NIGHT OUT 2016: Get $ for your block party

Thinking about a block party for this year’s Night Out, now two months away (Tuesday, August 2nd)? The city Department of Neighborhoods invites you to apply for a grant from the Small Sparks Fund. Community groups can ask for up to $1,000 to pay for “Night Out activities such as outreach materials, cultural entertainment, music, food, and kids’ activities.” You need to register in the city’s application system, and then you have until July 1st to apply. Find out more here.

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‘Freedom isn’t free’: West Seattle Memorial Day ceremony remembers those who paid with their lives

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Story, video, and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“Americans must remember that freedom isn’t free.”

That reminder from American Legion Post 160 commander Keith Hughes, at this afternoon’s West Seattle Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) in High Point. Here’s our video of the entire ceremony, unedited:

Hughes, an Army veteran, exhorted the 50-plus on hand also to remember that those who gave their lives for our freedom “are not just statistics – they are real people … with real names … real faces … real people.”

All around the site of the half-hour ceremony near the cemetery’s flagpole, the “real names” were there to see, on plaques atop graves marked with flags and crosses placed by members of Boy Scout Troop 284, who also assisted in the ceremony. We stopped to take note afterward:

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The half-hour ceremony urged not only honor for the dead, but help for the living – the veterans who made it home alive: “Join us, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and many other groups … help us make a difference,” exhorted Hughes. “Remember our fallen once a year is just not enough. Consider what you can do to help those who have come home.” (The West Seattle Veterans’ Center recently reopened at Post 160’s hall in The Triangle.)

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Both Hughes (above) and VFW Post 2713 commander Ray Fairbank (below), who described himself as a Navy veteran from Vietnam and an Air Force veteran from Desert Storm, spoke of Memorial Day’s history, going back to its origins as Decoration Day a century and a half ago, finally taking its current name in the ’60s.

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Fairbank, also the VFW’s state chaplain, urged people to behold the American flag and consider what it represents – “white for purity … red stripes of courage … blue for tranquility … the sacred symbol of freedom.” And he drew audible cries from some in the crowd as he read a wrenching essay from Reader’s Digest, “A Fallen Soldier’s Final Salute.”

Hughes recalled a U.S. Marine lost in Okinawa in the 1940s, and an Army specialist lost in Afghanistan this decade – different hometowns, different genders, same courage, he observed.

Along with their words, Ross Hauck sang stirring renditions of the National Anthem as well as “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” – you can hear for yourself in our video of the ceremony, which concluded after echoing “Taps,” a release of white doves, and Troop 284 retiring the colors.

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Though they were said toward the ceremony’s start, words from the invocation by chaplain and veteran Kelly Wadsworth (above) also seemed fitting in conclusion, a reminder that “cessation of war is not the same as enduring peace.”

After the somber observance, everyone was invited to a reception at Post 160’s Triangle headquarters; some headed out, some lingered, with a spirited song by the Duwamish Jazz Band:

The flags continued to wave in the breeze, honoring those “real names, real people” who had gone before.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattleite Sam Schoenberg excels in Vashon High School’s historic baseball championship win

One more state high-school championship to note: Just across the water, Vashon Island is celebrating its high school‘s first-ever 1A baseball state championship. Islanders are so excited, they welcomed the team with a parade, seen in the video above, shared with WSB by West Seattle resident Joel Schoenberg, whose son Sam Schoenberg (in the photo below) is a VHS player and was a star of the championship game:

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Joel recaps: “Sam (former West Seattle Pony and Peewee player), is the leadoff hitter and outfielder for Vashon, went 3 for 3, with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI on a triple and 2 singles (and a steal to boot) in the championship game and was named Player of the Game.” The Vashon Pirates took the title by beating defending state champ Hoquiam 10-6 on Saturday in Yakima.

Terminal 5 talk dives into ‘fluid’ seaport business @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

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(February 29th view of CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin in Seattle; photo courtesy Deb)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For all the noise-making over the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin‘s Port of Seattle visit three months ago, it seemed barely a whisper was heard when news emerged three weeks ago that the largest cargo ship to visit the U.S. won’t make cross-Pacific runs after all.

But, Northwest Seaport Alliance deputy CEO Kurt Beckett told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s May meeting, expanding the capacity of Terminal 5 in West Seattle is still a must.

