West Seattle, Washington
Part of the north fence at the Holy Rosary School playground is now adorned with tiles as the result of a local Eagle Scout project that’s been years in the making. Noah Gauyan, mentored by Troop 282 assistant scoutmaster Don Bazemore, created “Hands of Hope.” Noah worked with Holy Rosary students to create tiles with inspirational messages.
Noah explains that the original planning for his project – which also includes a bench – dated back to 2019, before the pandemic.
During the planning phase of the project; COVID hit, suspending in-person troop meetings and in turn putting a pause on my Eagle Scout Project. We really needed the students because we wanted them to write the messages themselves. So once school was back in session we could get moving again.
The tiles got done within a few months, all hand-done by the students of Holy Rosary West Seattle. … This project has a special meaning because my dad used to write messages in my lunch for me when I was a little kid and it always put a smile on my face. I also know that kids sometimes have a tough day at school and teachers too. So I wanted to provide a space for them to decompress and read thoughtful messages. The bench also symbolizes a place for students to meet new students and grow closer as a class. I still remember sitting on the sides of the playground with my friends talking about our weekend plans; now students can come to the bench and talk to each other. I hope that “the bench” becomes a phrase for students to use when they want to meet up.
Fellow Troop 282 Scouts helped build the bench, and today, Noah and helpers installed it and the tiles.
Two weeks ago we told you about Alki Beach Pride‘s first-ever coat/clothing drive, with dropoff spots all over the area. Today, the ABP crew and partner Out of the Closet Thrift Stores took a truck tour to pick up the results.
We caught up with them at the first, and southernmost, stop, the Lumber Yard Bar in White Center.
From there, they were planning to stop at Youngstown Coffee, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest (WSB sponsor), Arthur’s, Admiral Theater, and Harry’s Beach House. (Out of the Closet is a thrift-shop chain benefiting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation; its Seattle store is on Capitol Hill at 1016 E. Pike.) We’ll be checking back for the grand total – they expected to have collected dozens of boxes and bags full of warm clothing/coats before day’s end!
P.S. Watch alkibeachpride.org for other activities, including this year’s big celebration in August.
Congratulations to Chief Sealth International High School junior Joy Ohta, among the first to serve in the State Senate‘s Page Program as it relaunches with stage legislators’ return to in-person sessions. Here’s the announcement we received:
Joy Ohta, 16, spent the week of January 9-13 serving as a page for the Washington State Senate. Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle) sponsored her week in the Legislature.
The page program offers students a hands-on opportunity to learn about state government through classes, guest speakers, and direct contact with legislators. Ohta was motivated to serve as a page in order to learn more about state government and explore her options for college.
“I thought the page program would be a good opportunity to kind of find out how the government works,” said Ohta. “I don’t know a lot about the government, and I am looking for careers and what kind of career I’m going to be interested in.”
Ohta learned a lot from the program, through both page school and experience talking with legislators. However, her favorite part of the program was the relationships she built with her fellow pages.
“My favorite part has been meeting the other pages, because we all come from such different cities or towns,” Ohta said. “I think that interaction between all of us has been really nice and aiding how I feel comfortable here at the Capitol.”
Sen. Nguyen said that Ohta was “a pleasure to be around” and is glad that the page program has returned.
Ohta is a junior at Chief Sealth International High School, where she plays an active role in her school’s community. She plays for the volleyball and tennis teams, plays piano for jazz band, and serves as an ASB representative.
Interested students can apply to the Senate Page Program; eligibility was previously limited to ages 14 through 16 but with the program ramping back up from pandemic hiatus, it’s expanded to 17- and 18-year-olds this year too. Find out more here; you can also email questions to SenatePageProgram@leg.wa.gov.
An announcement for families with kindergarteners:
Cub Scout Pack 282 Kindergarten Den Starting!
