West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“We’ve had a lot of fun – I believe it’s important to have a lot of fun, and laugh.”
That philosophy has propelled Sue Lindblom through almost 44 years of owning and operating the trailblazing West Seattle salon Illusions Hair Design (5619 California SW; longtime WSB sponsor). So much fun, she couldn’t bear to retire until now. Illusions has just announced it’s closing permanently at the end of May. (Read her full emailed announcement here.)
“I thought I’d retire at 65, or 67, or 68 … here I am, almost 74. But those numbers are just numbers.” This isn’t just her decision, her retirement. The entire Illusions team, with a collective century and a half at the salon, decided to call it a day, all planning to leave the hairstyling business. “It was just time – seemed like the right time for all of us.”
Lindblom has operated Illusions differently from most other salons. No tipping, for one. But that’s just part of it.
She was 30 when she and then-business partner Linda Rhoton opened Illusions Hair Design on June 1, 1978, ten years after she started in the business. She became sole owner when Rhoton had to retire early. “I didn’t think I’d be doing it this long.” A previous employer’s innovations inspired her. “I was managing that salon and started to think I could run one.” But it took a decade or so before she started “different ways of doing things.”
Businesses and community champions are honored every year with the Westside Awards, which start with nominations that can be made by anyone. Just announced, the four-week nomination period is on:
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
4) Westsider of the Year.
You can submit your nominations online here . Deadline to submit nominations is Monday, March 14, 2022 at 5 pm.
Each year at the Annual Westside Awards Breakfast, we celebrate the successful business environment and community involvement found in West Seattle. At this event, we honor three local businesses and one individual who demonstrate results-oriented leadership, a cornerstone of a thriving economic region.
“It’s so nice to get to recognize our local businesses and individuals for their contribution to our community,” said Dawn Leverett, 2022 West Seattle Chamber Board Chair. “We look forward to hearing the stories of triumph from the past year.”
Save the date for the Annual Westside Awards Breakfast to be held in-person on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. Event details to follow at www.wschamber.com. Take a look back at the previous Westside Award winners in each category here wschamber.com/westside-awards.
Questions? Ask Chamber executive director Whitney Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might know Zoser from his busking gigs at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market … or maybe you know him as a neighbor right here on the peninsula … or in his work with Delridge-based nonprofit Totem Star. Even if you don’t know him, you’re invited to his livestreamed Double Single Release Party online tomorrow night (Friday, February 4th). Zoser will be at Metropolist in SODO, you’ll be wherever you choose to connect to the stream, starting at 6 pm Friday. Zoser has recorded two albums – Genesis in 2019 and Evolve in 2020 – and is now releasing singles “Ain’t Basic” and “It Is What It Is,” looking ahead to a new album later this year. The announcement describes Zoser as “a singer/songwriter and music bender whose music has no boundaries (… shifting) seamlessly between pop, hip-hop, soul, and folk.” The livestreamed event is free but they’re requesting that you RSVP, which you can do here.
Thanks to Ian for sending the photo. He happened onto this streetcorner signwaving tonight just outside Dakota Place Park north of The Junction. Ian didn’t catch the specific reason for the demonstration, but we note that in addition to February being Black History Month, this week is Black Lives Matter at School Week throughout Seattle Public Schools.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s almost Girl Scout Cookie time, and this year some local Girl Scouts are making special sales that will provide the tasty treats to hundreds more local families than usual.
Cascadia Produce is owned and operated by a West Seattle couple, Jillian Moore and Jeremy Vrablik. Their produce-packing business made a big pandemic pivot to help ease food insecurity. They now specialize in emergency food boxes – creating and distributing about 10,000 a month. This year, they plan to buy hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from local Scouts and add them to the boxes.
One place through which they provide boxes is the West Seattle Food Bank. On Mondays, they provide boxes that are picked up by DoorDash drivers and taken to recipients who can’t come to WSFB to get them. These boxes are funded by Food Bank donors, but Cascadia also packs boxes paid for by state funds. The funding for those boxes runs out soon, but Gov. Jay Inslee‘s supplementary-budget proposal includes $74 million to extend that funding through the state Department of Agriculture. The proposal is currently before the state Legislature.
