West Seattle, Washington
That’s Craig, whose mother asked us to ask you to help find him. He’s been missing since Friday night and may have been seen Saturday evening at Alki. She says Craig is 17 years old, 5’9″, with light gray eyes, brown curly hair “down in the face or in a man bun,” last seen wearing blue sweat pants, gray tank top, and a white sweatshirt with 2Pac on it. If you see Craig, call 911 and note the SPD case number of 23-74663, or call his mom Christina at 603-748-2904.
West Seattle’s drag scene is booming. Along with the longrunning West End Girls monthly “drag extravaganza” at The Skylark, there’s now also regular Out At The Box nights at Box Bar, shows at Admiral Pub, the new Kenyon Hall Cabaret, and more. (We list them all on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar when we get advance notice.) Now a new addition – the first-ever Drag Tea at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (3940 41st SW) – here’s the invitation they asked us to share:
We are thrilled to be hosting a Drag Tea on April 1st from 1 pm to 3 pm.
Yes Tea, Yes Shade, Yes Pink Lemonade! Come delight in an afternoon of tea, snacks, community, and FUN with drag queen Ms. Penny Cost! All ages welcome!
100% of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Beloved Arise, a nonprofit organization dedicated to LGBTQIA+ youth of faith. Beloved Arise seeks to build relationships, offer support, and inspire youth to embrace life to the fullest.
Pay what you can. Every dollar will go to support Beloved Arise. Suggested Donations: $20 adult, $10 kids and youth
Attire: You do you! Wear what makes you feel most yourself! Dress casual or dress up, just be YOU!
Learn more about Tibbetts UMC by visiting our website. Tibbetts is at 3940 41st Ave SW; enter the Fellowship Hall at the corner of 41st and Andover.
Please reserve your seat! Tickets & info here.
We recently spotted that Halloween holdover in Highland Park, costumed as a Girl Scout Cookies promoter. Until now, it’s just been advance/online cookie-sales time, but starting Friday, cookie booths will pop up around West Seattle (and of course elsewhere) for in-person purchases. Here’s the lookup to see where, by zip code, you’ll find cookie booths. And Scouts and their families are excited – we’ve heard from two today, in fact.
–Troop 46258 will be outside Husky Deli on Sunday the 5th from Noon to 2 pm and outside West Seattle Thriftway at Morgan Junction on Wednesday the 15th from 6 to 8 pm. That information is courtesy of Scout Norah and her family, who also shared her cookie-selling website if you won’t be able to get to a booth and want to order by mail (deadline March 13) or order for free home delivery (by March 20).
–Troop 41268‘s co-cookie manager Antoinette sends word that “Our Daisies (5-6 year olds) are doing their first-ever Girl Scout cookie booth sale this Friday from 3-5 pm at Dog City. Jan, the owner, is kind enough to let us have it there and the girls are excited! We will also be at Thriftway on Saturday (10-12 pm) and True Value (10 am-12 pm Sunday) for the Farmers Market.”
Any other troops interested in a mention can email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). Cookie booths will continue through March 19th.
P.S. Some changes this year, according to the official news release – including a new variety, Raspberry Rally, and a price increase. Plus, a reminder of what the cookie sales are all about:
Our mission at Girl Scouts of Western Washington is to build Girl Scouts of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Cookie Program supports this mission by providing hands-on experience in setting goals, making business decisions, and embarking on a lifelong leadership journey. The cookie program also provides an essential way for Girl Scouts to cover the cost of their Girl Scout experiences. Many Girl Scouts use cookie revenue to pay for membership dues, program supplies, and activities like travel, camp, and STEM exploration.
ADDED TUESDAY: We heard from Angela regarding the cookie-promoting skeleton shown above;
Thanks for featuring our skeleton friend Mr. LeBONEski! Our daughter, Harper from Troop 41169, helped her grandma design and sew the giant Girl Scout vest to help market her cookie sales. Harper will be selling in person at the Highland Park Corner Store on Sunday from 11-1 and again next Thursday evening from 5:30-7:30, while the store has the Where Ya At Matt food truck outside. Come say hi and help her push to her final fundraising goal for her big trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos in July! You can also order online for local delivery or shipping at her website: digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/scout/harper143137 If you don’t want to purchase cookies, a donation on the website will send cookies to our troops and help Harper and our troop with fundraising – win-win-win!
Also, a HUGE thank you to the West Seattle community for supporting Harper and the rest of troop 41169! Our girls have learned so much over the last 8 years through cookies sales and they are making dreams come true with the proceeds! I have been amazed watching them transform from little five years olds selling a few boxes to true entrepreneurs- creating email marketing campaigns, taking over inventory management, planning complicated delivery routes and learning how to provide excellent customer service!
