West Seattle people 2174 results

CONGRATULATIONS! Chief Sealth IHS student Jennifer Aguilar Bamaca chosen as Washington World Fellow

The video above is from the Lieutenant Governor’s office, spotlighting a program in which a local student has just been chosen to participate. Here’s the announcement:

This week, Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib’s office selected Jennifer Aguilar Bamaca for the Washington World Fellows 2019 cohort.

This year’s winners were selected from nearly 200 nominees from throughout the state. To be considered for the program, students had to be nominated by a teacher or school counselor, and complete a rigorous application process that includes written essays, a personal interview, and a video submission. Nearly all of this year’s fellows will be the first in their families to attend college.

Jennifer, a student at Chief Sealth International High School, is both a student and a boxer, who enjoys learning about her Guatemalan heritage. She was selected for the program based on her enthusiasm for education, and desire to become a leader in her community. In her application she said she is excited for both the opportunity to study abroad, and the academic support to achieve her goal of being the first in her family to go to college.

The fellowship provides students with a study abroad experience in León, Spain during the summer between grades 10 and 11, followed by two years of college readiness and leadership development programming. The Washington World Fellows program was created by the office of Lt. Governor Habib in 2018, and is part of the office’s larger goal of expanding opportunities in higher education throughout Washington.

Jennifer is the only member of this year’s cohort from a Seattle school. The 2018 cohort also included a Sealth student, Luis Bravo Espinoza, spotlighted here in February for his time in Olympia as a State Senate Page.

CONGRATULATIONS! 2019 Westside Awards announced by West Seattle Chamber of Commerce

Announced tonight by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce: The winners of the 2019 Westside Awards! The Chamber says the community nominated more than 50 businesses and individuals for the four annual awards this year, and a panel of judges chose these winners:

(WSCC photo: Chamber board member Kandie Jennings-Malloy with Manager Kory)

Westside Business of the Year (minimum of 3 years in business in West Seattle)
Alki Lumber

(WSCC photo: Anthony Rice, Nicholas Rich, past Chamber chair [& Verity employee] Pete Spalding, Jamie Gonzalez)

Westside Emerging Business (less than 3 years in business in West Seattle)
Verity Credit Union

(WSCC photo: Sandy Adams, Patrick Pape, Laura Lee, and Chamber board member Dawn Leverett)

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year
ArtsWest

(WSB photo, July 2018)

Westsider of the Year
Adah Cruzen

In the award announcement, Chamber CEO Julia Jordan is quoted as saying, “The Westside Awards recognize companies and individuals that reflect our West Seattle geographical, professional, and individual differences. But together we are the collective engine fueling our local economy, keeping our city strong and helping to create a culture that is uniquely West Seattle.” Your chance to applaud the honorees is at the Westside Awards breakfast, Tuesday, April 30th, 7:30 am at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor); tickets and sponsorships are still available via the Chamber website.

GRATITUDE: West Seattle Food Bank reports Scouting for Food total

From Judi Yazzolino at the West Seattle Food Bank:

The West Seattle Food Bank would like to thank all of the Cub and Boy Scouts of West Seattle for participating again this year in their annual Scouting for Food. What a year – 3713 lbs. of food (from multiple troops/packs) & $1712 (all from Pack 282)!

Above, Pack 284; below, Pack 793:

Next, Pack 799:

And Pack 282:

Most of the scouts dropped bags off on the doorsteps of their neighborhood and picked them up again last Saturday to deliver all of the food to the food bank. Pack 282, instead, did a food & funds drive on Saturday at West Seattle Thriftway. The scouts were then able to help us sort and pack all the food here at the food bank, take a tour and learn more about how their food will help. Thank you to not only the scouts & their parents but to all of the many West Seattleites that donated food. This will go a long way to help the 11,500 individuals that we serve every year.

One upcoming way you can help WSFB and the people it serves is to attend its annual Instruments of Change celebration May 11th – full details here!

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle teen wins debate championship, heading to nationals

Another amazing achievement by a West Seattleite! National competition is next for Stephanie Glascock, whose proud family shares the photo and announcement:

Stephanie Glascock, a West Seattle resident who is a senior at Raisbeck Aviation High School, became the First Place Champion in Congressional Debate at this weekend’s Washington State Championship Tournament sponsored by the Washington State Forensics Association (WFSA) and Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). (RAHS placed second in school sweepstakes for Congressional Debate.)

Having competed since her freshman year, Stephanie has garnered several local, state, and national debate awards and distinctions including quarter- and semi-finalist spots at the annual Harvard National High School Invitational Forensics Tournament, held in Cambridge, Mass., which is the largest and most prestigious high-school debate tournament in the country. She has competed twice in the National Speech and Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament held in June, qualifying again this year.

Congratulations, Stephanie!

West Seattle weekend scene: Hate-Free Delridge’s Junction rally

Until 1 pm, Hate-Free Delridge and friends are in The Junction, as announced, at the south end of the block that’s closed every Sunday for the West Seattle Farmers’ Market.

The group planned the rally to show opposition to Islamophobia in the wake of the New Zealand mosque massacres.

Hate-Free Delridge is in its third year.

SUNDAY: Hate-Free Delridge invites you to rally in The Junction

(WSB photo, August 2018)

An open invitation received tonight from Hate-Free Delridge, which invites you to join a gathering at California/Alaska on Sunday:

Please join us this Sunday for a very special event in West Seattle at the Alaska Junction from 11:00 am-1:00 pm! In response to the shootings in New Zealand and the hateful rhetoric of white nationalists, we are standing up to resist hate and shine our love loudly and clearly to our Muslim neighbors and friends.

We look forward to seeing you there — please see the information below and please bring your family, friends and anyone you think might be interested in helping to fight hate in West Seattle and everywhere!

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattleite’s twofold success with UW Equestrian Team

(Photos courtesy David Wilson)

Thanks to David Wilson for sharing the news about his daughter Nicole Wilson, a lifelong West Seattleite who’s experiencing success with the University of Washington Equestrian Team.

Nicole is a UW junior and recently served as show manager for the first home show that the UW team had sponsored in six years, according to this story in the UW Daily. The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association event at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe drew riders from eight universities around the region. Nicole also serves as PR chair for the team and explained the show to the Daily reporter, whose story as a result shows the work it took to make the show happen. Not only was it a success in organization and execution, the UW team also triumphed with the top point total.

As also reported in the story, Nicole has qualified for the IHSA Western-style-riding semifinals in Utah and will travel later this month to ride for a chance to qualify for nationals. She is an alum of two West Seattle schools – Arbor Heights Elementary and Holy Rosary – and, as the Daily report notes, is working on a new West Seattle connection: Bringing the Highland Park-headquartered Seattle Police Mounted Patrol to the UW campus to raise the riding profile.

West Seattle HS student serves as State Senate Page for a week

March 5, 2019 7:02 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people | West Seattle politics

The past few weekends, we have featured local students who spent a week serving as pages at the State Legislature. Just found out about another student who served last week in Olympia, West Seattle High School student Ellie Vann, shown with 34th District State Senator Joe Nguyen. You can find out more about the Page Program by going here.

West Seattle weekend scene: ‘Community circle’ in The Junction

(WSB photos)

In the heart of The Junction, just south of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, about 20 people of all ages gathered at midday today, for a quiet demonstration billed by organizers as a “community circle.”

The demonstration was simple – signs, chalk art, face painting. Organizers told us about it via a social-media event page in which they said they want to counter “uncovered hate” via a “physical circle of humans representing community, love, and our protecting of our LGBTQIA family.”

VIDEO: Cube competition brings 100 to West Seattle

March 2, 2019 3:28 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

100 people are competing in cube-puzzle-solving during a big event today in West Seattle. They’ve filled the Masonic Center in The Junction since early this morning.

The West Seattle Favorites” competition is about more than Rubik’s Cubes – as co-organizer David Brown noted, there’s a wide variety of “twisty puzzles” and challenges in solving them – here’s the list for today – including doing it by touch and memory:

We caught part of that competition on video:

As spelled out on the competition website, competitors have to play by the rules of the World Cube Association.

This is scheduled to continue until about 5:45 pm, and spectators are welcome – no admission charge.

COMMUNITY GIVING: Impact West Seattle’s first quarterly gift

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

A celebration at noontime today in the West Seattle Triangle – the demonstration house that’s temporarily on American Legion Post 160‘s lawn was the backdrop for Impact West Seattle‘s first quarterly-gift presentation. The recipient of the $15,300 donation: The BLOCK Project. Here’s the announcement from Impact West Seattle:

Impact West Seattle is a newly founded coalition of women using their collective giving to make an impact on the major issues facing the area. The group is an example of so many people’s desire to ‘do something’ amidst a challenging political climate and in a city facing massive growth and major challenges.

‘We saw an opportunity to bring together a community of local women who want to learn more about local non-profits, and how collectively we can support them in a meaningful way’, according to Rachel Lazar, one of the six group founders. ‘Along with the growth of our city, the need has also grown, and there are so many people who want to help but don’t know where to start. We simply wanted to provide a platform for community, learning and action’.

Impact West Seattle provides a simple membership structure, requiring a $100 quarterly donation which goes directly to the non-profit selected by the group at each quarterly meeting. Prior to the start of each year, members select four quarterly giving themes and can nominate non-profits that fit within them to pitch to the full membership. In the quarterly meeting pitches, members learn about local non-profits and ultimately vote to determine which will receive the significant quarterly gift.

The giving group grew to over 150 women in the first few months prior to the first meeting and hopes to continue to grow in the West Seattle area, as well as to expand into other neighborhoods of Seattle and the Eastside. This fast growth demonstrates the need for these types of programs not only in our area, but across the Country.

The BLOCK Project, run by local non-profit Facing Homelessness, is the recipient of the first Impact West Seattle Gift. The housing and community building project invites community into the task of ending homelessness by placing a BLOCK home in the backyard of one single-family lot on every residentially zoned block in Seattle. Each 125 square foot home is beautifully designed to be sustainable, self-sufficient, and amenity-rich.

‘We are so incredibly grateful for Impact West Seattle’s generous donation’, said The BLOCK Project Executive Director Sara Vander Zanden. ‘This group models one of our organization’s core beliefs which is that the collective impact of many compassionate gestures can make a profound difference on this city and in the lives of people living outside. When each of us asks, “What can I do?” despite knowing we cannot do it all, we begin to end homeslessness.’

Funds from the Impact West Seattle donation will contribute directly towards the construction and landscaping of the six backyard BLOCK homes being built in 2019.

The BLOCK Project’s demo house is expected to be on display outside Post 160 for a few more months, until it’s moved to a permanent home – to become someone’s home.

CONGRATULATIONS! King County Council MLK Medal for Renée Hopkins

February 27, 2019 12:07 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

12:07 PM: That video features our area’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott explaining why he chose West Seattleite Renée Hopkins as one of this year’s nine recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service. Hopkins is CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility; you might also know her through her previous work leading the Seattle Police Foundation, or her community volunteer work. As explained in a County Council announcement, “This will be the 4th year Councilmembers recognize individuals with the MLK Medal of Distinguished Service, which celebrates those who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a difference in communities across King County.” The medals were presented in a ceremony this morning downtown.

5:31 PM: After the jump – the news release from McDermott’s office:

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Chief Sealth IHS student spends a week as State Senate Page

Did you know the State Senate has a Page program for youth? Here’s a news release we received about a Chief Sealth International High School student who just spent a week participating:

Luis Bravo Espinoza, 16, served as a page in the Washington State Senate during the week of February 18th.

Pages are sponsored by the Senator from their legislative district, or by another member in the legislature. 34th District Senator Joe Nguyen sponsored Bravo Espinoza’s week in the Legislature.

“We really enjoyed having Luis here with our team in the legislature this week” said Nguyen. “I hope that he had fun at the Capitol, and was able to learn plenty!”