We talked with the Cascadia duo on Monday just before their weekly distribution at WSFB, joined by one of the West Seattle Scouts from whom they plan to buy cookies, Kyla Scheff from Troop 45180. The eight-year Scout says she and her troopmates appreciate Cascadia Produce’s support; her troop will be selling cookies online this year, and pre-ordering is already under way
Cascadia, meantime, is working on the logistics of their bulk Girl Scout Cookies purchases. They look at it as another way of locally reinvesting the funding they get from the state, as they do with whatever’s in season, when their suppliers include many women- and BIPOC-owned farms. Side note – they also fight food insecurity in their own North Delridge neighborhood, with Carrot Man’s Carrot Stand, stocked with box leftovers free to anyone who needs it:
If you want to support their work, you can ask legislators to back continued funding for food insecurity relief. Contact info is here – we’re in the 34th District, and you can find contact info for local House Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon and Sen. Joe Nguyen there. And if you want to buy cookies – Scouts are selling to friends and family now, and official sales start February 11th. (New flavor this year – Adventurefuls!)
“I think in general our community could benefit from getting closer to the issues of homelessness,” says West Seattle resident Tomasz Biernacki. He’s been working hard himself to try to facilitate that. Three years ago, he produced the documentary “Trickle Down Town,” focusing on people with different relationships to the homelessness crisis. He’s spent a lot of time volunteering, including co-founding the tiny-home-building program Sound Foundations NW, which launched at Camp Second Chance in West Seattle. More recently, he’s helped coordinate volunteers and funding for West Seattle’s only cold-weather shelter at the Veterans’ Center in The Triangle. And now Biernacki is co-producing a podcast, “You Know Me Now.” Here’s the description:
You Know Me Now is a Seattle based podcast, storytelling and journalism project giving voice to those marginalized in our community. From these life stories we hope to spark conversation and connection. We are doing this with the sole purpose of bringing us all closer together so that we can better address the issues that divide us.
When we listen to those living different lives or views from our own, we begin a journey of understanding. An understanding of not only those around us, but also ourselves. To move forward, we must know that everyone has their own truth. It begins by not being right or wrong, but rather by listening.
Those sharing openly and vulnerably do so with the hope of non-judgment in return. This is the beginning of coming closer.
The first episode, hosted by Seattle architect and advocate Rex Hohlbein, is an introduction of sorts, running 13 minutes. You can listen to it by going here.
That artwork, “The Matriarchs” by West Seattle High School Class of 2021 graduate Hannah Shelfer. is now on display at the U.S. Capitol! Our area’s U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal (also a West Seattleite) circulated the image this weekend, noting that the artist was this district’s winner in last year’s Congressional Art Competition. WSB reader Kathleen pointed this out and wondered if we could find out more about Hannah. We contacted her family, which tells us the artist is now a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., majoring in food science. Her award-winning painting, according to her family, “was inspired by the 2020 movie ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’. This digital piece was constructed using multiple layers of color and methods that approximate conventional painting and drawing tools. Hannah’s artwork earned her the Fine Arts Department Scholar Award in the WSHS 2021 graduating class.” Also while at WSHS, she was a swim-team athlete and, her family adds, also competed regionally and nationally as a team member of Pacific Waves Synchronized Swim Club.
2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, 26.2 miles of running, in under 17 hours: – A little over two months ago, we reported on 17-year-old Herman Meyer‘s accomplishment, and now his friend, filmmaker Riley Nachtrieb, has released her nine-minute film about it. Here’s the announcement and video:
Back in September, West Seattle High School senior Herman Meyer completed a solo Ironman-length triathlon, going back and forth along Alki Beach.
You can now watch his Ironman journey with the film ‘Tri-ing To Solo’, by WSHS alumni and award-winning filmmaker Riley Nachtrieb, available on YouTube.
Thank you to the West Seattle community for supporting Herman on that Saturday from 8am to 1am. So many people came out and offered so much. Some include: Ryan Connolly, Wes & KT Meyer, Grant Howard, Brendan & Jodi Connolly, Lily & Jac Howard, Mykenna Ikehara, and Rose Feliciano.
Herman had never done a triathlon before his “solo Ironman.”
The staff at Chase Bank‘s Admiral branch wants you to know their manager is moving on:
On behalf of the Chase Bank Admiral Branch, we would like to inform the community that our friendly branch manager, Jeff Glessner, has been promoted to a new position within the firm. Some of you may have known him from the Morgan Street Thriftway Branch.