Calling Kindergarten Girls and Boys! Cub Scout Pack 282 will be starting a Lion Den in the new year! Have your Kinder join us with their grown-up January 10th at 6 pm at West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California Ave). Please direct any questions to Margaret at email@example.com or via text at 206-769-6522.
Daystar Retirement Village (WSB sponsor) is celebrating West Seattle’s newest centenarian:
Daystar’s Corrine Camerota tells WSB, “Our longtime resident Yvonne Bateman turned 100 today! She is a longtime WS resident, and her children still reside in her home in West Seattle! We wanted to get her on the blog so people could see her celebrating face!!”
“I have people here … They need to be treated with dignity.”
And that’s why Keith Hughes keeps opening the doors of the West Seattle Veteran Center to people who need someplace to go during cold-weather emergencies.
Some have asked what kind of help he could use right now. Warm-clothing items like hats and gloves. Volunteer help, too. And also – understanding.
If you know of someone who needs shelter – or have hats/gloves to donate – the center is at 3618 SW Alaska.
If you visit the Holocaust Center for Humanity downtown any time soon, you’ll see that photo of West Seattle High School student Gaia Corvino. One of her teachers, Chrissy Dahms, sent this report on the special honor from the center:
Junior Gaia Corvino was honored by the Holocaust Center for Humanity for her work creating a video with WSHS Black Student Union. The video was on the experiences and challenges of Black students at West Seattle High School. It was shown schoolwide during Black History Month in 2022 to raise awareness among students about what it is like to be a student of color, particularly a Black student, at a white-majority high school. Gaia’s photo and description of her activism is currently on display on the Upstander Wall at the Holocaust Center for Humanity. Gaia was nominated for this honor by Ms. Dahms, her AP World History Teacher.
The Holocaust Center for Humanity is at 2045 2nd Avenue and is open to the public on Sundays.
Thanks for the tips and photos! After many texts about a celebratory vehicle parade to Don Armeni (and since headed westbound toward Alki), many displaying the Samoan flag, we went down to find out why. Participants told us it’s about Samoa making it to the Rugby League World Cup final for the first time ever. The match was played earlier today and Australia – which has won the championship 11 out of the past 12 times – beat Samoa 30-10, but Samoans are bursting with pride that their team made it this far.
That’s a “floragraph” of longtime West Seattleite Kevin Johnston, destined to be part of a float at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on January 2. It was completed today at Forest Lawn in West Seattle, where Mr. Johnston was laid to rest earlier this year at age 59. The floragraph will be part of a parade float promoting life-saving organ donations; Mr. Johnston’s skin, tendons, tissue, and corneas were donated when he died last May. The floragraph is made of flowers and other natural materials. Those there for its completion today included Mr. Johnston’s mother Carol Johnston:
She is a musician, as was her son (read more about him here) – they both played in the Duwamish Dixieland Jazz Band, which Mr. Johnston’s father founded. Carol said the idea of being in a parade would have pleased her son and his father – she and her husband played banjo in many local parades. The float that’ll feature Kevin Johnston’s floragraph – and that of other donors around the country – is described this way:
The Donate Life float, themed “Lifting Each Other Up,” celebrates the power of organ, eye and tissue donation, with donors and recipients working together to support one another. A beautiful Chinese street dragon is the centerpiece of the float. In Chinese culture, dragons symbolize great power and are considered a sign of good fortune and strength. Dragons bring prosperity and abundance to everyone. The colorful dragon weaves through flowering trees, lanterns and fans, and is emblazoned with 44 memorial floragraphs, representing those who have given the gift of life.
Mr. Johnston was recommended to float planners by Forest Lawn and its parent company Dignity Memorial.
P.S. At today’s event, we also talked with LifeCenter Northwest, about what prospective organ/tissue donors need to do. They stress that you need to make your wishes known in advance – either via registration or through your family – there’s no time for them to think it over afterward, because the donation process has to happen ASAP.
Kendall Jones and Kim Sharpe Jones brought back the Beer Church Turkey Bowl tonight after a pandemic hiatus – and they report an even better turnout than pre-pandemic. The lanes at West Seattle Bowl were sold out in advance.
They were selling raffle tickets for items celebrating the Beer Church’s namesake beverage:
Most important of all, the Turkey Bowl is also a food drive, collecting nonperishable food and other items needed by the West Seattle Food Bank:
The Turkey Bowl has brought in literally tons of food over the past 20+ years. Tonight was also a release party for Beer Church Pale Ale, made with local brewers from the West Side Beer Trail – if you missed the party, ask for it at those establishments sometime soon!
West Seattle has a new centenarian-plus! The announcement and photo are from John Van Lierop, Jr.:
Rev. John Van Lierop, Sr., a resident of The Kenney‘s Memory Unit these last 8 years, reached his 101st birthday today. His son, John, Jr., picked up his chocolate birthday cake at the grocery store this morning. As luck would have it, the cake slid out of the grocery cart, smearing the birthday greetings on the cake. John, Jr. went back to the baker to see if anything could be done. The baker was able to re-ice the greeting and even though it wasn’t perfect-looking, it was acceptable. John Jr. knows that this incident would have been an excellent subject for one of his Father’s sermons. It could be titled “The Redeemed Birthday Cake.” Rev. Van Lierop’s message would probably have said “Life can give us heavy blows at times, but we pick up the pieces and keep on going.” Amen, preacher!
Two weeks ago tonight, Bill More was out celebrating the Mariners‘ comeback playoff victory when something happened while he was riding an electric scooter. He was found seriously injured in the Jefferson Square area around quarter till six and rushed to the hospital. There, he was diagnosed with injuries including 8 broken ribs, a punctured lung, and head injuries. He has been in the hospital ever since, and facing a long road to recovery. Bill is a longtime custom furniture designer and craftsman who had recently moved to West Seattle with his wife Sarah More. Friends have been crowdfunding for them; one of those friends, Casey, contacted us, and says, “Anyone who knows Bill knows that he is a hilarious, intelligent, and fun guy who has a great love for his wife and nieces and nephews. Bill loves living in Seattle and exploring the city and the outdoors including hiking and kayaking. We are hoping and praying that he will recover and be able to return to doing the things he loves.” Casey says that after two weeks, Bill was moved today from the ICU and into Critical Care – “his brain injury has been classified as severe. He remains confused about what is going on and what happened to him. He has regained movement on his left side, which is really fortunate.” What exactly happened that night, she says, they’re not sure – “It only adds to the tragedy to not know exactly what happened” – but they do know Bill and his wife need help with expenses as he heals; anyone interested in helping can go here.
If you’ve been to Endolyne Joe’s in Fauntleroy, you probably know Pam Ramos. Or maybe you know her from Zeeks Pizza before that. She’s not working right now, because she can’t – she’s recovering from what’s described as “a terrible accident involving a flight of basement stairs” one month ago. As a result of it, she suffered a spinal-cord injury that friends say left her with “almost complete loss of movement … She is expected to recover enough to live an independent life again but she is embarking on a challenging journey, the final outcome of which is still unknown.” One of her friends, Ile, asked if we would share the link to a crowdfunding campaign they have launched to help Pam “with accommodations like a wheelchair ramp, grab bars, and accessible bathroom modifications, just to name a few.” Here’s the link.
Carol Kelly says managing Alki Spud Fish and Chips is all about “family.” Her own family (above, daughters Ashley and Victoria at left, husband Harry with Carol at right) joined her there this afternoon for the celebration of her 50 years working there.
That big card was there to gather well-wishes, and of course there was cake:
There also were proclamations – this was officially declared Carol Kelly Day in both Seattle and King County!
The proclamations from Mayor Bruce Harrell and King County Executive Dow Constantine (a former Spud employee) note fun facts about Carol’s tenure, in addition to those mentioned in our preview – she started for $1.85 an hour in 1972, hired by the son of one of the brothers who founded Alki Spud in 1935. She also was lauded for her “kindness, leadership, and service.”
