Remembering Muriel ‘Mert’ Pearson, 1926-2016

A funeral Mass is planned next Wednesday for Muriel “Mert” Pearson. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing with the community:

Muriel Pearson, 90, went to Heaven on July 6, 2016. She was born in St. John, North Dakota on May 7, 1926, the eldest child of Willie and Anna Garceau.

Muriel came out to Seattle in 1945 and rented a house with 3 of her sisters in White Center. She worked several clerical jobs over the years; one of them at Boeing. She met, then married Keith “Bud” Pearson on September 15, 1950, in a double wedding with her sister Lorraine and her husband Harold Foster at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle. Later, Bud and Mert would co-own what was formerly Digby’s Tavern in Morgan Junction from 1973 to 1981. Once they retired, they moved to Lake Limerick in Shelton and again to Sumner.

She is survived by her son, Kevin Pearson, his wife, Lisa Pearson and her grandchildren, Amelea, Stephan, and Grace and great-granddaughter, Samantha of White Center, as well as her daughter, Kimberly Ann Pearson, and her grandchildren, Darby and Hannah Kenyon of Sumner.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Keith “Bud” Pearson and her sisters, Doris Gardner, Aurora Skeleton, Juliette Pearson, and Neoma Jones as well as her parents and many other Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

Her funeral mass will be at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Sumner, Washington, next Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at 10:30 am.

There will be a small one hour reception at St. Andrew after the funeral mass.

Muriel Pearson will be buried next to her husband at Tahoma National Cemetery at 1:15 pm.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

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Chief Sealth Soccer Skills Camp has room this week

Got one or more incoming third-through-ninth-graders in need of something to do this week? We have word that the Chief Sealth Soccer Skills day camp still has space available, tomorrow (Monday, July 25th) through Friday. It’s for girls and boys of all skill levels, 9 am-2 pm each day at Southwest Athletic Complex, across from Chief Sealth. Details are in the flyer

PHOTOS: Lucha Libre Volcánica returns to Duwamish Waterway Park

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(WSB photos)

One more weekend spectacle to show you – it’s become an annual tradition next door in South Park, the luchadores (masked, aerobatic Mexican-style wrestlers) of Lucha Libre Volcánica facing off in an outdoor ring.

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After hours of parade coverage, and a stop at the Alki Art Fair, we got to Duwamish Waterway Park just in time for Saturday afternoon’s final match.

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The luchadores are students; Lucha Libre Volcánica has the only local school of lucha libre.

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And as fierce as they all look in the ring, outside it, the wrestlers clearly love meeting their fans.

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The show was sponsored by ECOSS – the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle. As it was wrapping up, the announcer mentioned that you can see the luchadores monthly at eVOLV Fitness (1317 Republican on Capitol Hill). Next event is next Saturday (July 30th), 8:30 pm.

HAPPENING NOW: Alki Art Fair, day 2

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Another spectacular day at the beach, and you have almost four more hours to go wander the Alki Art Fair. Booths are open until 6:

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A food truck and food booths are set up along the promenade and on the street, and music continues on two stages. We’re the sponsor for the “Busker Stage” toward the west end.


Stop inside the Bathhouse to bid on silent-auction items; the official Alki Art Fair T-shirt is on sale outside the Bathhouse; and nearby, you’ll find the Seal Sitters booth – ask them about the first pup this season to turn up on a West Seattle beach, just last night on Alki. Maybe it was here for the Seal Sitters-benefiting Spud chowder deal too.

P.S. One more reminder about the free shuttle from Admiral – details on the Alki Art Fair home page.

Myers Way Parcels now home to encampment

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Since we reported last Monday on an encampment, Camp Second Chance, moving from a South King County church to a privately owned parcel on Myers Way, much discussion ensued in the story’s comment section. The camp’s nonprofit supporter said there that it would be moving this weekend. Passing through the area this past hour, we saw that it has – the site, owned by a dump-truck company, is completely clear … and the camp in our photo above is now set up across the street and a bit to the south inside the gates to the main entrance to the Myers Way Parcels, the land that Mayor Ed Murray recently announced the city would keep rather than sell. The area outside the gate had been an unofficial staging area for RV campers earlier this year when the city had plans to open a “safe lot” in Highland Park, but that plan has long since been canceled. Some RVs have continued to camp along Myers Way in that area – half a dozen were in view earlier this week; this morning, we saw two. We have a question out to Camp Second Chance’s sponsor to verify whether that’s what is now set up on the city property.