Beckett’s visit to the WSTC last Thursday night was supposed to be related to the T-5 project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, published by the port for public comment. The official deadline for that is June 21st, with two public meetings next week. But the discussion sailed beyond project specifics – which Beckett said he couldn’t discuss much anyway during the comment period – and into the waters of how “fluid” the seaport business is right now.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Police investigating North Delridge gunfire reports

1:21 PM: Police are in North Delridge right now, investigating reported gunfire. A texter told us about it just after 1 pm, saying they had called 911 and were told others had too. No victim reported, but police have been searching an alley west of Delridge Way, between Edmunds and Hudson, and other nearby areas including a stairway along Genesee.

1:54 PM: We went to the area in hopes of finding officers to ask what if anything they’d found, but they apparently had moved on. However, we did talk to a lieutenant here at Forest Lawn, where the Memorial Day ceremony is about to start; he says the initial report was someone with a revolver, in which case no shell casings would have been left behind.

State track/field championships wrapup #2: West Seattle High School

And our second wrapup on this past weekend’s state 3A track and field championships is from West Seattle High School – the report and photos are courtesy of head track/field coach Will Harrison:

The West Seattle Track Team concluded their season with a great performance at the Washington State 3A Track and Field Championships at Mount Tahoma High School, which began on Thursday, May 26th, and concluded on Saturday. The boys finished 12th and the girls finished 14th in the team standings.

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(Lani Taylor won the 400 Meter Dash Final at the 3A Washington State Championships on Saturday)

The girls’ highlight of the meet was Lani Taylor capping off her undefeated senior season at the 400 Meter Dash with the State Championship in a winning time of 55.74 seconds. She also finished 3rd in the 200 Meter Dash (25.40 seconds) and 5th in the 100 Meter Dash (12.86) – both of which were won by Chief Sealth Senior Assa Kaba. Taylor ends her Wildcat Track career with school records in all three sprint events and plans to compete for Seattle Pacific University next year.

Also competing for West Seattle were school-record holders Natalie Fuller (15th Long Jump, 12th Triple Jump) and Maggie Cooper (15th in Pole Vault). Metro League Champion Lexi Ioane took 11th in Shot Put. Fuller will join the University of Washington crew team next year, and Ioane will likely compete in Basketball and Track at Adams State University in Colorado.

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(Chaaka Trahan en route to win his Prelim Heat in the 110 Meter Hurdles on Thursday)

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(Sophomore Cass Elliott took 2nd in the 300 Meter Hurdle Finals)

On the boys side, West Seattle left with runner-up finishes in both hurdle races. Senior Chaaka Trahan ran a time of 14.79 seconds to take 2nd in the 110 Meter Hurdles. Sophomore Cass Elliott, coming off a breakthrough performance in Friday’s 300 Meter Hurdle prelim in which he earned the No. 1 seed for the final (after coming in to the meet with the No. 5 seed), wound up second in the final on Saturday with a time of 39.10 seconds. Both hurdlers had busy weekends: Trahan, disappointed after a 14th place showing in the 300m Hurdles prelim, bounced to place 3rd in the Long Jump with a personal best of 23 feet, 2.5 inches. Elliott finished 18th in the 110m Hurdles prelim and anchored West Seattle’s 4 x 400 Meter relay on Thursday night, along with Rylee Farrison, Adam Wayss, and Miles Hairston.

Event-by-event results from the championships, held in Tacoma this past Thursday through Saturday, are here.

State track/field championships wrapup #1: Chief Sealth International High School

On Saturday, we reported on two local athletes winning state 3A track/field championships. Today, we have wrapups on their schools’ overall achievements at state, starting with Chief Sealth International High School:

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Thanks to Nicole Sipila for sharing the photo of Sealth’s state track/field participants – Elijah Jackson, Quinn Wiley, Assa Kaba, Chole Myers, Mia Hyde – and the results:

*Assa Kaba is State Champion in the 100m and 200m

*Quinn Wiley placed 6th in the State in the 300m hurdles

*Mia Hyde placed 10th in the State in Discus

*Elijah Jackson placed 13th in the Triple Jump

*The Girls 4X200m Relay Team placed 3rd in the State!

Event-by-event results from the championships, held in Tacoma this past Thursday through Saturday, are here.

UPDATE: Power outage in Westwood area

11:56 AM: Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: Seattle City Light is investigating a power outage in the Westwood area. Its map shows 44 customers (homes/businesses) without electricity, north of Roxbury and east of 27th SW. No cause is listed yet, but the texter reported hearing an “explosion” – no Seattle Fire dispatches in the area, though.

3:08 PM: Just checked – still out, after more than three hours. SCL’s map attributes the outage to “equipment failure” and guesstimates that power will be restored by early evening.

