West Seattle people 2320 results

West Seattle teen to spend Saturday swimming, biking, running ‘solo Ironman’ triathlon

That’s Herman Meyer, who you might see around West Seattle tomorrow attempting an intense atyletic feat. Herman’s friend Riley Nachtrieb tells the story:

West Seattle High School senior Herman Meyer (17 years old) is attempting to complete a solo Ironman around West Seattle on Saturday, September 25th. This is an unorganized event.

Not only is he doing his first Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run), he is doing it alone, competing only with himself.

Herman will be attempting this as a personal endeavor. It is purely driven by his determination to finish the 140.3 miles. He says, “I talked about it with a friend and I thought it would be fun to do. I have always wanted to do something like it, so I committed.”

He’s going to start the swim at 8 am near the Alki Bathhouse. Around one and a half hours later, he will be transitioning to his bike, riding loops around West Seattle until he reaches the 112-mile mark at his house- This will be around seven and a half hours later. From there, he will continue onto his 26.2 mile run. If everything goes according to plan, he will finish his solo Ironman around 12 am.

Herman will be accompanied by friends and family for safety, support, and pacing. West Seattle High School friends will be following on paddle boards; His parents, Kathrine and Wesley Meyer, will be following on bikes; And WSHS alum Riley Nachtrieb, who attempted to run the first 140mi Olympic Discovery Trail FKT, will be running with him.

On Saturday, if you see a person swimming alongside paddle boards, a cyclist wearing a pink helmet, or a couple people running on Alki at zero dark thirty, that is Herman! The public is always welcomed to show support publicly and virtually throughout this amazing effort.

On Saturday, you can follow along live on Instagram: @hermanasaurus_rex and @rileyknachtrieb.

He spent years cleaning up a West Seattle greenspace. Now he’s asking for help with a different kind of cleanup

A West Seattle man who has given to the community is now hoping he can get a helping hand.

What Scott Dolfay is dealing with is a side effect of the pandemic. In short, he was unable to evict renters who he says trashed the house he was renting to them, not only falling into arrears on rent, but refusing him access for inspection. But there’s more to the story than “aggrieved landlord.” And he’s not asking for money – he’s asking for cleanup help this weekend.

His own previous community work, in fact, involved a different kind of cleanup. We reported here four years ago on Dolfay’s ongoing work at Seola Pond, organizing restoration of a site that he described as a “de-facto community park.” With little fanfare, he managed to corral volunteer help – including local students – and donated material,

Now he’s hoping some neighbors will lend a hand at his former rental house in north Arbor Heights. Here’s what he sent us:

Our family’s only major investment, a small house first bought in 1977, was intended to support our only child, Taichi, an adopted Down syndrome young man.

As aging parents we have no extended family to care for him when we are no longer able to. Recent history has demonstrated that if we rely solely on the government to care for him he may well end up abused or worse.

Due to the unconstitutional eviction moratorium and our tenants’ abuse of it, the hope of keeping the house to fund his special needs trust is no longer an option. After cleaning up the mountain of trash, we will sell “as is.”. We received some federal compensation but nothing from the city or state (the mayor’s directive didn’t allow for even the sale of property while occupied). Yet we still have to pay property tax and utilities. Unable to evict while observing the property’s destruction, the federal payment didn’t come close to covering our losses. Please consider helping with cleaning up the aftermath.

Cleanup days: Saturday (18th) & Sunday (19th)

We will provide a limited number of N95 masks along with light-duty gloves and bottled water.

Things to bring if you can (not required):
Hand truck – wheelbarrow – weed whacker – impact driver (to remove many screws).

The “destruction,” he says, includes a skateboarding facility the tenant built in the back yard, mostly dismantled but “a lot of trash remains.”

Dolfay says that prior to this, he has been trying to get help from city officials for many months. (He also notes that he is a party in the Rental Housing Association‘s lawsuit over eviction restrictions.) He says he was asked to offer suggestions, so he did: Waive a year of property tax, pay for a year of insurance, waive the unpaid utilities for which he says he’s been targeted for collection, supply a city crew to help with cleanup. None of that happened. Eventually, he says, sometime this spring, the tenants just “abandoned the place” and he regained control of the property this summer. Now he’s proceeding with plans to sell. Anyone who can help with the cleanup can reach him at satomiscott (at) q.com.