UPDATE: Stuff The Bus with diapers for WestSide Baby!

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10:39 AM: The biggest day of WestSide Baby‘s Stuff The Bus diaper drive is on, until 2 pm! Go get diapers and bring them to HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, 41st and Alaska.

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Look for the bus and the emoji-costume volunteers. We’ll be checking back to see how it’s going.

2:14 PM: We just stopped back at the bus, where WS Baby’s Nancy Woodland tells us their diaper donations today alone totaled 37,533 – a partial total for July so far, not counting donation sites like Les Schwab outlets, is 209,833. They’ll update again in early August.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Car commercial blocking traffic at Duwamish Head

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Thanks to the reader who tipped us to this unannounced roadblock: A commercial shoot for the Chevrolet Trax has Harbor blocked intermittently at Duwamish Head (we have been stopped for 10 mins westbound, and eastbound is stopped too). It will be over by noon, the officer told us. But if you are going to the Alki Art Fair before then – approach from the west.

West Seattle Sunday: Alki Art Fair; ‘Stuff the Bus’; handbells; ukuleles; more!

Ways to do a good deed and have a good time, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

BE THE MATCH: Donor-registration drive 9 am-2 pm on the patio at Fresh Flours Bakery in South Delridge – explained in our calendar listing and preview story. Volunteer to be someone who might save a life. (9410 Delridge Way SW)

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(WSB photo from Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade – same bus you’ll be stuffing today)

STUFF THE BUS: It’s the highlight of WestSide Baby‘s biggest annual diaper drive, 10 am-2 pm in the lot outside HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction – bring diapers and Stuff The Bus – yes, you (or your kid/s) can honk the horn when you donate. (41st SW/SW Alaska)

ALKI ART FAIR: 10 am-6 pm with music until 8 (schedule here), art, music, kids’ activities, food, and a silent auction, all part of the Alki Art Fair along the Alki Beach promenade. Catch the free school-bus-style shuttle from the Admiral District at the Metro stop on the northwest corner of California/Admiral. (60th/Alki)

LEARN HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA: Demonstration at West Seattle Farmers’ Market today, 10:30 am-noon. (California SW between Oregon and Alaska)

TENT SALE: Last day of the “Local Taste” tent sale at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) with 60+ sponsors. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

WSHS CLASS OF ’96: The 20-year-reunion weekend continues with a family-friendly picnic at noon on the field at Hiawatha. (2700 California SW)

LOG HOUSE MUSEUM: You’ve seen the Southwest Seattle Historical Society at festivals and parades – now see their museum, a great side trip if you’re going to Alki for the Art Fair (you’ll see SWSHS there too). Noon-4 pm. (61st SW/SW Stevens)

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: 3 pm in Lincoln Park, Greenstage presents “Cymbeline” – free! Location and other details are in our calendar listing. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

UKULELES! 3-5 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), see and hear the Ukestra Seattle! (5612 California SW)

HANDBELLS! 7 pm at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), a melodic way to end your weekend:

Tintabulations, a handbell group from Reno, Nevada, will be doing a concert at Tibbetts UMC on Sunday, July 24 at 7 PM. Donations collected at the door will be used to cover their touring expenses. They will be joined by local handbell group Bells of the Sound on two pieces, which both groups will be performing at the International Handbell Symposium in Vancouver, BC later this week as they represent the Handbell Musicians of America in the International Concert at this event.

(3940 41st SW)

West Seattle Grand Parade 2016, report #5: Stars of the show

Interspersed with the many community groups and businesses in Saturday’s West Seattle Grand Parade – four traditional motorized parade floats:

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West Seattle is the only neighborhood in the city that still has its own traveling parade float, kept going year after year by the volunteers of West Seattle Hi-Yu. Earlier this summer, they put out a call for help – without it, they can’t keep going. And without Hi-Yu traveling to other parades, this one won’t get reciprocal visits from others in the region. This time, for the first time in a while, the Port Orchard Fathoms O’Fun float came from across Puget Sound:

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The Marysville Strawberry Festival float has been a yearly favorite:

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And the Daffodil Festival float from Pierce County, too – a wider view is in our report on the parade winners; here’s a close-up detail:

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The West Seattle Grand Parade is officially sanctioned by Seafair, which means Seafair parade marshals help out, and Seafair sends its parade contingent, including the Pirates:

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In our first report, we showed you the two police motorcycle drill teams that start the parade every year, including the Vancouver, B.C., officers whose appearance here is a Seattle-area exclusive. When both teams finished their shows, they stopped in The Junction to applaud each other:

We got some questions yesterday about a “motorcade” on the bridge … it wasn’t a motorcade, just the teams getting to and from the parade!

P.S. A few notes – The Chinese Community Girls’ Drill Team, usually a WSGP favorite, wasn’t here this year because the Renton River Days Parade was at the same time – this year brought some conflicts because it has five Saturdays … Next Saturday (July 30th), the region’s biggest parade of the year, the Seafair Torchlight Parade, happens downtown, and some of the participants you saw yesterday will be there – besides the Seafair contingent, also West Seattle Hi-Yu and the All-City Band. The night before Torchlight brings the Band Jam warmup, hosted by All-City, back to Southwest Athletic Complex here in West Seattle – free, 6:30 pm, all welcome, full preview to come!

West Seattle Grand Parade 2016, report #4: The people

Behind the scenes and on the route, participants and volunteers, it takes hundreds of people to create a parade. Here are some of them, before and during today’s West Seattle Grand Parade:

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That’s Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, whose three-plus decades of working in and for West Seattle made him a great choice for the Orville Rummel Community Service Trophy, explained in our June report announcing his selection. The Grand Parade always has a Grand Marshal, too, and this year it was the Schmitz Family, represented by Dietrich Schmitz and his mother Vicki Schmitz Block:

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The family’s legacy includes the donation of Schmitz Park and its namesake nearby elementary school as well as Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook on Beach Drive.

Also driving the parade route … longtime West Seattle community advocate Pete Spalding behind the wheel of the West Seattle Food Bank van:

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Did you see the classic O’Neill Plumbing (WSB sponsor) truck in the parade? We caught up earlier with Tim and Todd O’Neill:
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Members of another well-known local family, the Menashes, were seen waving from the Seafair Commodores‘ boat float:

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And Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) was in the parade too – proprietor Gary Potter is a supporter also through his participation in the parade-presenting Rotary Club.

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Another local entrepreneur was seen skateboarding – Greg Whittaker from Mountain to Sound Outfitters worked the crowd in The Junction, with his parade entry nearby:

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The West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) is a parade sponsor as well as participant:

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Riding with the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women candidates in convertibles, the immediate past West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior Court Queen Kelly Crum, who is vying for Miss Seafair.

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This year’s winner will be announced before the Torchlight Parade downtown one week from tonight. Royalty was also in view before the parade, the “Pirates and Princesses” breakfast at Brookdale Admiral Heights, just north of the parade route, honored the longstanding tradition of hospitality for visiting parade-float participants. West Seattle Hi-Yu Senior and Junior Court members posed with Seafair Pirates, whose land-borne vessel Moby Duck was at the ready outside:

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And then there are the parade’s longtime volunteer co-coordinator, including Dave Vague (below right) at the check-in table on the northwest corner of California/Lander:

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And co-coordinator Jim Edwards was visible on his motorcycle riding up and down the parade route, checking on how things were going, communicating with other amateur-radio operators embedded along the way .. we also caught him making a photo stop when the motorcycle drill teams were done:

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The riders’ end-of-parade ceremony is part of another report still in the works.

West Seattle Grand Parade 2016, report #3: Kiddie Parade-rs

Before the West Seattle Rotary Club took over production of the Grand Parade (Hi-Yu participates but it’s *not* “the Hi-Yu Parade), they presented the Kiddie Parade, and still do:

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A small but festive contingent made their way down California from Genesee to Edmunds after the motorcycles and before the rest of the Grand Parade.

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Among those looking on – Ringo the bulldog:

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Here’s video of the Kiddie Parade’s start:

If you have little ones who would enjoy parading past the crowd, make plans to be part of it next year – just show up at the starting line by quarter till 11 or so.

West Seattle whales: Humpbacks reported to be passing

Just in from Leslie Dierauf in the 3600 block of Beach Drive:

At least 2 humpback whales are cruising north on the far side of the deepwater channel. Their blows are big and straight in the air. They have small dorsal fins and are displaying their flukes. COOOOOL.

Here’s The Whale Trail‘s quick guide to humpbacks.

West Seattle Grand Parade 2016, report #2: The winners!

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(All-City Band getting ready for the parade with a performance for residents and Seafair Pirates at Brookdale Admiral Heights)

You don’t see them during the West Seattle Grand Parade – and that’s the point! Judges are all along the route, and when the parade’s over, the winners are announced. Here’s today’s list, with some photos/video and more to be added:

OVERALL PARADE WINNERS

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1st – Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band
2nd – Westside Baby – Stuff the Bus
3rd – Port Orchard Fathoms O’ Fun Float

BANDS

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1st – Kennedy Catholic High School Marching Band

DRILL TEAMS, SENIOR, AND CHEER SQUADS

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1st – Electronettes Drill Team & Drum Squad
2nd – The Lady’s of Elegance Drill Team
3rd – Seattle Lutheran Cheer Squad

DRILL TEAMS, JUNIOR

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1st – Butterfly Electronettes Drill Team
2nd – The Princesses of Elegance Drill Team
3rd – Diva Upgrade Drill Team

PERFORMING ACTS

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(Photo by Don Brubeck)

1st – Joyas Mestizas – Seattle Mexican Folk Dance Youth
2nd – Pathfinder K-8 School Unicycle Team
3rd – Seattle Seafair Clowns

CARS AND ANTIQUE CARS

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1st – West Seattle Lions Club
2nd – Soil Science Products
3rd – 1942 American LaFrance Fire Engine

COMMERCIAL

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1st – The Little Gym of West Seattle
2nd – Ronald McDonald
3rd – PCC Natural Markets

COMMUNITY

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1st – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church & School
2nd – Seattle Lutheran High School
3rd – Southside Revolution Junior Roller Derby

FLOATS

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1st Place – WS Hi-Yu Royalty Trophy – Daffodil Festival
2nd Place – WS Rotary President’s Trophy – Marysville Strawberry Festival
3rd Place – WS Rotary Foundation Trophy – Fathom’s O’ Fun, Port Orchard

CONVEYED FLOATS

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1st Place – Holy Rosary School
2nd Place – Hope Lutheran Church & School

Lots more parade highlights to come! (We usually aren’t done until early Sunday, so please check back.)

HAPPENING NOW: Alki Art Fair 2016, day 1

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That’s the east end of the Alki Art Fair on the promenade at the beach, on until 6 pm today with art, music, food, and family fund, all in a low-key, “just hanging out” atmosphere – sit on the lawn by the stage east of the bathhouse and enjoy some of the music (there’s a “Busker Stage” further west on the promenade, too).

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And if you’re not riding or walking already – consider the shuttle bus from The Admiral District; it’s how we got down the hill post-parade:

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It’s a yellow school-bus marked ALKI ART FAIR SHUTTLE and you can catch it on the northwest corner of Admiral/California, outside the Metro shelter by the Chevron station. Music continues tonight until 9 pm, by the way. While there, get your T-shirt:

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And if you buy chowder from Spud across the street this weekend – $1 goes to Seal Sitters, who have a booth at the festival too.

First report: West Seattle Grand Parade 2016!


10:49 AM: This year’s West Seattle Grand Parade is officially under way. The Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team has just headed down the parade route southbound from California SW south of SW Lander, and will be followed by the Vancouver, B.C., Motorcycle Drill Team (which doesn’t appear in ANY other parades in this area).


More than 70 entries will follow. Lots of photos and video later – in the meantime, if you’re not watching, remember that California SW is closed between Admiral and Edmunds until the parade is over and everyone’s packed up, and there are restrictions on some side streets too.

12:30 PM: The parade is over at the north end, still heading south to The Junction.

1:20 PM: The parade has ended in The Junction, too. Our photos/video will be in separate reports later.

VIDEO: West Seattle Float Dodger 5K, 2016 edition – new start/finish line

(Above, starting-line video, added Saturday night; below, video of runners moving from Hiawatha to the street, posted during the 5K)

9:53 AM: Before the West Seattle Grand Parade starts walking, rolling, and dancing down California SW from The Admiral District to The Junction, hundreds of Float Dodger 5K participants are on the run! The 5K presented by West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) started from, and is finishing at, Hiawatha Playfield this year, and the runners are now returning from their trip down the parade route. Our video shows them heading off the field and onto California SW, where they “dodged” the West Seattle Hi-Yu “Around West Seattle” float.

8:19 PM: As WSR’s Tim O’Donnell noted in comments, it was the biggest Float Dodger 5K yet. The online results show more than 400 entries. Top three finishers:

Brett Winegar, 17:10
Megan Heuer, 17:41
John Serrano, 17:55

But the Float Dodger has always been about fun more than competition – from the actual dodging, which led to this swarm around the Hi-Yu float:

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To the costumes and headgear:

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WS Runner’s Tim McConnell (below with co-proprietor and wife Lori McConnell) switched up his costume this year – he was Han Solo:

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This was the fifth year for the Float Dodger, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and West Seattle Food Bank. It was followed by a beer garden at WSR.

West Seattle Saturday: Grand Parade, Float Dodger 5K, Alki Art Fair, Outdoor Movies, more

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(Added 8:43 am, WSB photo of Port Orchard float in Grand Parade staging zone)

Welcome to a huge summer Saturday. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s up today/tonight – and please remember that parking restrictions and road closures related to the parade and 5K (California SW, from south of Admiral to south end of The Junction, plus some of the side streets – look closely for signage!) started kicking in at 7 am – bus reroutes too:

FLOAT DODGER 5K: 9:30 am start from Hiawatha Playfield, going down the parade route and back. Also a beer garden at 5K-presenting West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), where you’ll find last-minute registration starting at 8 am. Costumes encouraged. (2700 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE GRAND PARADE: The parade is presented by the West Seattle Rotary Club Foundation. The two motorcycle drill teams start from California/Lander at 10:30 am; the rest of the parade, with more than 70 groups, individuals, floats, vehicles, bands, etc., at 11 am. This year’s Grand Marshals are The Schmitz Family; the Orville Rummel Community Service Trophy honoree is Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. The route goes southbound down California, to Edmunds at the south end of the heart of the Junction business district.

KIDDIE PARADE: All kids welcome to be part of this shorter parade right before the main Grand Parade gets to The Junction. Starts at 11 – once the motorcycles have cleared – at California/Genesee; but get to the starting line before that. Parade proceeds to California/Edmunds, and then everybody can get back to their seats for the Grand Parade.

Outside The Junction:

ALKI ART FAIR: First of two days with more than 90 vendors plus two stages of music, and more, 10 am-6 pm, with music continuing until 9 pm. On the Alki promenade by and west of the Bathhouse (60th/Alki); see the AAF home page for details of the free shuttle from The Admiral District.