6:41 PM: According to the SCL map, the power’s back on.

West Seattle Memorial Day 2016: Stars & Stripes in The Junction

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Thanks to volunteers of all ages, led by West Seattle-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713, The Junction’s flags are up in honor of Memorial Day.

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If you weren’t able to help put them up, there’s one more chance to help – meet at 4:50 pm by Cupcake Royale at California/Alaska to help take them down.
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Between now and then, you’ll find local veterans’ groups at the Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) Memorial Day ceremony at 2 pm, all welcome.

West Seattle Memorial Day 2016: What you need to know

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(Thanks to Vicki for the photo from Troop 284’s volunteer work at Forest Lawn last week)

Good morning!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: No regular traffic report today because of the holiday but you can check local cams here. … NO bridge closure tonight because of the holiday … Metro buses are on a Sunday schedule … The West Seattle Water Taxi is on a Sunday schedule … Sound Transit buses are on a Sunday schedule … Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on its regular weekday schedule.

OTHER HOLIDAY NOTES: Seattle Parks explains here what’s open and what’s not … Schools are closed … Seattle Public Library branches are closed … It’s a U.S. Postal Service holiday … And if you’re going to a neighborhood with on-street pay stations/metered parking, know that this is a city “parking holiday.”

What’s happening today/tonight:

HELP WITH JUNCTION FLAGS: VFW Post 2713 can use your help putting up and taking down the Stars and Stripes in the West Seattle Junction – meet outside Cupcake Royale at California/Alaska by 8:50 am for the morning help and by 4:50 pm for the evening removal.

HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, DAY 3: If the forecast holds, this could be the first good day for playing in the water. 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

COLMAN POOL, FINAL DAY OF FIRST PRE-SEASON WEEKEND: Swim sessions noon-7 pm at the city-run outdoor saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Parkhere’s the schedule. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

TOUR THE ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: 1 pm-4 pm (last group admitted at 3:40 pm), this year’s first weekend of free tours at Alki Point Lighthouse concludes. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)

MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY: Honor the reason for Memorial Day by attending the traditional ceremony presented by American Legion Post 160 and community partners this afternoon at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor), 2 pm, all welcome. (6701 30th SW)

SILENT MOVIE COMEDIES, ACCOMPANIED, AT KENYON HALL: 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall, Donald Soson is back to play along with silent-movie comedies – see our listing for info on the show and how to get your ticket. And when you’re there, don’t miss the root-beer floats! (7904 35th SW)

MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm, all ages, at The Skylark – with prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Hit-and-run on video; mailbox vandalism

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports so far this weekend:

HIT-AND-RUN ON VIDEO: Multiple angles of surveillance video sent by a reader show a pickup truck sideswiping at least one vehicle at 16th/Henderson around 3:10 pm. (The last angle shows it most clearly.) If you have any information, the SPD incident number, as shown at the start of the video, is 2016-188993.

MAILBOX VANDALISM: A texter sent three photos of multiple-unit mailboxes hit by tagging vandalism in the 5900 block of California SW. All three were different styles, sizes, words, and colors. As we replied, police suggest photographing tagging/graffiti vandalism and uploading the photos with an online report – as explained here – or you can use the Find It Fix It app.

West Seattle development: 12 units proposed for 6537, 6541 35th SW in Upper Morgan

(King County Assessor photos for 6537 35th SW & 6541 35th SW)

Checking the city files to see what came in just before the holiday weekend, we’ve found new early-stage site plans for two parcels just south of the Upper Morgan business district on the west side of 35th SW. They are filed for 6537 35th SW and 6541 35th SW, to replace two 90+-year-old houses. Both lots are zoned NC2-40, as is that entire block, all the way to the next street south, SW Holly. The files show almost-identical site plans for the two lots, each with two live-work units fronting on 35th, four townhouses behind them, and five parking spaces on the alley behind that. Documents also indicate these sites will go through the “streamlined design review” process, which means no public meetings, but there will be a chance for public comment, once the official notices go out – watch for the sites to show up here.

COMMENCEMENT ROBES WANTED: Request for donations from recent West Seattle HS grads

With this year’s commencement ceremony just a few weeks away, we’ve been asked to share a donation request to ensure that all West Seattle High School seniors can participate in this year’s ceremony. Volunteer coordinator Amy Doll has asked the WSHS community if any of last year’s graduates would consider donating the robes they wore in the commencement ceremony: “I have several students that aren’t walking because of the cost of the robes. The PTSA has a budget to help students but I would like to be able to let kids keep their Hat, Stole, and Tassel. I can do that if I have donated robes.” If you can donate one, please drop it off in the school office, which is open weekdays until 3 pm (though not tomorrow, because of the holiday).

