West Seattle, Washington
That’s a quick clip with the two stars of the season-starting play at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), “Swimming While Drowning,” which opens this week – there’s a pay-what-you-can preview on Wednesday, and the official opening night is Thursday. The play by Emilio Rodriguez is described as “a story of love, poetry, and new beginnings”; read more about it here. Roy Arauz directs; Brodrick Ryans and Gabriel FitzPatrick are the actors. After Wednesday’s 7:30 pm preview, “Swimming While Drowning” will be presented Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm through October 23rd. Tickets are available online here.
More than two months have passed since the hit-run crash east of the low bridge that killed Robb Mason, a West Seattle massage therapist riding home to Magnolia. No arrest reported in the case yet. Critical Mass Seattle paid tribute to Mr. Mason with a memorial ride two weeks after his death, and now Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will do the same this Friday (September 30th). The group is inviting people to either ride with them from downtown or meet them at the collision scene. From the announcement:
Robb Mason was killed while biking home to his wife Claudia in July. He was a loving husband, a caring friend, and gentle soul.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Last year was the deadliest year on Seattle’s streets since 2006, with 30 lives lost. This year is shaping up to be just as tragic.
As we laid out in an open letter to the mayor this summer, these deaths are preventable with proven solutions that his administration can implement now.
Join fellow safe street advocates, the new SDOT Director Greg Spotts, a representative from the Mayor’s office, and Claudia Mason and family and friends in a memorial ride on September 30th to honor Robb Mason’s memory, and raise awareness of the need to invest in traffic safety improvements on the streets of Seattle.
Those riding from downtown are asked to meet up by 5:30 pm Friday at City Hall Plaza, 600 4th Avenue. RSVP requested but not required – go here.
Local students got an assist again this year from the volunteers and donors of the Pencil Me In For Kids program. Here’s the recap from the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
The beginning of school year 2022-23 may have been delayed, but the West Seattle Rotary Pencil Me in for Kids (PMIFK) program was able to deliver almost all of the requested supplies before September 7th. This is the 27th year for the PMIFK program.
Rotarian Sue Lindblom of the now retired Illusions Hair Design and her team there began the program in her business. After a few years, it was taken-in by West Seattle Rotary as an annual project. The goal has always been to provide local area public elementary schools with the specific school supplies they know their students will need in the Fall. Each school is different and so no two “Wish Lists” are the same. Twelve schools were contacted and nine chose to participate.
There was considerable support these past few years from the Fauntleroy United Church of Christ members, and also this year from businesses in their area. With the on-going support of Staples at Westwood Village, thanks to Assistant Manager Robert, Rotary received 1,000 school kits along with very deep discounts on all the other items purchased. West Seattle Rotarians were all smiles when delivery days finally arrived and they knew those supplies were going to help local kids through this upcoming school year.
Over two days, the PMIFK Team picked-up most of the supplies at the Westwood Village Staples, delivered them to American Legion Post 160 in West Seattle for sorting into nine school groups, and then delivered eight grouped supplies to Louisa Boren STEM K-8 as a pick-up point for that school and seven other schools (the exception being one delivery directly to Roxhill). Pictured at Boren are (l-r) Andrew Coghill and Rotarians Keith Hughes, John Enger, Martha Sidlo, and Tom Nychay.
For more information on Pencil Me In For Kids or the Rotary Club of West Seattle, go to westseattlerotary.org or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STORE CLERK INJURED: A reader asked us about this incident and we obtained the report today. A clerk was injured trying to stop a would-be shoplifter around 10 am Sunday at Delridge Deli Mart. Police say the victim tried to chase the would-be shoplifter out of the store, when he pushed her to the ground. She was lying on the floor by the register, reporting hip, leg, and wrist pain, when responders arrived; they were told she was assaulted outside the store, managed to get up and go inside, but was hurting so badly she had to lie down again. She was taken to a hospital by AMR ambulance. The attacker was described in the narrative only as a “Black male,” but police were working to get the store security video. If you have any information, the incident # is 2022-256634.
From the weekend’s brief SPD summaries, three other local incidents, starting with another case in which a store employee tried to stop a thief:
SHOPLIFT TURNED ROBBERY: Just after 5:30 pm Sunday, police were called to the South Delridge 7-11. A store employee told them a person had left the store without paying for merchandise; they followed the thief out and were subsequently assaulted by a second person wielding a knife. The clerk “armed himself with his own stick,” the summary says, “at which time the second suspect pointed a firearm at the clerk. The suspects fled in a vehicle. No injuries were reported.” This incident number is 2022-257011.