FUNDRAISING CAR WASHES: Two are planned at Les Schwab in The Triangle today, according to announcements we’ve received – 10 am-2 pm, Chief Sealth International High School Cheer Team; 10 am-4 pm, West Seattle High School Volleyball Team. (Fauntleroy/Alaska)

ALKI LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: Don’t let summer go by without visiting the historic lighthouse! 1-4 pm, last tour starts at 3:40 pm; more info here. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)

LUCHA LIBRE: Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park hosts a celebration of the “art and culture” of Lucha Libre, masked Mexican-style wrestling, with Lucha Libre Volcanica and community organizations. Festival starts at noon with family-friendly activities, wrestling 2-4 pm. Free. (7900 10th Ave. S.)

WEST SEATTLE HS CLASS OF ’96: 20th-reunion weekend begins with tonight’s gathering at 6 pm at Dakota Place Park. (California/Dakota)

WEST SEATTLE OUTDOOR MOVIES: Week 2 tonight at the courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) – officially, gates open at 6:30 pm, but some took up spots as early as 6 pm last week. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is this week’s movie, starting at dusk. Free; bring money for raffles and concessions that raise funds for local nonprofits. (4410 California SW)

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Greenstage presents “Merry Wives of Windsor,” 7 pm at Lincoln Parkour calendar listing includes details on exact location. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

YES, THERE’S MORE … just take a quick look at our complete calendar if you’re not fully booked!

UPDATE: Gunfire in Lincoln Park; 13 shell casings found

11:08 PM: Thanks for the texts about suspected gunfire heard near Lincoln Park; we are just uphill and with windows open, we heard it too. Per scanner, police have been dispatched to check the area. If you saw anything, be sure to let them know. No report of any victim(s) so far; two people have mentioned hearing a vehicle “peeling away,” and we’re just now hearing on the scanner that someone by the ferry terminal has told police they believe the suspected shots came from “the woods.”

11:24 PM: In case you see Seattle Fire Engine 37 has been dispatched to Lincoln Park but the call isn’t related to gunfire, it’s a request for help in “extinguishing a campfire.” Also via scanner, police are saying they were told that “a group of high-schoolers was partying in the park” and “scattered” about the same time the gunfire was heard.

12:25 AM: We’ve confirmed with Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams that casings were found. No injuries reported. No other details right now – he’s busy with officers working some other incidents (not related that we know of, but we’re checking; thanks for all the tips).

2:04 PM: More info from Lt. Williams: “Thirteen .40 caliber shell casings recovered. No known injuries or damage.” The gunfire was believed to be associated with a “party” in the woods at Lincoln Park.

FOLLOWUP: Aaron Parypa sentenced to 21 months for manslaughter

Two months after Aaron Parypa, the West Seattleite originally charged with murder for a deadly shooting near Sea-Tac Airport last year, struck a plea bargain, he has been sentenced. The online record of this afternoon’s sentencing hearing says King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas went along with the recommendation made by both prosecutors and defense attorneys – 21 months in prison, with credit for the nearly 8 months he already has served. Parypa has no prior record.

When we reported in May that he had pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter, we didn’t know his sentencing date, and failed to follow up until two people e-mailed us late today asking what happened. The information just became available after online court records were down for several hours.

Backstory on the case is in our report on the charges filed after he was arrested in December at his West Seattle home. Parypa, now 40, shot at two men who had contacted him about buying marijuana and then apparently stole it from him during a meetup in a Burien parking lot; a pursuit ensued, ending in the gunfire near Sea-Tac. One man, 28-year-old Andrae Medina-Wong, was killed. The brief court report on today’s sentencing says family and friends of both Parypa and Medina-Wong were in court for this afternoon’s 46-minute hearing.

West Seattle coyotes: Schmitz Park question, and sightings elsewhere

On a quiet (so far) Friday night, a few notes about West Seattle coyotes, starting with a question:

SCHMITZ PARK COYOTES STILL THERE? Nita wonders:

I’ve lived on Manning Street by Schmitz Park for about 13 years. There has been a pack of coyotes in the park for about 10 years. We usually hear them howl at night, especially if a siren goes down Admiral. It sounded like 6 or 8 individuals, probably a family group. We would see one trotting down the street near dusk or dawn maybe once every other month.

I haven’t heard or seen a coyote in the park in at least 6 weeks. I was wondering if anyone had any information about this.