While another 50 years might not be likely, Carol told a well-wisher, she’s nowhere near ready to leave yet!
Back in 2010, we talked with Carol Kelly (pictured at right with her daughters) about the 75th anniversary of Spud Fish and Chips on Alki. At that point, Carol had been working at Spud for half that time. Now she’s about to celebrate her own milestone there, and you’re invited to the party. On Tuesday afternoon (October 11), 2-4 pm, Alki Spud will celebrate Carol’s 50 years at the restaurant! Alki Spud’s ownership (whose other endeavor you might recognize, Ivar’s) shared these fun facts about her time there:
Under her management, Alki has served:
More than 5.3 million customers.
She has filleted, battered, and breaded more than 937,000 pounds of fish.
She has wrapped more than 4 million lineal feet of SPUD wrapping paper with the bubbling-cod cartoon around orders.
SPUD has soaked, cut, and fried more than 2.3 million pounds of SPUDs to accompany its orders
She has served more than 3.5 million cups of Coke.
Carol’s two daughters were both working with her at Alki Spud (2666 Alki SW) when we took the 2010 photo; Ashley has stayed with the company and is now general manager of Ivar’s Acres of Clams restaurant, while Victoria left Spud in 2020, by which time she’d become assistant manager. But everyone is “family” to Carol Kelly, the owners note, so she’d be thrilled to see you Tuesday afternoon. (There will be cake!)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In these often-grim times, it’s hard to argue with the idea that we need more laughter in our lives.
West Seattleites Travis Sherer and Marc Moreno are doing their best to bring it to you. Not just through their own careers as performing comics, but by producing shows in a variety of venues – West Seattle and beyond – through their company Cozy Comedy.
Here on the peninsula, they’ve been presenting a monthly comedy night at Otter on the Rocks in The Admiral District. And starting this week, they’re adding one at Great American Diner in The Junction. More on that later. First, here’s what they, and Cozy Comedy, are about.
Sherer explains that the name originated with the venues where they produce shows – not just bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, but also condo and apartment buildings’ communal spaces.
This reader report is from Jill, on behalf of her neighbor Helga, who in turn wanted to let the community know about a neighbor who’s gone above and beyond the call of neighborliness this past summer:
(This) neighbor, Kristen Thom-McMaster, has spent over 100 hours this summer weeding the raingarden areas at our Cottage Grove Park on 26th Ave. Helga took some before and after pictures to show how big of a difference this neighbor quietly made in our neighborhood.
Also I want to acknowledge it was a HOT summer and Kristen was out there in long, protective clothing just yanking out briars with all kinds of yucky surprises underneath (dog poo, specifically, as it near the dog walking area) – so this was a truly difficult task that no one asked her to do which improved our shared space and we neighbors appreciate it deeply.
Ernie Norgard is such a good neighbor, his neighbors in an area west of The Junction got together tonight to wish him a happy birthday.
It’s a milestone birthday – Ernie is turning 90 tomorrow.
Sue, who told us about tonight’s celebration, explained, “He’s a inspiration & a helpful kind man who does yard work for some lucky neighbors (including me)!” Check out this mowing/edging job:
Ernie has lived in West Seattle his entire life, Sue tells us.
West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) is saying goodbye to a longtime team member and inviting you to join them in sharing warm wishes for him – here’s the announcement:
It is with a mix of joy and sadness we are announcing that Tom, after over 30 years with us at West Seattle Thriftway, is retiring.
Tom graduated from West Seattle High School in 1983 and was hired here in 1989 after working several jobs around town, including the Kenney Home and the famous Charlestown Cafe. After settling into his role here, he knew this would be the place he retired from one day – AND HERE IT IS! Tom is our senior Courtesy Clerk and is responsible for keeping our store clean, bagging groceries, putting up with Steve razzing him, and so much more! He will be packing up and heading down south to spend his golden years in Palm Springs. Tom is loved by many here in town and we knew you’d like us to share this exciting news!