P.S. One parent tells us they’re also welcoming used prom dresses. If you have a question about these donation requests, please e-mail asdoll@seattleschools.org. (Prom is next Friday, June 4th; graduation is June 21st.)

West Seattle birds: Eagles vs. ospreys

Two Alki photographers have noticed the local raptors clashing, and shared photos. First, from David Hutchinson:

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David writes:

On arriving at Jack Block Park … Eilene & I noticed a few crows dive-bombing the area above the elevated viewing platform. We thought that this behavior might indicate the presence of an eagle, so decided to walk out on the dock to check things out. About half way there, a bald eagle flew out from behind the trees and headed toward Salty’s. We thought we’d missed our chance, but when we got out on the dock, there was still one eagle sitting up at the top of the structure. He/she didn’t seem that much bothered by the crows and engaged in grooming periodically.

When an osprey arrived overhead the eagle became much more agitated and soon flew off to the top of one of the more distant, tall light standards in Terminal 5, followed by the osprey. There they engaged in a brief battle before the osprey moved on toward the nesting area south of the high bridge.

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During their confrontation the osprey would dive bomb from above while the eagle would throw itself upward and turn upside down so its extended talons were pointed toward the oncoming osprey.

Second, from Gary Jones, frequent observer of these big birds’ Alki Point hangout:

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If you can’t tell on your screen – the osprey in Gary’s photo has a fish in its beak. Find out more about them, and hear them, via this BirdWeb link; here’s the corresponding link for bald eagles.

NEXT SUNDAY: Baby Orca Birthday Bash!

A free, first-of-its-kind event is one week away, and you’re invited: The Baby Orca Birthday Bash, next Sunday (June 5th) at the Alki Bathhouse, 2-5 pm. It’s the kickoff to Orca Month as well as a celebration of all the orca calves born to Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales in the past year and a half. The plans include:

*Orca storytelling by West Seattle-based Killer Whale Tales
*Orca bingo with prizes by West Seattle-based The Whale Trail
*Orca birthday cakes that you get to judge, with cakes donated by bakers including West Seattle’s Stuffed Cakes and BAKED
*Live music
*Face painting
*Orca hat and fin making
*Sammy the Salmon and Mike the Inflatable Orca
*Photo booth
*Free tote bags for the first 100 people to arrive

This promises to be both fun and educational, presented by the Orca Salmon Alliance, which highlights the fact that not only are our local orcas endangered, so are the fish they need to survive – and the more we learn about how to help them, the better their chances of survival.

Highland Park Elementary plans its playground: Time to ‘get excited’!


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

At this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, Connie Wolf, vice president of the HP Elementary PTA, gave the group a quick update on progress toward the school’s new playground. It now has a design, with help from students, but also has a long road to reality. Your help is needed – and your enthusiasm for helping them get a place to play! An upcoming open house was mentioned; we asked for more information and design images, and received this update from Elyse Clemens on the playground committee:

Over the course of this school year, the community at Highland Park Elementary School worked together with Pomegranate Center to design a playground for our school. Using input from the students, families, teachers, and community members, the new playground design is full of natural elements for students to play and explore on. There are hill slides, boulder steps, log scrambles, a net climber, and rain and sensory gardens. We are also looking forward to a welcoming entry way on 11th Ave SW that will invite the entire community to enjoy the new space:


(Click image to see as full-size PDF)

This Fall we will be working with Pomegranate Center to develop construction drawings for the design. And throughout the 2016-2017 school year we will be holding community events to raise funds, both direct monetary contributions and community participation matching through Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund. We hope to have enough money to start the first phase of construction in Summer 2017.

We will be holding an Open House on Thursday June 16th from 6-7 pm at the current playground. This is an opportunity to meet the Pomegranate Center design team and get excited about the future playground. They will map out the design with sidewalk chalk on the blacktop and answer questions. All are welcome to join in the celebration!

We hear there’ll be ice cream! Get it on your calendar – it’ll be on ours. HP Elementary is at 1012 SW Trenton.

West Seattle Sunday: Holiday-weekend happenings, day/night 2

Good morning! From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox, here’s what you need to know:

REMINDER – NO BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: Because of the holiday, the next closure of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement project is not scheduled until Tuesday night.

LAST DAY TO VOTE ON SPENDING $700,000 … Between 11 and 25? Know someone who is? This is the voting deadline in the city’s Participatory Budgeting experiment. Vote online here.