The page program offers a hands-on opportunity for students to find out how state government works. The educational experience is furthered by guest speakers. It also includes classes with topics like budget writing and how a bill becomes a law, which culminates in pages creating their own bills in a mock committee setting.

“Seeing how everything works was one of my favorite parts of being a page,” said Bravo Espinoza. “I liked running errands and becoming familiar with the buildings and all of the people.”

Pages also have the opportunity to work on the Senate floor while the Senate is in session. Their maroon coats and credentials allow them access to all parts of the Capitol Campus.

“I just found it really interesting how everything works here – this program has absolutely led me to have more of an interest in politics,” added Bravo Espinoza.

Bravo Espinoza is in 11th grade at Chief Sealth International High School. In his free time, he volunteers at his local library and helps with different community-outreach events. He spent a few weeks last summer in Spain through the Washington Work Fellows Program, sponsored by Washington State Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib.

Want to know more about the Senate Page Program? SenatePageProgram@leg.wa.gov

CONGRATULATIONS! Chief Sealth International High School senior Clarissa Perez’s national achievement, and triumph over adversity

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

What some consider work, Chief Sealth International High School senior Clarissa Perez turned into a hobby – “scouring for opportunities.”

She has succeeded, in tough nationwide competition, securing some of those opportunities as she gets ready for the next stage in her life – including a prestigious scholarship.

She has accomplished all this while also dealing with depression and immense personal tragedy.

“When you have constant sadness, you don’t know what it’s like to be happy,” she said when we talked recently at CSIHS. “I can’t even imagine a year where I could get a break. Can you imagine how unstoppable I’d be?”

And yet, when you meet Clarissa, you see quickly that she seems rather unstoppable already.

Let’s start with what she calls her “first win of the year” – a Horatio Alger Scholarship, geared toward students who have overcome adversity, inspired by the author’s writings about doing exactly that.

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Hope Lutheran gathers ‘with laughter and tears’ in memory of Natalie Gulizia

Hundreds of friends and supporters from the Hope Lutheran church and school community gathered on Saturday afternoon to honor the memory of Natalie Gulizia, the 14-year-old former Hope student who passed away tragically last month.

The memorial service included stories and memories shared by teachers, friends, and family.

“This is a brutally hard day that should not be,” said Peter Mueller, pastor at Hope Lutheran, “but we are thankful to gather and celebrate Natalie’s life with laughter and tears.”

Those sharing memories at the service recalled Natalie as a “bright and shining light” and a “true hero,” and “extremely smart” with a passion for ballet, music, drama and theater, gymnastics, volunteering, and horseback riding.

Memorial gifts in Natalie’s memory may be given to The Service Board and March For Our Lives.

-Jason Grotelueschen for West Seattle Blog

“Doing better things for the peninsula” drives first meeting of new District 1 Community Network

Meeting facilitator Tamsen Spengler (of MOCA and SWDC) answers a question as Mat McBride (North Delridge) and Eric Iwamato (Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights) examine meeting materials. 

Photo and story by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The first meeting of the District 1 Community Network, the new West Seattle/South Park supergroup that we wrote about on WSB last month, convened on Wednesday night at South Park Community Center.

Leaders from neighborhoods up and down the West Seattle peninsula were present — in fact, the tagline “Doing better things for the peninsula” was mentioned repeatedly during the meeting, as a sort of shared vision for focusing on issues that matter most to the collection of neighborhoods in West Seattle.

The group had agreed to meet on a regular basis with a new rotating facilitator for each meeting. At the helm for Wednesday’s meeting was Tamsen Spengler of MOCA and the SW District Council.

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Friday night fantasy: Dungeons & Dragons in Delridge

(D&D player Brannon Boren, left-front, reacts to a turn of events with other players at Uptown Espresso in Delridge on a recent Friday night)

Story and photos by Tony Lystra
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Each Friday evening, a throng gathers at Uptown Espresso in Delridge to battle dragons, orcs, trolls, vampires, demon lords, and worse. They slide up to the coffee shop’s many broad, weathered tables and lay out their dice, “character sheets,” maps and figurines, then spend the evening in a fantasy.

They’re playing Dungeons & Dragons, the ’70s-created role-playing game, where players tell a story together, learning what happens next, deciding how they want to respond, and rolling dice to determine their success.

Game play at the Delridge shop (3845 Delridge Way SW) usually starts around 7 p.m. and wraps up just before midnight. The evenings can attract 50 people or more, organizers say. There’s even a custom gaming table in the store that opens up to reveal a pit where maps can be laid out and figurines maneuvered. (Uptown is under new management and has cleared its shelves of games it previously offered for sale, but the D&D nights are expected to continue.)

Dungeons & Dragons, once thought a bastion of the awkward and scorned by Christian evangelicals as occultist, has enjoyed a startling resurgence in recent years.

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SUNDAY: Longtime Tengu Fishing Club chair Mas Tahara @ ‘Southwest Stories’

(Mas Tahara – photo courtesy SWSHS)

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 pm, you’re invited to the Delridge Library to hear Mas Tahara talk about the Tengu Fishing Club, in the next Southwest Stories presentation from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Here’s the SWSHS announcemen:

The “Tengu Fishing Club” was founded by one of several Japanese-American tackle shops that had been established in downtown Seattle. One particular shop started a salmon fishing competition, later called the “Tengu Fishing Club,” around 1936 or 1937.

Fishing competitions like this were common at the time, but the Japanese-American population was not welcomed during the typical salmon fishing season during warmer weather (spring or summer). They began their own tradition, with the distinct difference of welcoming any participants, regardless of their ethnic background or gender. Held during the cold winter months of November through January, each weekend of the competition would document who had caught the largest fish, and the ultimate winner was chosen at the end of the 12-week period.

There was a notable interruption to the Derby’s history when, beginning on December 7, 1941, the national intolerance toward Japanese-Americans (and even naturalized American citizens of Japanese descent) was severely heightened, leading to the internment order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942.

The fishing derby resumed in November of 1946, one year after the war had ended, and has continued in Seattle (with periodic closures due to fishing moratoria) ever since. In the past most of the fishermen and women launched their crafts from a structure known as the Seacrest Boathouse, at the present location of Marination Ma Kai on Harbor Avenue in West Seattle, which, now rebuilt, is still known by the same name. Today many of the participants launch from the Don Armeni Park Boat Ramp.

What is a “Tengu”?
The “Tengu” are mythical folkloric creatures from all over Japan. They were thought to have the power to create the wind out of nowhere. Sometimes good and sometimes bad, these supernatural beings take a human form that can also change, sometimes depicted with dog-like characteristics and sometimes taking an avian form. Common features include a red face, golden eyes, and a prominent, protruding nose. The fishing club took this name partly because of the unpredictable nature of Tengu, and also because the enlarged nose is like a “boast” or “exaggeration” that can sometimes be associated with a “fish tale.”

About Mas Tahara
Masaru (Mas) Tahara is a longtime Seattle resident and former University of Washington microbiology researcher who was born in Japan in 1936. Mr. Tahara moved to Seattle in 1955, originally to attend school, and met his future wife while attending a vocational training school based on the G.I. Bill where they were both attending. This happy union changed his plans, and he ended up staying in the US and making his life here. Having chaired the Tengu Fishing Club for over 40 years, in 2015 Mas Tahara wrote and self-published a book on his experiences, “Tengu – Tales Told by Fishermen & Women of The Tengu Club of Seattle.”

Please come and hear Mr. Tahara as he is interviewed about his amazing fish-tales on Sunday, December 16, 2018 from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Delridge Library.

The library is at 5423 Delridge Way SW. Admission is free – first come, first served.

VIDEO: Ceremony at Vigor on Harbor Island honors two who saved a life

December 5, 2018 9:32 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(WSB photos/video)

You’ve probably noticed that from the bridge – a white-wrapped structure, resembling a bird, rising from a drydock at Vigor Shipyard on Harbor Island. It’s the mast of the destroyer USS Sampson, which has been at Vigor for maintenance a few months and due to leave before Christmas. It factored into a ceremony we covered there this afternoon.

A Sampson crewmember, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Besheer, and Vigor safety manager Billy Ray Brittain (above left) were honored by Washington State Ferries with the Life Ring Award for saving the life of WSF assistant engineer Dave Bennett (above right). He suffered a heart attack at the shipyard on November 13th while at Vigor to work on a ferry. They used CPR and an on-site automated external defibrillator to revive Bennett before medics arrived.

Bennett was there to say “thank you.” WSF chief of staff Elizabeth Kosa presented certificates and other appreciation:

Also there: City and county emergency specialists to urge that everyone learn CPR. You’re most likely to find yourself having to use it on a family member, pointed out SFD’s Capt. Peter Ubaldi.

Vigor CEO Frank Foti was there to voice pride and congratulations.

Also speaking was Laura Miccile of King County Emergency Medical Services, who said they’re glad a publicly accessible AED helped save a life – if you know of a public place that does NOT already have one, go here to find out how to change that. WSF says its Life Ring Award is usually only given to employees who save a life, but this is the second time this year that someone from outside the organization has received it – earlier this year, the award was presented to a U.S. Navy nurse who saved a passenger on the ferry Spokane.

UPDATE: West Seattle Junction rally against anti-Semitism

12:21 PM: On all corners of Walk-All-Ways, people are standing against anti-Semitism and against hate in general. There’s even been dancing – a mini-flash mob of “Hava Nagila.”

Hate-Free Delridge organized the demonstration as a community response to the anti-Semitic vandalism in Sunrise Heights a week ago.

The woman whose home was vandalized was here thanking organizers. The rally is expected to continue until 1 pm.

1:37 PM: The sentiments expressed were many, but all springing from the heart:

Participants spanned the generations:

Longtime local advocates were there too:

Tonight happens to mark the start of Hanukkah, the eight-night Festival of Lights. West Seattle synagogue Kol HaNeshamah plans to be at Walk-All-Ways next Saturday night (December 8th) with a “pop-up” celebration to which all are invited.

REMINDER: West Seattle rally Sunday to say ‘No to Anti-Semitism’

December 1, 2018 7:49 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(Sign shared by a WSB reader – printable PDF version is here)

Just a reminder in the midst of this busy weekend that, as announced earlier this week, you are invited to join Hate-Free Delridge and other community advocates in the heart of The Junction tomorrow to say “No to Anti-Semitism, in West Seattle and Everywhere.” Organizers wanted to do something to show that our community won’t stand for the hate shown in the anti-Semitic vandalism that someone painted outside homes in Sunrise Heights, as first reported here on Monday. The gathering is 11 am-1 pm Sunday at California/Alaska. Everyone is invited to participate; West Seattle synagogue Kol HaNeshamah says it will have members there too. The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, starts just a few hours later, at sundown.

‘No to Anti-Semitism – in West Seattle and Everywhere’ demonstration planned Sunday

(WSB photo from Monday)

Many have asked what they can do to show support for the neighbors shaken by anti-Jewish vandalism in their Sunrise Heights neighborhood, first reported here on Monday. While the neighbors have reiterated that they are grateful for the expressions of support but don’t need anything donated, local advocates are planning a show of support by rallying in The Junction this Sunday, and you’re invited. The announcement from Hate-Free Delridge:

No to Anti-Semitism — in West Seattle and Everywhere

Recently in the middle of the night someone wrote anti-Semitic graffiti in the alley behind two West Seattle homes.

Join Hate-Free Delridge and Friends for a demonstration against anti-Semitism and in support of our Jewish neighbors this Sunday, December 2, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, in the West Seattle Junction, at the corner of California Ave. and Alaska St.

Bring signs, for example:

No to Anti-Semitism – in West Seattle and Everywhere
We stand with our Jewish neighbors
Hate has no home here
Resist all attempts to divide us
Jews and Allies against Anti-Semitism
Oppose all targeting of minorities

We’ll also bring signs to share.