CONGRATULATIONS! AAUW continues scholarship support for Anna Nguyen

As the new school year continues, a local college student is getting support again from the Seattle AAUW, which sent the announcement and photo:

Anna Nguyen, a West Seattle resident and 2019 South Seattle College graduate, has been awarded a scholarship of over $5,000 for a third year from the Seattle Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Ms. Nguyen, a senior at UW-Seattle, is double-majoring in public health-global health and sociology.

AAUW’s mission is to advance gender equity and economic security for women and their families, through education, advocacy and research. Learn more about AAUW and our scholarships at www.aauw-seattle.org.

LABOR DAY: West Seattle writers collaborate on newsletter about ‘work, expertise, and stories of women’

Meet Niki Stojnic (left) and Nia Martin (right). We’re spotlighting these West Seattle writers on Labor Day because they are collaborating on a project that “focuses on the work, expertise, and stories of women in the greater Seattle area and how we impact and shape the city and Pacific Northwest region.” It’s a twice-monthly newsletter called Parts & Labor. Martin says, “We’ve gotten some great interviews over 31 issues — featuring accomplished women across the spectrum, from the new executive chef of Canlis, Aisha Ibrahim, and her partner on how they’re changing kitchen culture, to how Vivian Hua helped keep Northwest Film Forum going during the pandemic.”

Martin and Stojnic launched Parts & Labor just as the pandemic began, in fact – March 2020. Since both are West Seattleites, Martin says, “We frequently feature West Seattle women’s small businesses in our ‘She Made It’ short feature section and our ‘Attn’ section, which calls out timely events, businesses and organizations.” After almost a year and a half, they stopped down during August for a break but are now getting ready for their next issue – scheduled publication date, September 16th. You can browse past Parts & Labor issues here (that’s also where you can subscribe, free!). They also publish “featurettes” on Instagram.

READER REPORT: Scout Troop 282’s summer success

West Seattle’s Scout Troop 282 is continuing weekly meetings after a summer to remember. The report and photos are from Jay Brock:

School’s back and Troop 282 had another successful and exciting summer. Between Troop 282 and Crew 282 the 2021 summer was awesome. The Troop continued meeting outside at Lincoln Park on Tuesdays throughout the summer. They trained in the areas of dining fly setup, rope fusing & whipping, Dutch oven cooking, hypothermia, and many other hiking & camping skills. The scouts used the skills learned for a terrific summer camp at Chief Seattle Council’s Camp Parsons. They also completed a 5-day, 4 night backpacking trip for new scouts in the Alpine Lakes area between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass. The last hoorahs for the summer were a swimming and water-sports day at Seward Park and fun at Wild Waves Theme Park.

Crew 282 completed a long-awaited trek to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The high adventure crew comprised of more than 15 scouts (14 and older) split into three treks at Philmont covered between 60 and 120 miles, depending on the crew, hiking over a 12-day period. All three groups summited Mt. Baldy at more than 12,400 feet and had adventures that included archaeology, blacksmithing, gold mining & panning, shotgun shooting, wildlife conservation, and others. The crews were completely self-sufficient carrying and cooking their own meals, orienting their way through the more than 140,000 acres of rugged terrain, and completing a conservation project. The trek had originally been planned for 2018 but was moved to 2020 due to a devastating fire and then got pushed to 2021 because of COVID-19.

Troop 282 will be continuing their meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 at Lincoln Park or Westside Presbyterian Church please check our troop calendar for details http://troop282.net/calendar/. All are welcome as Troop 282 has boys’ and girls’ troops. COVID-19 guidelines are followed, so please bring a mask. Our fall adventures include a rafting trip, at least one campout a month, and day/snowshoe hikes when the snow arrives.