POPPIES TO HELP VETERANS: 8 am-4 pm, American Legion Post 160 will be at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) again today, offering poppies both to benefit veterans and to remind people what the holiday is about.

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In our photo from Saturday are Post 160’s Commander Keith Hughes and Ron Wright. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Strawberries and asparagus are abundant this time of year, and WSFM promises cherries this week too. 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)

HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, DAY 2: Will today be any warmer? 11 am-8 pm, the spraypark is ready to go, rain or shine. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

COLMAN POOL, DAY 2: The water’s warm, so the air doesn’t have to be. Noon-7 pm, three swim sessons, as listed on the schedule for the outdoor pool in Lincoln Park. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS, DAY 2: 1 pm-4 pm, with the last group allowed onto the grounds at 3:40 pm. Go see the historic lighthouse and an awesome view, free! (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)

AT C & P THIS AFTERNOON: Jazz, blues, and bossa nova blended by Mezze, at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)

AT KENYON HALL TONIGHT: The Girsky Quartet performs music by Beethoven and Shostakovich. 7:30 pm. (7904 35th SW)

WHAT ELSE IS UP? Check our complete calendar.

Baseball in your backyard! Semi-pro Highline Bears win season opener in White Center

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By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog & White Center Now

The semi-pro Highline Bears baseball team launched its second season at Steve Cox Memorial Park in grand fashion Saturday night, downing the Langley Blaze 10-0 to give manager Rich Lindros a big win in his debut.

Starting pitcher Al Miller needed just seven innings to collect his complete-game shutout, thanks to the efficient Bears offense which used just three hits to generate enough runs to trigger an early end to the game via the “mercy rule.” Miller also surrendered only three hits on the evening, striking out two.

After Blaze starter Brandon Marklund loaded the bases in the fourth inning by hitting three Bears batters, second baseman Connor Jones delivered a two-out single to score Cameron Slader (a West Seattle High School alum) and Colton Kelly.

Marklund’s control struggles continued in the fifth inning, when he again loaded the bases without giving up a hit, this time walking first baseman Angel Valencia before hitting the next two batters. The Bears would pounce on the opportunity, plating six runs in the frame despite a Parker Coffey single being the only hit the home team would produce.

The Bears finished things in the seventh, again taking advantage of Langley pitching issues. After Ben Fitzhugh and Connor Jones each drew walks, third baseman Drew Larea doubled down the right-field line to make it 9-0. Myles Wesner grounded to second, but Ben Foerster’s throw to the plate could not prevent Jones from scoring a game-ending run.

Following the game, children in attendance were invited to run around the bases while Bears players lined the infield offering high-fives to their young fans, who then proceeded to collect autographs from their heroes in blue.

The two teams will meet again today (Sunday) at Steve Cox (1321 SW 102nd) for a doubleheader beginning at noon. Tickets are $5, with kids under 12 admitted free.

West Seattle sunset: Not so gray at end of the day

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Our top photo is by James Bratsanos, who observed that the sky looked “on fire” during tonight’s sunset. It was a colorful conclusion to a gray day; here’s a wider view from Lynn Hall:

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The forecast for tomorrow sounds a lot like today – but sunshine is still expected Monday!

From White Center Now: Bok a Bok Fried Chicken, days away

Two months after we got word that Bok a Bok Korean Fried Chicken was on the way to White Center, it’s opening Wednesday, and invited media in tonight. We dropped in for a few photos and updates – including, most importantly if you’re interested, the menu! See it on WCN.

CONGRATULATIONS! State championship for West Seattle HS Unified Soccer

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Another state title for local athletes today: The photo is from the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association Twitter feed, which announced that the West Seattle High School Unified Soccer team won the Division 1 state title, 4-0 over Camas. (Here’s our previous report on the WSHS team.)

CONGRATULATIONS! Sealth’s Assa Kaba, WSHS’s Lani Taylor win state track titles

FIRST REPORT, 2:52 PM: At the state 3A track and field championships in Tacoma, two runners from our area are coming home with titles! Chief Sealth International High School‘s Assa Kaba won the 100m in 12.58:

Thanks to Kristin Arvidson for sending first word and that photo.

ADDED 3:10 PM: And congratulations to Kaba for another title just now – 200m, in 24.90!

(back to original report) And via Twitter, we got the news that West Seattle High School‘s Lani Taylor won the 400m:


The meet runs another hour and a half or so, and we will update with any other news about local athletes.

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