Prior to the coyotes moving in about 10 years ago, there was a breeding pair of red foxes who lived in the park. They could often be seen in the neighborhood and I have photos of them on my front lawn. Then the coyotes moved in and either killed them or chased them out.

The coyotes also greatly reduced the number of raccoons in the neighborhood. And greatly increased the number of raccoons sighted with most of their tails lopped off – “the ones that got away,” no doubt.

Anyway, just a local amateur naturalist here, wondering what’s become of the pack that’s lived in Schmitz Park for so long. My theory is that they’ve hunted out the mice and rats and moles that they depend on for survival, and have had to move on. I’d be interested to hear from someone more knowledgeable than myself.

This also came up recently in the WSB Forums. We don’t have any recent Schmitz Park reports, but we do have these three:

EARLY-MORNING SIGHTING: Dave e-mailed to report a coyote seen early Thursday, “Avalon and 32nd at 7:00 am.”

MID-AFTERNOON SIGHTING: Trileigh Tucker photographed this coyote in her yard:

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Trileigh lives near Lincoln Park.

EAST ADMIRAL SIGHTING: And via Twitter: “Spotted a young adult coyote eating apples that fell from a tree in the alley at Andover between 35th & 34th Ave SW.”

(photo added) Thanks to Karin for this photo of a coyote she says is the 32nd/Avalon visitor mentioned above:

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WSB coyote coverage is archived here. Info on co-existing with coyotes is here.

Design Review doubleheader #2: ‘Modesty’ urged for apartments, new PCC @ 2749 California SW

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(Preferred ‘massing’ – size and shape – rendering by Hewitt for 2749 California project)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Southwest Design Review Board took its first look last night at the mixed-use project proposed for 2749 California SW [map], longtime site of PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor), which will get a bigger new space in the project.

Result: As often happens with sizable projects, this one will have to come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance, the first phase of Design Review, in which the focus is on a project’s “massing” – size and scale.

Along with four of the board’s five members plus the architects, the meeting drew more than 20 members of the public, including nearby residents whose major concerns included how trucks for a doubled-in-size PCC are going to get through the alley between Lander and Stevens. It’s already a problem now, some of them said.

For board members, the 300-foot length of the building and how its ground-level features will interact with the street was a concern, as it had been for other big projects in the area – Admiral Safeway to the north, Springline Apartments to the south.

Here’s how the review unfolded:

Read More

West Seattle schools: Five elementary principals leave; four replacements announced

Five of West Seattle’s nine public elementary schools will have new principals this fall.

When we reported last week on the latest departure, at Lafayette Elementary, it was the third one we’d heard about after Alki and Roxhill; then a commenter informed us that Sanislo Elementary‘s principal had also left; and when following up with Seattle Public Schools communicators this week, we learned that West Seattle Elementary‘s principal has moved on too.

Four of the five departing principals already have been replaced. Here’s the rundown on the departures and, where applicable, replacements:

ALKI ELEMENTARY: Shannon Hobbs-Beckley has left after three years; we published her announcement in May, as she told the Alki community she was headed to Brazil to work at “an American school.” Rena Deese, previously head teacher at Leschi Elementary, is succeeding her.

LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY: Robert Gallagher announced his departure last week, also after three years. His replacement has not yet been chosen.

ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: Sahnica Washington has left, also after three years. Tarra Patrick is succeeding her; she most recently served as a middle-school principal in Marysville.

SANISLO ELEMENTARY: Bruce Rhodes has left, also after three years, to become principal at the El Monte, Calif., school where he once worked as a teacher. His successor is Erika Ayer, most recently principal at Daniel Bagley Elementary.

WEST SEATTLE ELEMENTARY: After six years, Vicki Sacco has left to become a principal-development coach for the district. WSES assistant principal Pamela McCowan-Conyers has been promoted to succeed Sacco.

In addition to all this, as we learned in the Lafayette-departure announcement, the principals’ supervisor, Executive Director of Southwest Schools Israel Vela, has departed, too, for the Kent school district, after three years in the SPS role. No replacement announced yet.

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