Tilden School founder Whitney Tjerandsen retiring; celebration next weekend

One week from tomorrow, an outdoor celebration is planned to celebrate the past, present, and future of West Seattle’s Tilden School. At the heart of it, the school’s founder. Here’s the announcement:

Whitney Tjerandsen of Tilden School Retiring

Almost 37 years ago, Whitney Tjerandsen had the same angst as many other West Seattle parents: how to find the right school for her own soon-to-be Kindergarten son. The difference was that she had taught in the Berkeley Public Schools for 12 years, so she really knew what she was looking for: a school where he, and any child, would learn and thrive.

She found one on Capitol Hill, only to face a waiting list that was completely full. Words from the director of that school kindled a spark: “You are a teacher! Use your teaching skills and love of kids and their learning – and start your own school.”

With Whitney ‘s boundless and newly focused energy, she did just that. Putting the word out to the West Seattle community, the first year of Tilden School began with 12 students and ended the year with 17; the next year, it grew to 35; the next 78, and so on. Tilden School was a reality! As the school grew, Whitney hired a cadre of like-minded teachers with the same love of kids and philosophy of teaching.

What makes Tilden School unique? Keeping the class size small (no matter the looming waiting lists) allows individualized education. Whitney herself meets with each child every few weeks, K through Grade 5, to review their reading progress, to help them utilize the crucial phonics and syllabification rules to open up the sounding out of new words that make a reader and writer.

Ever dramatic and engaging, she wears her Super-E cape to teach those logical, and illogical, rules of English words. After all, knowing “I can teach a rock to read,” (and has the rock that proves it!) inspires children to tackle learning, even the difficult tasks.

She holds high expectations for each child, while building in the structure to help them succeed-not only academically, but personally. Just as important as strong academics is expecting and promoting the qualities of “responsible, good people” in society who know how to treat one another with kindness and respect.

Children learn to be responsible for themselves and celebrate who they are without needing to see themselves as better than anyone else, not as competitors, but with each as an important part of the whole.

This Covid year, Tilden continued to welcome and nurture children from K through 5th grade, and it became Whitney’s retirement year. It was not an easy decision, because in her words, ” I LOVE it! And I will so miss the kids and teachers.” The stars aligned and it became the right time. One of the Tilden teachers, Sarah Shearer, was ready to take the lead, so the school will continue.

Some favorite teachers and staff will also be retiring this year: Elaine Connell, Jan Foster, Karin Beck, and Administrator Monica Riva. Tilden teachers are also what makes Tilden a special place. Drawn to a small school after working a decade or more in public schools, they all relished the opportunity to get to know each child. Whitney describes her teachers as: “dedicated, hardworking, calm, smart, able to balance leadership with kindness, having a sense of humor, and a sense of what is right.” And so much fun!

What is next for Whitney in retirement? She will still take a small part in Tilden School, meeting individually with each student for reading skills. She will continue with her small part of the former Lou Magor and Whitney music program. They were friends for almost 50 years–since he was her director in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. She feels that she could never fill his shoes, but will do her part, admittedly with a heavy heart.

She won’t have to find new hobbies in retirement because now she will have time to revel in her varied interests and skills-gardening, music (chamber music on cello, barbershop singing, 2 choirs, fiddle lessons, ukulele with the kids, learning crumhorn and alto recorder) and she has two grandchildren who live nearby, which is just a joy!

If you experience a Whitney “celebrity sighting” as a current student or family, be sure to catch her eye, and as a Tilden alum or family, expect her\ to swoon in delight and ask for a life update!

Join us to celebrate the retirements:
Sunday, August 29 from 3-6 p.m.
Hiawatha Park
(2700 California SW)

Please help us spread the word to current families, past students and their own growing families, past parents.

VIDEO: Human-powered parade on day 2 of Alki Beach Pride 2021

What a day for pup-watching as well as people-watching at the beach. Just after 1 pm, the second major parade of Alki Beach Pride 2021 took off eastbound from Statue of Liberty Plaza – this one, people-powered:

The people who powered it most of all – ABP organizers Stacy and Jolie Bass-Walden:

This is the seventh year for ABP – usually a giant beach party until the pandemic forced some changes last year and this year (here’s the full schedule).

Not too late to be part of it – the outdoor movie “But I’m a Cheerleader” screens at Alki Playground starting at 8:15 pm. (Our coverage of some of yesterday’s events is here.)

VIDEO: Here’s how Alki Beach Pride 2021 began

Smiles, waves, billowing flags, and honking horns kicked off this year’s Alki Beach Pride weekend – celebrating the LGBTQ+ community – with a car/motorcycle parade that left Jack Block Park shortly after noon. Even a classic fire truck!

Here’s our video of the entire parade as it headed onto Harbor Avenue SW, beach-bound:

After the parade, we headed uphill to The Admiral District, where the Rainbow City Band was serenading outdoor diners on restaurant row:

Day 1 festivities continue with parties at West Seattle Brewing and Alki Beach Pub; tomorrow includes a rolling/biking parade from Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza at 1 pm and an outdoor movie at 8:15 pm at Alki Playground – see the full schedule here. This is the 7th year for ABP, but as explained here, its roots go back much further.

CONGRATULATIONS! Ms. Wheelchair Washington, Kaitlin Skilton, about to compete nationally

One of your West Seattle neighbors, Kaitlin Skilton, is Ms. Wheelchair Washington, headed to national Ms. Wheelchair America competition next week. Here’s her announcement:

Kaitlin Skilton, a Seattle native who competed and won the state competition with her platform of Inclusivity, is preparing to compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America with her new platform (bettering interactions between law enforcement and the disability community). Her platform focuses on training for officers to identify when an individual has a visible and/or invisible disability and how to best meet their needs.

Skilton was born on September 19th, 1996 with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele, as well as other underlying disabilities. Kaitlin is also a commissioner on Seattle’s Disability Commission, a commission that advises the mayor, city council, and city departments on various topics involving the disability community.

Kaitlin is also eligible to win the People’s Choice Award, an award that was intended to help raise money for the new Ms.Wheelchair America to help cover the cost of a PCA and travel cost as well as for her state. Click here to vote for just $1!

The Ms. Wheelchair America program has almost half a century of history

UPDATE: Roxbury shooting victim was rapper Gonzoe

(Updated Monday with official confirmation of Roxbury victim’s ID)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The man shot and killed at 28th/Roxbury Thursday night is reported to have been 45-year-old Ronald Moore, best known as the veteran rapper Gonzoe,

There is still no official confirmation of this – the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the victim’s ID yet – but we have confirmed that Gonzoe lived in West Seattle.

Word of his death started circulating last night, starting with a report on the entertainment-news site VladTV (which cited WSB for details on Thursday night’s crime scene/investigation). There’s no question that Gonzoe, who came to fame in the mid-’90s as a member of the group Kausion – has died; family, friends, and fans are mourning him. But what we’ve spent hours trying to find is an open citation of who actually linked his death to the Thursday night shooting. Because so many people have called this to our attention, we’re publishing this story with what we do know, as well as what we don’t.

Though his online ID cites Los Angeles as his base, we have confirmed that Gonzoe lived in West Seattle, at least part of the time. First word came from a person who contacted us, identifying themselves as a longtime friend, saying that the rapper moved here a few years ago and has family here; this person said they’d confirmed the death circumstances by talking to a relative. Checking various types of online databases in which names and addresses can potentially be matched, we found confirmation in 2020 and 2021 records from a traffic case that he had a Morgan Junction address. Looking through Gonzoe’s Instagram posts – in which he often gave short pep talks to his followers – we found one video dated July 13th that was clearly made here in West Seattle (the beachfront scenery shows Vashon and Blake Islands).

Back to online information, his friend Boskoe 100, with whom Gonzoe founded a boxing league called Glovez Up Gunz Down, talked about the shooting in a video. He said he was told that Gonzoe was getting ready for a “late-night studio session” when he went to the Roxbury Lanes restaurant to pick up some food, got into an argument with someone, and that person followed him out and shot him.

The King County Sheriff’s Office continues investigating the Thursday night shooting but hasn’t released a report on the circumstances; what we cited in our coverage comes from what we learned at the scene and via emergency-radio communication that night, as well as KCSO confirming the victim’s death Friday morning.

ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: Via King County Public Health/Medical Examiner’s Office, we have confirmed that the Roxbury shooting victim was indeed Ronald Moore/Gonzoe. His death was ruled a homicide, caused by a gunshot wound to the chest. No updates so far from KC Sheriff’s Office investigators.