We hope you will join us,
Hate-Free Delridge

West Seattleite Joel Eggert’s final gift of life to be honored on Rose Parade float

1:59 PM: From LifeCenter Northwest, word of a special tribute to Joel Eggert, the West Seattle man killed in a Highland Park motorcycle crash in December 2016:

Joel Eggert had a lust for life. He was wildly creative, intelligent, and inquisitive. He could usually be found perched atop a Harley Davidson and was passionate about art and music playing multiple instruments including guitar, piano, and drums. Two years ago, Joel took his last ride. After sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident, he passed away at Harborview Medical Center just before his 47th birthday. His legacy of generosity lives on in the recipients of his organs, corneas, and tissue. Joel will be honored with a floral portrait, called a floragraph, which will adorn The Donate Life Rose Parade® float on January 1, 2019.

LifeCenter Northwest is sponsoring Joel as an honoree on the float. His floragraph – made of seeds and natural materials – will be completed by his family and friends on Tuesday, November 27, 2-3 pm at Harborview Medical Center in the Research and Training Building Auditorium. The floragraph will then travel to Pasadena, CA where it will be placed on the Donate Life float in preparation for the Rose Parade. Joel’s family is also traveling to Pasadena, where they will have the opportunity to meet others touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation and attend the parade in Joel’s honor.

About Joel

Outgoing from a young age, Joel made friends easily and connected with people at an intimate level that built many lifelong relationships. A sharp dressed man, he could usually be found donning his characteristic bandanna and sunglasses, perched atop a Harley Davidson-his preferred mode of transportation. Art and creativity also played a continuous role throughout his life. Drawing and metal sculpting were among his favorite hobbies.

Joel was an extremely dedicated employee, and for the last 10 years he used his artistic ability to create beautiful metal work for a luxury yacht builder in Seattle. But in his free time, he wouldn’t turn down an invitation to rock n’ roll all night. He was deeply entrenched in the local music scene, frequently attending concerts and rubbing elbows with famous musicians.

“Music – mostly rock, coursed through his veins. Wherever he was, he was surrounded by music,” said his sister Stacey.

In addition to being an artist, musician, and loyal friend, Joel was a family man. He was a loving father to his son Zak, daughter Rhiannon, and granddaughter Hayley. He was also very close to his extended family in Minnesota and Washington.

On a rainy December night in 2016, Joel took his last ride. After sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident, he passed away five days before his 47th birthday. The breadth of his life was felt immensely as his community filled his hospital room to say goodbye and share a few final songs. His legacy of generosity lives on in the recipients of his organs, corneas, and tissue.

“Giving his organs and life to others is just a continuation of the man he was, often giving to others, even if it left him with nothing,” said Stacey. “His final gift provides comfort to me and our family and friends.”

Just three months after his death, Joel’s family met Jennie, his heart recipient, who underwent transplant surgery at UW Medical Center. Through her, they are reminded that the warmth and love he gave to so many continues on, and he is still out there keeping the beat.

About The Donate Life Rose Parade® Float

Celebrating its 16th year, The Donate Life Rose Parade® float continues its mission to save and heal lives by sharing the gift of life and delivering the message of organ, eye, and tissue donation to the world. Living donors walk alongside while recipients ride atop the float and “floragraphs” or floral portraits of deceased donor honorees are incorporated into the float decoration. This year’s float is theme is The Gift of Time. For more information, go to www.donatelifefloat.org.

You can sign up to be an organ donor by going here.

ADDED LATE MONDAY NIGHT: We’ve since learned of a December 6th event in Mr. Eggert’s memory, a concert raising money for LifeCenter NW, hosted by the motorcycle club West Seattle Wrecking Crew that formed in his honor: Thursday, December 6th, at the Highway 99 Blues Club; doors at 6 pm, show at 7, featuring Bruiser Brody, Sirens Sister, Wyatt Olney and The Wreckage, Johndus Beckman, and Intisaar, tickets available online.