DON ARMENI ASSAULT: At 8:44 pm Saturday, police were flagged down about a “fight” of some kind at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. Here’s the summary:
Two intoxicated involved parties were located and interviewed about their roles in the incident. Both displayed injuries to their faces and hands and were treated on scene by Seattle Fire. These subjects reported being assaulted by a group of twenty 18-20 year-old males in an unprovoked attack. The subjects further reported that no words were exchanged with the suspects before or after the assault, leaving them unsure of any possible motive. The suspects fled the scene in vehicles prior to police arrival and no further specifics were provided by the remaining subjects. One of the subjects reported that his cell phone and wallet had been taken at some point during the incident, but it was unknown by which of the twenty suspects.
Radio exchanges on Saturday night described the attackers as “Asian males.” If you have any information, the report # is 2022-256152.
BUSINESS BURGLARY: Just before 1 am Saturday, officers responded to a report of a burglary at Westwood Village’s MOD Pizza. They found the back door open, with some kind of key in the lock, and the cash register was missing. The call was recent enough when they responded that they called in a K9, but they had no luck tracking the burglar. This incident number is 2022-255362.
FROM THE DUMPED-LIKELY-STOLEN FILE: Ian found these
car bike parts dumped at a bus station on Avalon:
Got a Crime Watch report? Once you’ve reported it to police, send it to us – email@example.com – thank you!
The behavioral-health system in our area is desperately short on capacity for crisis care, says King County Executive Dow Constantine. Example: The entire county has one 46-bed behavioral health crisis facility. To start fixing the problem, Constantine is proposing a property-tax levy. He announced the nine-year proposal today, saying that between 2024 and 2032 it would generate $1.25 billion “to stabilize and strengthen King County’s behavioral health crisis care system.” Here’s the announcement; here are the four things the levy would be aimed at accomplishing:
1. Create five new regional crisis care centers: Distributed geographically across the county, the centers will provide walk-in access and the potential for short-term stays to help people stabilize, depending on needs, with one center specifically serving youth.
2. Preserve and restore the dramatic loss of residential treatment beds: In 2018, 355 beds providing community-based residential care for people with mental health residential needs existed in King County. Today, only 244 of these beds are available.
3. Grow the behavioral health workforce pipeline: The proposal will create career pathways through apprenticeship programming and access to higher education, credentialing, training, and wrap-around supports. It will also invest in equitable wages for the workforce at crisis care centers.
4. Provide immediate services while centers are being constructed: The proposal will also use initial proceeds to quickly create mobile or site-based crisis behavioral health services that can operate until the first crisis care centers open. This bridge strategy will complement recent state and federally-funded-mobile crisis teams.
This would cost the current “median-price” homeowner $121 a year in the levy’s first year. If the County Council approves sending this to voters, it’s likely to be on a special-election ballot in April of 2023.
Thanks to John for the photo. That’s a juvenile Brown Pelican – average 6+-foot wingspan! – not commonly seen around here, although we’ve heard of some sightings in recent months. John explains, “Saw a bunch of seagulls chasing a large bird and assumed it was an eagle. Not unusual here along Beach drive. But looking at the chase with binoculars, I was surprised to see a long beak. After the chase broke off, the bird landed on the water and swam close to shore right in front of our home.” Historically they’re most often seen along the ocean coast, though we see they’ve been visiting other parts of Puget Sound too.
Thanks to Richard for the tip. He noticed the big WE’RE MOVING sign on the door of Pet Pros at Westwood Village, which says the pet-supply shop is moving to West Seattle’s other major shopping center, Jefferson Square. We followed up this morning and the staff tells us that tomorrow (Tuesday, September 27th) is their last day at WWV. Their new location is the lone remaining vacant spot at J-Square, next to what’s now Z Optic, and they expect to open there on Thursday (September 29th). Pet Pros has been in WWV since 2007; the center has another pet store opening this fall, a local franchise of the national chain Pet Supplies Plus, opening next to Ulta Beauty, as first reported here last year.
(Thanks to everyone who sent sunrise photos! This one’s from Susanna Moore of WSB sponsor Niederberger Contracting)
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
BLOCK DROP: Today’s location to find, and return, DIY cleanup equipment is Morgan Junction Park (6413 California SW), until 6 pm.