Jeff came to JP Morgan Chase with a background in teaching and coaching football. His management style reflected both. He provided positive fun energy, at the same time noticing and promoting each employee’s qualities . Mistakes were learning experiences where he would encourage us to focus on the “next play.”
The game is not over. Having planted their roots on this “accidental island,” he and his wife Dakota, along with their son Lincoln, can’t escape.
Congratulations, Jeff, Dakota, and Lincoln!
His last day at the Admiral branch is November 30th.
West Seattle’s best-known musician/visual artist couple is leaving the peninsula for Vashon Island. Tomorrow is the last day in West Seattle for Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants) and Kate Endle, and they’re inviting you to join the sendoff via their art and garage sale. Here’s the announcement they sent tonight:
November 21, Sunday 11 am-4 pm
5414 SW Beach Dr Terrace
Come celebrate our last day in our West Seattle house with a garage and art sale! Items for sale include full-price art, deeply discounted art, Caspar CDs and merchandise (including the latest and last Caspar release, “Easy Breezy”!), books, home decor, art supplies, TONS of clothing and more.
Endle says you’ll still see them around town – “Our hearts will always be in West Seattle.”
Meet Chris Mackay, 25-year West Seattle resident and veteran nonprofit manager. Her most-recent role was as executive director of Crooked Trails, a nonprofit that specializes in “meaningful travel opportunities” – tourism and volunteering rolled up into one adventure, for example. But after 20 years of that – doing a lot of traveling along the way – she’s excited to work “close to home” in her new role.
Mackay’s previous work led to a skillset that’s perfect for the WSJA leadership position, from partnerships to development to event production. The latter is especially important as, after the pandemic hiatus, the Junction Association is reviving its signature events, including the Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting and Night Market (December 4th) and a “full-blown” West Seattle Summer Fest next year (set your calendar for July 15-17, 2022). Mackay told WSB in a short introductory chat at the WSJA office that she expects to spend a few months getting up to speed with everything that’s already in the works, and then starting a conversation about future strategy, growth, and direction – “what’s the dream?” as she puts it.
First, she’s working closely with Radford – whose last official day is later this week – “to extract everything from her head … and her heart.” Radford expects Mackay to shine: “Chris will be a wonderful advocate for small businesses; she has wonderful energy and is ready to take over the reins.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“We’re all going to be OK.”
So said a neighbor toward the end of the second community meeting about Admiral Church‘s planned partnership with Operation Nightwatch to give 10 men a safe, warm, dry place to sleep each night. That neighbor was trying to reassure others who continued to voice concerns about the overnight-shelter plan.
Since the Sunday afternoon meeting, which included a chance for neighbors to question Nightwatch executive director Rev. Rick Reynolds, the church’s council has met to further discuss the plan. The church’s pastor, Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom, says the only update from the meeting is that the program won’t start this month after all – “it’ll probably take around a month or more before everything’s ready on Nightwatch’s end.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Rev. Ron Marshall has died at the age of 73.
His passing was confirmed by First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, where he had been pastor since 1979.
Rev. Marshall was much more than a minister. He was a community champion – especially for nonprofits, particularly the West Seattle Food Bank and the former West Seattle Helpline (which merged with WSFB last year). He was a longtime WSFB board member and even wrote a book about the food bank’s first 30 years.
That was not the only book Rev. Marshall authored – he also wrote books on the religious thought of Martin Luther and Søren Kierkegaard. In 2013, he led a celebration of the Kierkegaard bicentennial, commissioning a statue of the Danish theologian/philosopher:
In 2017, he led a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, for which the church commissioned a plaque of Martin Luther:
His eclectic interests also included the Koran, on which he taught a four-session class four times a year for nearly 20 years – transitioning it to Zoom when the pandemic hit. His weekly services for FLCWS were presented as written liturgies on the church website (we linked to them weekly on Sundays along with other churches’ pandemic-format services), and you can read his most-recent ones here. In the introduction on that page, Rev. Marshall noted that an online-video service “would be inconsistent with our mission statement and the honor it pays to historical liturgies (which require a congregation present). So the liturgies I provide are short, meditative in tone, and solitary.”
He himself was by no means solitary, being well-known and -loved throughout the West Seattle community. Local historian/journalist Clay Eals calls him “a giant.” Along with the West Seattle Food Bank, Rev. Marshall was also a longtime board member for Music Northwest, whose director is his wife, Dr. Jane Harty. When we hear from his family, we will add that here; Forest Lawn is handling arrangements and tells us there is no service date yet.
Thanks to Eric Odegard for sending this report on a West Seattle student/athlete’s accomplishment:
Brigit O’Rourke of West Seattle realized a long-held ambition when she made the rowing team at the University of Washington this past week.
As one of approximately 40 “walk-ons” trying to make the crew, O’Rourke was evaluated through a series of tests that involved the rowing machine, long runs, and on-water rows, and was over the moon when she was told that she had made the prestigious squad, which is consistently at or near the top of US college rowing.
“Since the first time I walked into a boathouse when I was 13 years old, I realized rowing is my passion. I’m overjoyed and grateful to have earned this opportunity to continue living my dreams,” said O’Rourke, who is studying pre-med.
O’Rourke rowed as an 8th grader and then took a few years away from the sport. But she found she really missed rowing, and was drawn back to it in 12th grade when she joined the Burton Beach Rowing Club (BBRC) on Vashon Island. Unfortunately, Covid prevented any official racing in her senior year, but Brigit dedicated herself to training, taking a very early ferry to Vashon from her West Seattle home six mornings per week to be on the water under the guidance of BBRC coach Richard Parr.
“Brigit’s work ethic has always been amazing, and throughout Covid she actually dug deeper every day, even though there was no racing for her. She is incredibly driven, and a great teammate. Brigit may well be the smallest Husky rower, but she’s just so easy to coach and there is always 100% commitment from her, which is why her selection at UW doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Parr.
O’Rourke said, “Through rowing at Burton Beach, I learned the importance of dedication, integrity, and teamwork. These ideals and Richard’s unconditional support are what inspire me to grow as a rower. At UW I will continue to push myself to become faster and stronger every day, and I know I can always count on the support of my teammates and coaches, both at UW and at Burton Beach.”
The only downside to O’Rourke’s selection is that her planned race as a Burton Beach crew this weekend at UW’s Head of the Lake regatta in the Parent/Child double sculls with her dad Shawn now has to be withdrawn.
But both father and daughter wouldn’t have it any other way.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Since West Seattle hasn’t been a city since 1907, it doesn’t have its own mayor.
But it does have civic champions. Few have worked more tirelessly in recent years than Lora Radford.
After five and a half years as executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, she’s just announced that she’s moving on to serve the West Seattle community in a different role, as a community liaison in Sound Transit‘s next phase of light-rail planning.
Her Junction involvement actually goes back more than a decade before she moved into the Junction Association’s cozy office across from the Senior Center of West Seattle.
If you don’t know Roger Webber, that video will introduce you to him. Both the Seattle Fire Department and King County Fire Chiefs Association have announced the West Seattle resident as Firefighter of the Year. As explained in the video, he had a pivotal role in SFD’s launch of the Health One service, which, as he explains it, responds to assist “society’s most vulnerable people.” Though he and his family live here in West Seattle, he has been based at SFD’s Fire Station 10 in Pioneer Square for two decades.
Maybe you’ve seen Alisha Timm out running in her orange shirt. She is in training for this year’s New York City Marathon, just a week and a half away, and wants to explain why:
Hi There! My name is Alisha Timm and I am a proud five-year West Seattle resident – I’m also the girl running around in the orange ‘Imagine a World Without Cancer’ shirt. It’s been so fun to run around all of the neighborhoods in West Seattle and fall even more in love with this beautiful community
Growing up I played competitive soccer and ran cross country, but after a terrible knee injury and a horrific car accident found myself being told I shouldn’t run any more. Well, twelve half-marathons later, I’ve found myself training for my first marathon, the 50th New York City Marathon. After being postponed last year, it is officially happening on November 7th this year.