We also heard today from Jolene:
Troop 42301 will be selling at Menchie’s in the Admiral Junction Friday, March 3rd, 4-6 (we will be on the sidewalk on California), March 4th at Thriftway in the Morgan Junction 12-2 pm, and March 5th at the Roxbury Safeway, 10-2.
Keith Hughes, who runs the West Seattle Veteran Center and the emergency shelter hosted inside it, is “Washingtonian of the Day.” Governor Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee traveled to West Seattle this morning to present the award in person.
Here’s our video of the short ceremony, in which the governor presented that certificate as well as an apple pin:
There to show their support were community leaders from groups/organizations including the Westside Interfaith Network, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (which honored Hughes last year as Westsider of the Year), and WS Junction Association.
Before presenting the award, the Inslees toured the center/shelter, housed inside historic American Legion Post 160. With another snap of sub-freezing weather forecast for later this week, we asked Hughes if the shelter has any specific current needs. Here’s what you can donate: Hot-cocoa mix (packets preferred), coffee creamer (powdered type), underwear, T-shirts, and jeans (men’s and women’s) – not a huge amount of those items, maybe a dozen each. The center/shelter is at 3618 SW Alaska. (Added: And as noted in comments, it now has a website.)
Some got flowers for Valentine’s Day. Some got jewelry. Sara got … a replica of the West Seattle Bridge. She and her Valentine emailed us late tonight to tell the story:
We thought we’d share our valentine to which other West Seattleites might relate.
Sara lives in West Seattle. Cameron lives in Capitol Hill. After numerous arduous trips through Georgetown to see each other, our relationship cooled slowly but steadily during the bridge repairs.
He says he called Sara for weekend outings to keep the relationship alive with the mantra, “just get to the bridge opening.” The bridge opened, they went on more outings, he appealed to rekindle things, and lo and behold, things are warming up again.
When he told her while skiing recently that he prays at an altar of the West Seattle bridge … the idea of a Valentine’s gift for her was born.
Cam found his old architecture basswood in the basement, scoured the internet for photos, even schematic scaled plans, and got to work on the model itself, the night before Valentine’s Day.
Thank you dear Lady of the West Seattle Bridge, our hearts are overflowing with gratitude.
Love, Sara and Cam
Just in from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce – nominations are being welcomed for the 2023 Westside Awards:
Annually the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce presents the Westside Awards, and the nomination portal is now live for you to submit your selections for 1) Business of the Year, 2) Not-for-Profit of the Year, 3) Emerging Business of the Year, and 4) Westsider of the Year.
The community is invited to submit nominations online here forms.office.com/r/igvg7KMMg0. Deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, March 7th, 2023.
Mark your calendar for the Annual Westside Awards Breakfast to be held in-person on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023, at The Brockey Center at South Seattle College. At this event, the West Seattle Chamber will honor the award winners as well as the awardee finalists. Event details to follow at wschamber.com. Take a look back at the previous Westside Award winners in each category here: wschamber.com/westside-awards.
If you have questions about the Westside Awards, please reach out to Chamber Executive Director Whitney Moore at email@example.com.
We’ve reported before on West Seattle filmmaker Amy Benson‘s work, including the award-winning “Drawing the Tiger.” This time, she’s telling a personal story – which is also one that’s ahead for us all, one way or another:
I am making my first personal documentary about my mom, Patsy Benson, a 92-year-old retired actress and homemaker who lives at The Kenney on Fauntleroy.
The film is called “The Last Act: A short documentary about Life and Death.” It follows my mom’s journey of deciding it is no longer safe to live on her own and finding a retirement community she can afford and feel at home — all while her best friend of 60 years is in hospice. It is a film about aging and preparing emotionally for the final stage of life. It is half verite documentary and half theatrical performance. Throughout, my mom performs monologues that we captured on the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center stage.
We are currently running a Kickstarter campaign for finishing funds for the film. We need to raise $14,300 by February 22. The campaign is going really well and I believe we will make our goal. Once we do, we plan on making a stretch goal to fund free screenings at senior settings in greater Seattle accompanied by a curriculum for seniors and their adult children/care partners.
We are on target to have the project completed by May. My mom and I will premiere it at The Kenney over the summer, as well as Kenyon Hall. It is edited by West Seattle resident Kristin Ougendal.
Even if you’re not interested in donating, check out the Kickstarter page to watch a two-minute video about the project, in which you’ll meet Amy’s mom and also hear from Amy, who explains she’s telling the story because she feels her mom’s approach to this stage of life is “both comforting and contagious.” (As somber as the subject matter may sound, the video is likely to make you smile.)
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.
(This photo and next, courtesy Don Bazemore)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!)
(WSB photo: Marc Moreno and Travis Sherer of Cozy Comedy)
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.
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