Join us in celebrating his retirement by signing a card for him through this week, and for a slice of cake the afternoon of September 1st, his last day.
After West Seattle musician and educator Lou Magor died in April of last year, there was a promise his life eventually would be celebrated in grand style, once it was safer for people to gather. Now, Kenyon Hall – the historic West Seattle venue he ran and championed – is inviting people to that celebration:
Time to Remember
Seattle Artists/Kenyon Hall presents —
An Open House to honor the memory and legacy of Lou Magor.
Hosted by – Casey McGill & Orville Johnson
Join us for good food, musical tributes, sharing of memories & good stories.
Saturday, September 17, 2022
12:00 pm-4:00 pm
7904 35th Ave SW, Seattle WA 98126
Please Note: If you want to attend, and share, in person – masks are required inside the hall for the immunocompromised among us.
If you are unable to join us in person, we invite you to share memories, words of tribute, photos or videos of Lou with us. Send them to the hall’s postal address or email address as soon as possible. We will do our best to share your words and memories during the afternoon.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Seattle Artists’ board of directors is working on a memorial marker for Lou to be placed in a W Seattle location. Donations to fund the marker will be collected at the open house or can be sent via the usual channels to Kenyon Hall — ATTN: Lou Magor Memorial Project
Seattle Artists is the nonprofit that operates Kenyon Hall and, as we reported here, has worked to continue to keep it alive as a place where people can find joy.
Last year, Joe Drake‘s friend Amy told us about his World Marathon Majors achievement, Now Amy has let us know that the West Seattle runner living with Parkinson’s is getting ready for a new running adventure: On September 9-10, Joe and 11 others living with Parkinson’s will run the Blue Ridge Relay as Team Synapse. Watch the video above to meet them all. It’s a 208-mile relay spanning two states, Virginia and North Carolina, over a day and a half. They’re looking for support to back Parkinson’s research – their running is extra-meaningful because exercise is a tool they use to slow the progression of Parkinson’s. The link to donate is on this page.
Just received from Andreea:
Hi, neighbors! My good friend and I have been contemplating ways to contribute to creating a slightly kinder, more civil city. We’ve embarked personally on what we call our “Seattle Civility Pledge.” I’m sharing here in case any of y’all would care to join – and she’s doing the same in her Rainier Beach neighborhood. Small acts, done with love. We know laws, policies, etc. are critical, but we don’t underestimate the power of small stuff, either. So here we go!
1. I pledge to melt the Seattle freeze. A nod, a smile, a wass up, how ya doing– or whatever human action breaks through so that we connect with each other in tiny ways that matter.
2. I pledge to slow my roll. Children crossing, red-light cameras, cyclists galore–I’m going to try my best to ease up on the gas pedal.
3. I pledge to quit trippin’ and let drivers merge and pedestrians cross. When I merge or cross, I pledge to wave a “thanks so much” and offer a smile.
4. I pledge to pick up one piece of garbage when I’m out and about. Yes, yes, I’m gonna pick up someone else’s trash, because it’s my city after all (and thank you to those I see already doing this!)
5. I pledge to give up a seat on the bus or help someone get their groceries into the car or take the cart back for them. Just because.
Civility: pass it on! xo
David Liguoy is spending the night in West Seattle tonight, another stop along his two-continent journey aboard a solar-powered recumbent bicycle, from Argentina to Quebec. Brian sent the photo, explaining he happened to meet Liguoy while at Angle Lake Cyclery in South Delridge, where Liguoy had stopped for a new tire. Brian explains that Liguoy is a peace and climate activist from France who’s stopping in the Seattle area “to meet with some well-known philanthropists.” He’s seeking support for initiatives that are explained on his website. He’s headed to Canada next; tonight he’s staying in a camper at Brian’s house, and Brian plans to “help him fit up some panniers to cross Canada.”