(Photo: @TheRealGonzoe)

California/Charlestown 7-11 customers’ outpouring in memory of Victor Henley

(Texted photo)

Both outside his California/Charlestown 7-11 and inside, memorials are growing for Victor Henley, who died suddenly on Friday.

(WSB photo)

Thanks to everybody who’s tipped us about this. Victor was much-loved by customers – one person who emailed us described him as “a human that could reach out and make you smile,” His page on the Emmick Family Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) website has a message from his family:

Victor’s celebration of life will be a public event and will take place in West Seattle, the community he loved very much. Our family appreciates the outpouring of kind words and memories of Victor that you have been sharing. The love you have shown is immeasurable; there are no words to describe how special you have made us feel.

Victor was 50 years old.

GRATITUDE: Cub Scout Pack 799 teams with generous West Seattleites for big food-drive haul

Despite the heat, Cub Scout Pack 799 from Arbor Heights made good on their door-to-door food-drive pickup promise this past weekend. Here are photos and the wrapup report:

Cub Scout Pack 799 completed our food drive this past Saturday, collecting 1,446 pounds of nutritious and/or necessary household donations for West Seattle Food Bank.

The heat was already building Saturday morning, but Scouts started early, braved it, and did a great job collecting from all their fantastic neighbors who continue to support our diverse and growing West Seattle community. Thanks, West Seattle, for your tireless acts of kindness.

For those that missed our drive, and still want to help, consider volunteering at the White Center Food Bank

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: ‘National Lora Appreciation Day’

(Photo courtesy John Bennett)

If you happened to be in The Junction around 7:30 last night, you might have seen those two ladies riding in a classic Cadillac, doing parade waves. That was part of a surprise party thrown for Lora Radford (above right), executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, which she has led through the pandemic as local businesses’ chief cheerleader, beacon of hope, informational clearinghouse, lobbyist and red-tape fighter, and more. Friends lured her to the courtyard by Hotwire Coffee – which she owned for more than a decade before the WSJA gig – and showered her with appreciation, from a proclamation to pizza:

(WSB photos, here and below)

The “National Lora Appreciation Day” presentation was emceed by Lora’s chaperone for the Cadillac ride, entertainer Sylvia O’Stayformore:

Lora offered words of gratitude and said simply, “We got through the pandemic together.”

P.S. Next big Junction event is getting closer – the Sidewalk Sale on July 8-10!

PRIDE: West Seattle Junction decked with rainbow flags

(WSB photos)

As a grand finale to Pride month, 60 rainbow flags are flying in The Junction this weekend, placed this morning by volunteers. Among them, Colby the bow-tied dog:

For a third year, the West Seattle Junction Association offered the opportunity to “adopt” the flags for a fee – each flag has an accompanying mini-flag with the donor’s message (you can see them all here if you don’t see them all in The Junction).

Matching the mini-flags to flag-placement locations took some logistics – here are City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and WSJA executive director Lora Radford:

As in past years, the flags will be removed before nightfall tonight and put back in place tomorrow morning.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Lou Cutler, finishing his Make-A-Wish ‘marathon’

June 25, 2021 11:54 am
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Lou Cutler, finishing his Make-A-Wish ‘marathon’
 |   How to help | Pigeon Point | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

What a way to celebrate turning 70! At right in our photo is Lou Cutler, the retired PE teacher who is also a longtime Make-A-Wish volunteer raising money for MAW every year with a walkathon at his old school, Pathfinder K-8. Two weeks ago, Lou spent two days walking laps there with students in a pandemic-modified version of his annual fundraiser; the laps totaled a half-marathon, 13+ miles, and today he’s replicating that, with a 13+-mile walk around West Seattle with friends, family, and supporters. We photographed them leaving the Pathfinder campus on Pigeon Point just after 10 am; Lou said the plan was to head northwest to Alki, then south to Beach Drive and Lincoln Park, looping back northeast to finish back at Pathfinder. He says he’s not worried about the heat – “We’ve got water!” He’s also hoping to return to his classic “Laps With Lou” format next year – one day of lapping the school track with one lap for every year of his age, so that’s 71 laps next year. P.S. You can support the Make-A-Wish kids that Lou’s long supported by donating here.

