signage at Jacobson, which is the last place to head east/uphill before the closure – so we’re seeing many people drive all the way up to the closure, be surprised, and turn around to head back. Here’s the latest from Marybeth Turner at SDOT:
The urban forestry crews expect to wrap up, and then we will clean up and set up traffic control to reopen Beach Drive, except for restriction to one lane at slide site. Goal is to reopen by 5 pm. We will continue to monitor the site through the weekend.
5:29 PM UPDATE: The road’s open again, per the Metro alert that says 37 and 53 are back on their regular routes.
Followup to Friday’s stories about a special encore of the “Helmstetler Family Spectacular” music-synched Christmas lights by the Charlestown water tower, on behalf of the family of a soldier about to leave for the Middle East – Show designer Jim Winder has just finished the videos for the two special songs he added as a tribute; at top, it’s Josh Groban’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas“; below, “American Soldier” by Toby Keith.
Earlier stories on the display, and the other shows featured on WSB this year – including the Menashe Family‘s Beach Drive home, which we visited the night they were filmed for a cable TV special next holiday season – are all archived here (newest to oldest).
(WSB video and photos by Christopher Boffoli)
WSB photojournalist Christopher Boffoli reports about 50 people hit the beach, and then the water – as you see in his video above – for West Seattle’s 2010 New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim. First, of course, before the dash into the Sound, it’s off with the clothes:
The water temperature, by the way, was on par with the air temperature – 49-degree water, and (at 10 am) 50-degree air. Immediately afterward, time to warm up again:
The post-swim warmup included free chowder donated by Duke’s, which is right across the street from the swim site:
Missed it? Or – want to do it again? This year, you have a second chance to run into Elliott Bay with dozens, maybe even hundreds, of kindred souls – Special Olympics of Washington is presenting the Polar Plunge on Alki, 11 am January 24. It’s a SOWA fundraiser so you need to register, individual or team – you can start the process here.
It wasn’t quite a downpour, but certainly a drenching mist, but that didn’t get in the way of a good time as Highland Park kicked off one of West Seattle’s two-dozen-plus New Year’s Eve extravaganzas tonight. Above, a two-minute spectacle outside Highland Park Improvement Club before the Highland Park House Party that’s just getting under way inside (you’re welcome to go join – details here) and after the HP neighborhood parade (video of that, to be added shortly). It was billed as the “Sage Comet” performance (watch the clip and you’ll get the “comet” reference) — but one of the performers explained afterward, sage is tough to get this time of year, so what burned was “rosemary from local farms”! ADDED 8:28 PM: Just before the “Rosemary Comet,” the first-ever HP parade returned to the luminaria-ringed HPIC, after about half an hour doing a mile-or-so loop through neighborhoods to the south:
As you can see in the video, most of the balloon lanterns had trouble staying lit – smaller fires don’t win the battle with rain – but paraders young and old whooped and cheered, drummed and thumped, all along the way; we trailed them for the first few blocks, and saw neighbors along the way coming to the door or the window, often returning the shouts of “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Indeed.
From their holiday concert at Grace Church on Thursday night, it’s a hi-def West Seattle Big Band Christmas medley – 6 minutes packed with swingin’ sections of multiple holiday faves. (In the mood for more music of the season? Tomorrow’s the Fauntleroy Church [WSB sponsor] Christmas concert, 6 o’clock – one of many holiday events on the West Seattle Holidays page, which now stretches to New Year’s Eve/Day.)
Among this week’s holiday highlights, with Christmas getting closer, are concerts big and small. Providence Mount St. Vincent has been hosting music groups almost nightly (schedule’s on our West Seattle Holidays page) – tonight, we stopped by to see/hear the Endolyne Children’s Choir (if you don’t recognize the song in our clip, it’s “Fum, Fum, Fum“). Endolyne also performed at the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting (here’s our package of video highlights from that night). Still to come this week: West Seattle Big Band holiday concert at Grace Church on Thursday night and Northwest Boychoir at Holy Rosary on Friday night.
It’ll be back later with Canterbury Belles on board, 8:50 pm at Lowman Beach (north of Lincoln Park), 9:40 pm at Alki. No bonfires tonight, because of the ongoing Stage 2 Burn Ban, but warm camaraderie (and the temperature’s higher than the last several nights!). And since Santa is everywhere, it wasn’t surprising that he showed up for the Christmas Ship … with a 2-wheeled “sleigh”:
Friendly Parks Department staffers are at every stop tonight, with free cookies and hot beverages, so be sure to say “hi”:
(That’s Ryan Spencer, assistant coordinator from Delridge Community Center.) If you missed it tonight, the Christmas Ship (and whatever boats decide to tag along) has one more West Seattle stop this season – Don Armeni Boat Ramp tomorrow night at 7:10 pm.
As Q13 FOX reporter (and West Seattleite) Brian Callanan noted toward the end of that clip, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s outdoor Christmas tree has a new look this year – LED lights in a cool pale blue (compare to last year). The tree now shines from the highest spot in the city – a bit more than 500 feet up – at 35th and Myrtle, after tonight’s lighting ceremony. From our informal count, looked like about 200 people gathered on Myrtle (blocked off for the evening) to watch the lighting and share in carols afterward. OLG is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Here’s Father Jack Walmsley (just back from traveling) delivering the pre-lighting blessing:
Here’s a sample of tonight’s caroling:
(That’s Brian in the light-colored sweater under the tree, saying “Great job” at clip’s end.) Caroling was followed by holiday celebrating in the Parish Hall – a good place to warm up, considering the temperature was back below freezing by the time the tree lights came on.
The Farmers’ Market parking lot was wall-to-wall with people tonight for the 2009 edition of The Junction’s Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting (co-sponsored by WSB) — the switch was thrown a little more than an hour ago. This year, they just lit the “big tree” right at the southeast corner of 44th/Alaska – and everything happened right on cue – here’s our quick handheld clip with the final seconds of the countdown (that’s emcee Marty Riemer, West Seattle-residing radio personality, whose voice you hear; he was assisted by Jordan, chosen from the kids sitting in front of the stage):
Other young participants in the 50-minute event included West Seattle’s own Endolyne Children’s Choir (whose “Winter Fantasy” concert is coming up 12/12):
Full report coming up later with lots more highlights (including the Volunteer Recognition honorees previously announced here) – you’ll likely see a tree-lighting clip on KING5 tonight too; they had a photojournalist there, as did the Seattle Channel (and West Seattle’s Captive Eye Media was there to provide full pro video coverage for us beyond our quick clips – you’ll see it in report #2). This is just the start of the Hometown Holidays fun (co-sponsored by WSB) – tomorrow from noon-4 pm, it’s the first Sunday for Santa photos, carriage rides, gift wrapping and all-around holiday hoopla in “Downtown West Seattle.”