West Seattle Event Calendar

*NOTE: We’ve ramped the calendar back to some level of usefulness, as more events continue being planned, both online and in-person, so let us know if you have something coming up that’s open to the public!*

Want your West Seattle event/meeting/etc. to be listed here? Please send basic info to westseattleblog@gmail.com – thanks! Please include full details AS PLAIN TEXT IN YOUR E-MAIL, *not* in an attached doc/poster/flyer/etc. A web link for more info helps too. Thank you!

USING THE CALENDAR: Mouse over any entry to show the “plus” sign at right; click it to expand the item for more info without leaving this page; click “read more” for the FULL listing./question.

Words, Writers and Southwest Stories: David Williams: “Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound” @ Online (see listing)
May 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

‘Words, Writers & SouthWest Stories,’ a historically-based speaker series of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, is excited to announce that it is hosting David Williams for a live Zoom presentation on Thursday, May 13 at 6:00 PM. Williams will be interviewed by series chair Dora-Faye Hendricks about his book, “Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound.” Registration is required. Please register HERE.

Focusing on the area south of Port Townsend and between the Cascade and Olympic mountains, Williams uncovers human and natural histories in, on, and around the Sound. In conversations with archaeologists, biologists, and tribal authorities, Williams traces how generations of humans have interacted with such species as geoducks, salmon, orcas, rockfish, and herring. He sheds light on how warfare shaped development and how people have moved across this maritime highway, in canoes, the mosquito fleet, and today’s ferry system. The book also takes an unflinching look at how the Sound’s ecosystems have suffered from human behavior, including pollution, habitat destruction, and the effects of climate change.

David B. Williams is a naturalist, author, and educator. His many books include the award-winning Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography and Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City.

This series is open to hosting any author or speaker addressing historical issues relating to the Puget Sound/Duwamish Peninsula and/or the general public. Additional information on future presentations can be obtained by contacting Dora-Faye Hendricks, Chair, ‘Words, Writers & SouthWest Stories’ by phone at 206-290-8315 or by e-mail at Dora-Faye@comcast.net.

‘Words, Writers & Southwest Stories,’ a historically-based speaker series of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, is offered in partnership with The Southwest Seattle Historical Society and The Seattle Public Library.

“Washington Remembers: From Marcus Whitman to Billy Frank, Jr – Stories of Washington Statues and Memorials” @ Online (see listing)
May 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Free online presentation by historian and author Judy Bentley, hosted by the Woman’s Century Club as part of their May Program Meeting. Open to the public.

To get login information for the zoom program, register on this page: http://www.womanscenturyclub.org/meetings-events/

While walking the sidewalks of Washington cities to research her book, Walking Washington History, Judy Bentley came across some surprising memorials to the past: statues honoring George Washington, Mother Joseph, Abraham Lincoln, Spanish-American War veterans, Wendy the Welder, Dirty Dan, and Jimi Hendrix. She also found a fish story, a boat of discovery, wreaths commemorating Wobblies, and a fruit-picker’s basket.

All of these public sculptures honor some event or person a city wishes to remember or honor. Who decides who should be honored? Whose history is told? Bentley will take listeners on a tour of city statues and memorials and discuss how and why they came to be in public spaces, how history the public values has been set in stone.

This topic is particularly timely now that Washington State is moving to replace a statue of Marcus Whitman in the U.S. Statuary Hall in the capitol in D.C. with a monument to Native rights activist Billy Frank, Jr.

About the presenter: Judy Bentley taught literature, composition, and Pacific Northwest History at South Seattle College for more than 20 years. She is the author of more than fifteen books, including two guidebooks. The second edition of Hiking Washington’s History, the greater outdoors complement to Walking Washington History, will be published this spring.

Lynda Mapes And Guests Discuss “Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home” @ Online (see listing)
Jun 1 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join us for a conversation about the history and the future of Orca whales in Puget Sound. Registration required. Click here to register via EventBrite.

This panel conversation will include Jay Julius, former Chairman, Lummi Nation; Deborah Giles, Orca scientist at UW Center for Conservation Biology and Science Director of Wild Orca and Jason Colby, Chairman of the History Department at University of Victoria and author of Orca.

The event is presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company, Mountaineers Books and The Seattle Times. This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation. This event will be recorded for SPL’s YouTube Channel.


In Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home journalist Lynda V. Mapes explores the natural history of the orca and the unique challenges for survival of the Southern Resident group that frequents Puget Sound. These whales are among the most urban in the world, a focus of researchers, tourists, and politicians alike. Once referred to as “blackfish” and still known as “killer whales,” orcas were for generations regarded as vermin to be avoided or exterminated, then later were captured live for aquariums all over the world. With greater exposure, scientists realized how intelligent the mammal is and are learning about their matriarchal family groups, vocalizations, behavior, and different subspecies. Today only 74 Southern Resident whales are left, and they are threatened by habitat degradation, lack of Chinook salmon (their primary food source), relentless growth, and climate change. Can we reverse the trend?

This special project, co-published with the Pulitzer Prize winning Seattle Times newspaper, features stunning imagery by Times photographer Steve Ringman, as well as from partner organizations including The Whale Museum, NOAA, and Center for Whale Research.


LYNDA V. MAPES is a journalist, author, and close observer of the natural world. The Seattle Times has made a point of focusing on environmental issues for its readership; Lynda has been a key part in this effort, covering natural history, environmental topics and issues related to Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures. Her writing connects ordinary people and nature. In 1997, while working at the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Washington, she was awarded the Gerald Loeb award for a series on salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia Basin. It was the first time anyone looked at what the region had spent on recovery in the basin and what had resulted from those efforts. In addition to her newspaper career, she is the author of two books, Washington: The Spirit of the Land and Breaking Ground. Her first extended encounter with the Elwha ecosystem, dams, Port Angeles community and Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, this latter book laid an important groundwork of sources for reporting the forthcoming newspaper series and this proposed book on the Elwha. She lives in Seattle with her husband Douglas MacDonald.

Born and raised at Lummi Nation in Bellingham, Washington, Jay Julius spent a number of years in California as a professional golfer, speaker, and entrepreneur before returning home to Lummi. He has served as Chair of, and on Council at, Lummi Nation; has organized and executed Tribal, local, regional, and national campaigns. During his time on Lummi Nation’s Council, Jay led the Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office; saw the launch of the Nation’s Salish Sea Campaign; sounded the alarm for the clean-up of the fish farm disaster; instigated the acquisition of culturally and economically significant lands; and was deeply involved in the fight against the proposed coal port at Xwe’chi’eXen/Cherry Point. He currently works as a strategic advisor and executive coach through Julius Consulting LLC.

Dr. Deborah Giles serves as the Science & Research Director for Wild Orca, and as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington—monitoring the Southern Resident killer whales’ health through non-invasive sampling with Eba, her highly-trained poop detection dog.

Jason M. Colby is associate professor of environmental and international history at the University of Victoria. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, and raised in the Seattle area, he worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and Washington State. He is the author of The Business of Empire: United Fruit, Race, and US Expansion in Central America.

View in Catalog: Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home by Lynda Mapes

We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact leap@spl.org at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.

For registration information and other questions, Ask Us or 206-386-4636.