SPORTS: Chief Sealth International High School plays Cleveland in slow-pitch softball, 4 pm at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
CRAFTING AND CREATIVITY NIGHT: 6-10 pm at The Missing Piece (9456 35th SW), explained in our calendar listing.
Have something for our calendar and in our daily preview lists? Please send info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
With the new school year now well under way, school-support groups are launching fundraisers. Friends of Roxhill Elementary is asking you to help, if you can, with field trips and classroom extras. Here’s the announcement they sent:
Back-to-School – Field Trips & Classroom Fund
Help us kick off the new school year by giving to the Roxhill Field Trip and Classroom Fund! Did you know schools and families cover the cost of field trips? This creates a disparity between field trip experiences across schools in our district. With your generous donations, Friends of Roxhill provides each teacher at our Title I school with money for field trips and to equip their classroom with much-needed supplies, like educational games, toys, and books. Last year, each teacher received ~$15 per student. We’d like to increase that amount to ~$20 per student this year! All funds donated go directly to teachers to benefit our RoxStars.
Here’s the fundraiser link. Friends of Roxhill is a registered non-profit. If you would prefer to donate by check, please mail it to the school at 7740 34th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126. Thank you for being a friend!
P.S. Friends of Roxhill also has a dine-out fundraiser at MOD Pizza in Westwood Village this Wednesday.
9:43 AM: Avoid the South Park Bridge -it’s malfunctioning.
10:01 AM: Working again.
6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Monday, September 26th.
Here’s the forecast – sunny with morning haze and “patchy smoke,” high near 80.
Metro buses are on their regular schedules; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.
No changes in ferries (check here for alerts/updates) or West Seattle Water Taxi service (which will continue at all-day/every-day levels through fall and winter).
-As soon as today, Seattle Public Utilities will close Sylvan Way between Home Depot’s eastern access and SW Orchard, as SPU works on a “natural drainage” project that will take about two weeks. This notice explains.
-Just south of the city-limit line, King County is scheduled to continue repaving Myers Way between 99th and 108th.
High Bridge – here’s the lone reactivated camera atop the span.
Low Bridge: Open to anyone who wants to use it.
1st Ave. S. Bridge: For those still finding it more convenient.
Highway 99: Whichever bridge you’re using to get to it, here’s a look at northbound traffic on 99 at Lander.
All currently functional city traffic cams can be seen here, many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
If you see trouble on the roads/paths/water, please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.
We learned tonight of another early-morning business burglary – at The Spot West Seattle in Luna Park. Here’s their video and report:
At 5:14 am Sunday morning, a robber smashed through the window at The Spot West Seattle, located at 2920 SW Avalon Way. The burglar stole their cash register, and multiple other high-priced items. The police were called and fingerprints were taken. They said they might have a lead on who the individual is.
PLEASE if anyone has any information, contact the West Seattle Police Department and reference incident number 22-256538.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Like to read? Like to eat pie? There’s one place to be this Wednesday night, when the trio of writers who long produced the WordsWest Literary Series “re-reunite” to celebrate the newest books by two of them.
Katy E. Ellis is launching her first full-length prose-poetry novel “Home Water, Home Land.” Susan Rich recently published “Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems,” her fifth poetry collection. They’ll be joined Wednesday by their longtime WordsWest collaborator Harold Taw, who’s currently co-writing a “steampunk musical.” The event starts at 7 pm Wednesday (September 28th) at WordsWest’s longtime hub for happenings, C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
That’s where we sat down with Ellis and Rich recently to talk about their books and the challenges of being a writer at this moment in time:
Last year, trick-or-treating returned – this year, the West Seattle Junction Association is ready to put on a full-fledged Harvest Festival for the first time in three years! Sunday, October 30th is the date. And while Harvest Fest will again share the streets of The Junction with the Farmers’ Market, the festival will feature new features this year – including live music and a cornhole tournament. Some traditional favorites will return: The costume parade at 11 am, the chili cookoff at noon, for starters. The festival will run longer than years past, too. Trick-or-treating will run 11 am-2 pm; a pie-eating contest is planned at 1 pm; square dancing at 2:30 pm, and music continuing into the afternoon, with the announcement of the cornhole-tournament winners planned to end the festival at 5 pm. Stay tuned for more details as it gets closer!