When I started on the pursuit of completing the NYC Marathon, it was a check off the bucket list for me – but, I couldn’t bring myself to a place where I could imagine not taking the opportunity to raise awareness and do good for something bigger than myself. Joining Fred’s Team was a no-brainer for me as every single person in this world has been impacted by cancer; driving awareness and funding research is critical to making a change. Fred’s Team is affiliated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY, the largest and oldest private cancer center in the world. As part of the team, you can select if you’d like to contribute to a certain type of cancer – I went with childhood.
Raising awareness for childhood cancer was my choice for several reasons, but the largest being that these kids have their whole life ahead of them and are starting out with this unfathomable battle, I cannot even begin to imagine being the child or family in that situation. Below are some statistics that really surprised me when I started digging in:
-#1 cause of death in children
-Only 4% of research dollars spent annually are on childhood cancer
-95% of survivors have significant health-related issues due to treatment options
-43 kids per day in the US are diagnosed with cancer
Statistics are based on US only; imagine adding in the rest of the world.
Should you decide to learn more, my page is here.
Thank you for your interest in reading about this, it means a ton and is such a large part of my life!
Happy 100th birthday to West Seattle’s newest centenarian! His family sent the announcement:
Rev. John Van Lierop is turning 100 today (born October 27, 1921 in Yakima) at The Kenney in West Seattle, where he has been a resident in Memory Care the last 7 years. His son John, Jr. is planning a small celebration party today.
Rev. Van Lierop is a retired Presbyterian minister, having served for 42 years pastoring 7 churches in 4 states. He retired from his last church in Sandy, Oregon, in 1986 and moved back with his wife to the Gatewood Hill home to live with his grown children. In 1987 he was asked to be the new Chaplain of The Kenney, where he served until 2004. Rev. Van Lierop returned to the Kenney Home as a resident of the Memory Care in 2014 following a fall that fractured his hip. A number of the present Kenney staff still remember him when he was chaplain and have fond memories of his working there.
Rev. Van Lierop’s hobby was collecting used books. At one time he had 20,000 books. His friends kidded him that he had enough to run a used book store. Even the owner of the famous Powell’s Book Store in Portland, Oregon, offered to buy Rev. Van Lierop’s entire library for a lump sum when he retired, but it was to no avail since he couldn’t part with his books. Rev. Van Lierop is the first of the Van Lierop clan to reach the milestone of 100. His son credits his longevity to clean living, since he lived what he preached!
Sent this afternoon by Amy:
Our neighbor and friend Joe Drake is running the six major marathons this fall. He has completed in person Berlin, London, Chicago, and Boston. He is running the Tokyo marathon virtually today with his route taking him along beach drive, Lincoln Park, back to Don Armeni. If you see a runner with long pink socks, cheer on his virtual Tokyo!
All the more impressive is, he is living with Parkinson’s. His last of the majors (not the last of his running) will be New York in three weeks. You can follow him at his blog:. joesgottarun.medium.com/about
This all started with Berlin just three weeks ago! (Toward the end of that post, we found links for Parkinson’s research fundraising Joe’s doing while running, too.)
As previewed here Friday, 17-year-old West Seattle High School senior Herman Meyer spent his Saturday swimming, biking, and running a “solo Ironman” triathlon. Family and friends posted as-it-happened updates and photos in the comment thread of the original report, but in case you weren’t following along, he finished in just over 16 and a half hours. Herman’s mom Katherine Meyer reported, “He started just after 8 am and finished strong at 12:40 am! He had to dig deep, and he did.” The day began with more than 2 miles of swimming off Alki:
Then 112 miles of bicycling (in loops around West Seattle):
And finally a marathon run:
That’s friend Riley Nachtrieb running with Herman, in a photo by Riley’s dad Erik Nachtrieb. In her preview of Herman’s “solo Ironman,’ published here Friday, Riley explained that Herman’s feat was simply out of personal motivation – “purely driven by his determination.”
If you’re going to the West Seattle High School football game tonight vs. Kent Meridian, you’ll see that new feature at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex – the stadium’s full name is now on its scoreboard. The photo is from Mr. Cantu’s friend Doree Fazio-Young, who says the signage was installed this week and that the official dedication is expected next month; she also says West Seattle muralist Desmond Hansen is painting a portrait of Mr. Cantu for his memorial garden. Mr. Cantu, the stadium’s longtime grounds manager, died in 2018 at age 51; this past spring, the School Board approved naming the complex in his honor.
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.