ADDED: Afterward, Lou told us via email, “It took us a little longer than I planned, but we finally made it back to Pathfinder about 7 hours after we left, though we had lots of fun stops along the way and were not in a rush to finish.” His fundraising for this year is getting closer to the goal, too, and he’s still welcoming more donations, to make more kids’ wishes come true.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Neighborhood star gets block-party sendoff

Beautiful night for a party in the Ocean View neighborhood west of Arbor Heights. This one was in honor of a neighborhood star who’s moving away. Neighbors turned out to celebrate Dot Beard.

We heard about the party from Monica, who explained, “Dot has kept our community unified and smoothly functioning these many years and she is now taking a long deserved break,” moving to a retirement center. The party had everything from a food truck to chalk art.

Even if you don’t live in Ocean View, Dot’s advocacy might have benefited you over the years – in the first few years of WSB, we covered her work as president of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council.

Rainbows conquer the rain at Morgan Junction Pride parade

Thanks to the co-organizers at Youngstown Coffee and HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café for these photos from the Morgan Junction Pride parade/gathering this evening. They promised it would happen rain or shine, and it did. Also organizing the event, the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA:

Organizers tell us about 150 people turned out for the festivities.

After the parade/walk around the neighborhood, it was back to Youngstown and HeartBeet:

Upcoming Pride events include a Lincoln Park Pride picnic on June 26th (info here), rainbow flags in The Junction on June 26th and 27th, and later in the summer, Alki Beach Pride on August 14-15.

COUNTDOWN: Two days to Pride mini-parade in Morgan Junction

(Photo by Jerry Simmons)

Two days until Friday’s Pride mini-parade in Morgan Junction, organized by the proprietors of Youngstown Coffee Company and HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café, with the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA. Here’s what’s happening on Friday (June 11th): Meet up at Morgan Junction Park (6413 California SW) by 5 pm. The organizers say all ages are welcome: “Wear your festive Pride gear and bring supportive signs for our transgender youth.” This is happening rain or shine, with “skates, bikes, strollers, and dogs welcome.” Not a street-closing event; participants will proceed up the sidewalk on California to Findlay, cross the street, and loop back to Youngstown and HeartBeet, where they’ll have Pride specials with proceeds benefiting Lambert House.

READER REPORT: Troop 282’s first Court of Honor since pre-pandemic

Thanks to Jay Brock for sending the report and photo:

(Photo by Mike Grueter)

BSA Scout Troop 282 held their triannual Court of Honor at Lincoln Park in West Seattle. This ceremony recognizes the efforts that the Scouts put into their training with promotions to the next ranking, badges, and other awards. Eleven merit badges were awarded, and five Scouts received their next rank. Three of those Scouts: Jeremy Beebe (not pictured), James Brock, and Asher Morgan, were recognized for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. The Eagle Scout Rank is the highest rank a Scout can earn and only about 4% of scouts nationwide achieve it. Troop 282 has a storied history of shattering that percentage.

This Court of Honor was special for the Troop as it was the first one held in person in over a year. The 25 Scouts, friends, and parents at the park for the occasion were also entertained by skits, songs, and jokes from the patrols of Troop 282. Elliot, the Master of Ceremonies for this Court of Honor, did a wonderful job hosting the evening.

Troop 282 is looking forward to transitioning away from online meetings and focusing on the OUT in Scouting. Plans for the summer include summer camp at Camp Parsons, skills hikes to welcome our newest scouts, and hiking/biking outings for the patrols. Troop 282 will be meeting every Tuesday in June at 7:30 pm at the south end of Lincoln Park, and is open to all boys and girls. Feel free to join us for a new experience in Scouting!

If you have a boy or girl interested in joining Troop 282 or Scouting, go here.

GRATITUDE: Heartening demonstration at Alki Beach

The photo is courtesy of Charlotte, an Alki resident who wanted to publicly thank the Westside School (WSB sponsor) students who waved signs during that demonstration at the beach today. “It was refreshing to see the promotion of civility articulated from this diverse representation of the next generation,” she said. “I like to think they get it. They gave many local residents a lift this afternoon. I spoke with the group and the students came up with the idea at Westside School because they felt the message just needed to get out. We’d like to thank them.”

CONGRATULATIONS! Native Action Network award for local educator Boo Balkan Foster

The Native Action Network has presented its Enduring Spirit Award to Boo Balkan Foster, the šəqačib teacher at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School. From the announcement on the Seattle Public Schools website:

… Award recipients are honored for their lifetime commitment to building strong, healthy Native communities and intergenerational connection.

Leaders like Boo have advocated powerfully for environmental protections, access to quality education, holistic health and wellness, cultural preservation, traditional knowledge, tribal sovereignty, strengthening of treaty rights, tribal economic development, and beyond.

Boo is the šəqačib teacher at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School. Boo designed the framework of šəqačib, a class promoting school engagement and academic progress in a culturally sensitive environment for Native youth, to empower her students by centering student voice. The success of Boo’s first course paved the way for more offerings in SPS.

She also piloted curriculum for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, resulting in shifts to align learning levels for high school students. A fierce advocate, Boo is steadfast in demanding Native students have a voice in decision-making.

“It is humbling to be recognized with the current and past leaders of the Enduring Spirit Award,” Boo said. “I am an awe of their dedication, strength, and brilliance. I am honored to be called teacher by students whose wisdom and perseverance inspire me every day. It is a privilege to continue the work of those upon whose shoulders I stand.”

As part of her recognition, Boo was presented with the Inheritance Blanket created by Native artist Sarah Agaton Howes, which pays homage to an Anishinaabe tradition, where the Bear Clan are known as carriers of medicine.

Boo was nominated by fellow SPS staff member Amy Markishtum.

“I have had the privilege of watching Boo from the beginning of her teaching career where we worked together until now, 26 years later, and the impact she has had on her students and families.,” Amy said. “She not only sees them as individuals, but she also sees their potential and helps them to be the best they can be. She inspires them. She has a high bar of expectations for them, and her students rise to her expectations. She is not only their biggest fan, but she will also advocate for them as they navigate middle and high school.”

Native Action Network is a nonprofit organized to promote Native women’s full representation, participation, and leadership in local, state, tribal, and national affairs.

(Photo by Melissa Ponder for Native Action Network)

PRIDE MONTH: White Center flag-raising at Delridge/Roxbury

(WSB photos)

This is Pride Month, and the White Center Pride Flag is flying high at Delridge/Roxbury. We were there for tonight’s ceremony – also a flag-swapping; new flags replaced the worn American and Pride flags that had been atop the flagpole just south of Mac’s Triangle Pub.

After the flags were hoisted, decorations closer to ground level went up too.

Watch here for events – tonight for example, Pride Skate starts at 8:30 pm at Southgate Roller Rink.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle’s Adonis Williams wins Changemaker Challenge

West Seattle High School junior Adonis Williams, an activist for much of his young life, has won a national award from Students Rebuild, in the “Changemaker Challenge.” From the announcement:

As the Challenge closes on June 4th — the culmination of a nine-month process that brought together students from 55 countries and all 50 states — Students Rebuild has selected six changemakers to honor for their community-change efforts, including Adonis. Each award recipient will receive $1,000 to further their efforts.

Adonis Williams is a high school junior, artist and activist. At the age of 12, Adonis was one of eight young people who, in partnership with Our Children’s Trust, sued the Washington State Department of Ecology for failing to adequately protect them and future generations from the effect of climate change. Since then, he has remained deeply involved in environmental activist work across various organizations in the Puget Sound region, including Greenpeace, Seattle Tilth, and Plant for the Planet.

Adonis dearly appreciates the world’s life support systems and the ecology of the natural world around him — and takes every chance he gets to appreciate the beauty of mother earth, which fuels his activism.

(Students Rebuild, which provided the photo, is part of the Bezos Family Foundation.) The Changemaker Challenge awards for middle- and high-school students, including Adonis, will be presented in an online ceremony at 11 am Friday; you can watch by RSVPing here.