Alki Kayak Tours was broken into again early today, and they report one large stolen item:
Sadly, Alki Kayak Tours was broken into at 1:08 a.m. early this morning. Someone cut the cable locking our kayaks. By 1:12 a.m. the guy was gone with the boat. Please keep an eye open for a Castine 135 “Sunrise” – yellow, orange, and red in color – image (above). Also, it had a “Mountain to Sound” (our retail store) sticker on it.
SPD incident # is 2022-920876.
Thanks for the tips! That mural is close to complete on the northwest corner of 36th SW and SW Barton in Upper Fauntleroy. We went over to talk with the artists, Katie Todaro and Alex Nason.
Katie owns Glam Dusty Studios and also created other West Seattle murals including 35th/Henderson and behind Compass Real Estate in The Junction. This one, she laughed, has “all the things” – from Bigfoot to Mount Rainier to a state ferry (the dock is just blocks to the west). Also, a West Seattle Bridge that Katie points out “is NOT broken.”
A bus, too:
Katie told us the mural was commissioned by the corner homeowner, who had long wanted to do something with his “awesome retaining wall.” (Fauntlee Hills was originally the name of the brick-house subdivision a few blocks west.) They started work Friday evening and hope to finish the mural by the end of today.
This is the season when we hear of owls swooping down on unsuspecting runners/walkers. Sarah emailed to share her deterrence discovery:
As a WSB reader and an avid morning runner I have both read about AND experienced the territorial owls of West Seattle. I hesitate to say “attack” since I am the one running through owl territory, but after four separate incidents (in four completely different locations!) I was desperate for a solution. I love running in the early mornings and as it gets dark earlier, I know I’m going to run into the problem again.
Well, I tested a bunch of different things and waited a full year before writing to you just to make sure my solution worked.
I started wearing an owl mask on the back of my head. The fact that it’s an owl isn’t really what makes it successful, but that it looks like I have eyes on the back of my head. Owls won’t attack/swoop anything head-on. It is absolutely a silly solution, but since I’ve started wearing it (September of last year, after I was attacked by an owl at Lincoln Park) I haven’t been swooped at once!
I’m sure there are some other runners/early morning walkers that could use this tip!
As we’ve noted in the past, you can learn about owls – and why they “attack” – via this state Fish and Wildlife Department fact sheet.
Last month we featured a call for new parents to volunteer for Roots of Empathy, which nurtures empathy in children via interaction with babies. The local program needs two more volunteers, babies not required. Here’s the announcement:
Have you been wondering how you can give back to the West Seattle community? Have you ever considered becoming a Roots of Empathy Instructor? Arbor Heights Elementary is in need of 2 more volunteers who are willing to train as Roots of Empathy Instructors in the coming school year. Applications are currently being accepted and training dates are scheduled for October 18-20, 2022.
What is Roots of Empathy? Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom program that fosters empathy in children, now entering its 15th year of partnership with elementary schools in the Seattle area. Arbor Heights has participated in Roots of Empathy since 2013 and they are looking for a few more people who are willing to give time to children and watch them evolve over the school year as they watch “their” baby grow.
Want to see what Roots of Empathy looks like? Click to view a recent BBC World Hacks feature on the Roots of Empathy program.
Please reach out to Suz Fix, local Program Manager, at email@example.com if you’re interested in joining Roots of Empathy in changing the world, child by child.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
TRAFFIC ALERTS: From SDOT:
-We’re paving a section of Sylvan Way SW between SW Orchard St and SW Sylvan Heights Dr from about 7 AM to 4 PM.
-We’ll have traffic control in place around the concrete panels at 34th/Barton that were replaced Saturday, so people do not drive on the new concrete panels while the concrete cures.
-We’re also paving on California Ave SW between Admiral Way SW and SW Walker St. with work starting around 7 AM and ending by 4 PM each day.
CHURCHES WITH ONLINE SERVICES: We’re continuing to list these – see today’s list here.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, the market is open with early-fall produce as well as flowers, cheese, fish, meat, baked goods, condiments, prepared food, and more. Here’s today’s vendor list. California SW between Oregon and Alaska.
DONATION DROPOFFS AT ALKI UCC: 11 am-3 pm – our calendar listing explains what they’re hoping to collect. (6115 SW Hinds)
LOG HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN: You can visit the Southwest Seattle Historical Society museum on Alki today, noon-4 pm. (61st/Stevens_
BAND IN THE JUNCTION: For a second day, a brass band will play in The Junction. See/hear Filthy FemCorps in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) at 12:30 pm.
CLASSIC NOVELS/MOVIES DISCUSSION: 3 pm, the West Seattle Classic Novels (and Movies) Book Club meets at C & P Coffee Company. “Title to discuss: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.” (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor)
NEED FOOD? White Center Community Dinner Church serves a free meal (take-away available) at 5 pm Sundays at the Salvation Army Center in South Delridge (9050 16th SW).
ROSH HASHANAH: The Jewish New Year observance begins at sundown (7 pm).
SUNDAY NIGHT KARAOKE: 9 pm to 1:30 am at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW).
Have an event to list for our calendar? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Thanks for the tips and pics. Once again, a SpaceX rocket launch deploying Starlink satellites has led to a startling sighting in the West Seattle sky. This time, they launched 52 satellites for more internet connectivity in certain regions of the world. Another launch last month led to a similar sighting. Today’s launch was at 4:32 pm our time; the next one, according to EarthSky, could be as soon as Friday (September 30th).
At today’s celebration of the shoreline-restoration project at Lowman Beach Park, Duwamish Tribe member Ken Workman shared the area’s historic name: gWal, or “capsize.” That certainly was once a risk for the at-times-controversial project, which took years of building public support and seeking grant funding to become reality. The project was originally centered on removing the crumbling north seawall at Lowman, but expanded to removing its beloved waterfront tennis court and daylighting the end of Pelly Creek.
The creek end won’t really come into its own until the fall/winter rains. But the expanded shore that replaced all but a small northern stub of seawall has been a joy for park visitors since the project’s completion earlier this summer:
Before this morning’s ribboncutting, there were speeches, emceed by Deb Barker, president of the Morgan Community Association, which hosted many community discussions about Lowman – as she observed, “This kind of project isn’t supposed to happen,” and yet it beat the odds:
Other speakers in our video were Workman, deputy mayor Greg Wong, who marveled at Lowman’s natural beauty, longtime acting Parks superintendent (and former West Seattleite) Christopher Williams, and Kathryn Gardow, representing the state agency that provided some of the funding. They were all joined in the ribbon-cutting by two local students, Ken from Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) and Ezra from Gatewood Elementary. The celebration also featured The Whale Trail – Lowman is a great spot for shore-based whale-watching – and Alki Kayak Tours/Mountain to Sound Outfitters (WSB sponsor) with stand-up paddleboarding demos. Williams also acknowledged the community:
Not only did nearby residents endure months of work on this project, but as Williams observed, they also had been through years of work on King County’s Murray Wet Weather Facility across the street (dedicated in 2017). His acknowledgment also included the Parks managers who made the project happen – David Graves shepherded it for years, including seeking grants:
And Janice Liang managed the project through its construction:
P.S. Looking into our archives for this story, we found this 2010 WSB clip with a 360-degree view of what Lowman Beach Park used to look like (not only before this project, but before the overflow facility across the street, which replaced a block of residences).
There’s an old saying that the ultimate way to celebrate something is to have a “brass band” heralding it. Toward that end, the West Seattle Junction’s day of celebrating the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge has just been wrapped by music from the 8-Bit Brass Band:
Online, the band describes itself as “your geeky, mobile brass band specializing in bringing our brand of brassy, bangy, and nerdly to the streets and stages of Seattle. … We put a new twist on old favorites from video games, science fiction, fantasy, cartoons, and more.” And that they did, for the bit we recorded on video – let’s just call it Empire-ical:
At least one 8-Bit Brass Band member lives in West Seattle, Kevin Freitas. And he tipped us that another brass band is playing The Junction tomorrow – Filthy FemCorps will be in Junction Plaza Park at 12:30 pm Sunday.
Some West Seattle organizations have received them already – and yours might be next. Verity Credit Union (WSB sponsor) is offering microgrants “for organizations whose work benefits historically underserved communities within Washington State.” These microgrants are $2,500 each and are intended for small nonprofit organizations, with assets of no more than $250,000. The deadline for applying for this cycle of consideration is next Friday (September 30th); find out more about the program, and get the application link, by going here.
The first major mixed-use project to be built in The Admiral District in several years is now open. A grand-opening celebration is happening through 4 pm today at Admiral Station Apartments (2715 California SW) – all are welcome to drop by for food (catered by Husky Deli and Puerto Vallarta), a raffle, swag, and tours through 4 pm.
We visited Admiral Station, which has 49 apartments – 12 already leased – earlier this week for an advance tour. Here’s what we saw: