West Seattle, Washington
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 18, 2016
(August 2016 video showing one example of the problem the task force is hoping to fix)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In hopes of averting another summer of ferry-traffic-related misery from Morgan Junction to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, the Triangle Improvement Task Force has finished its first phase of work with two potential “quick wins,” finalized at the volunteers’ fifth meeting last night:
#1 – Speed up the average Fauntleroy tollbooth processing rate during pm peak hours, from three vehicles a minute to four vehicles a minute.
#2 – Make sure as many ferry customers as possible know what’s being done and how they can help.
As they reviewed the plans, the task-force members got a surprise visit from Washington State Ferries’ new leader, assistant WSDOT secretary Amy Scarton, who took over last month after the retirement of Lynne Griffith, who was in charge when the task-force idea was hatched.
More on her visit later. First: Read More
3:05 PM: With pm commute time approaching, you might need to know about road closures and bus reroutes related to an ongoing standoff downtown with a man in crisis who is said to be armed with a knife.
— seattledot (@seattledot) March 28, 2017
Metro says that “buses are rerouted off 3 Av between Spring & Union Sts. Use stops on 3rd Av south of Spring St or north of Union St.” Updates to come.
3:31 PM: SPD says the situation is “static” but acknowledges its negotiators are working on it.
3:58 PM: SPD update:
Officers install fencing as an additional safety measure. If you work downtown, please be aware of traffic impacts during evening commute. pic.twitter.com/sNzP0FZVwt
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) March 28, 2017
4:22 PM: Standoff continuing. (We’re monitoring via scanner as well as via public channels such as Twitter.)
4:25 PM: And now … it’s over. SPD says the man gave up his knife and was taken into custody without incident.
4:33 PM: As police have barricades to remove, among other things, it’ll take a bit for the streets to get back to regular flow, so don’t rush out just yet.
4:55 PM: As of a few minutes ago, Metro says, buses are getting back to normal on 3rd.
5:43 PM: Here’s how the incident was summed up on SPD Blotter, including a photo of the man’s knife.
Continuing to follow up on the city’s promises for Spokane Street along and under the West Seattle Bridge east of the “low bridge,” in the wake of Friday’s attack on a bicyclist – today, we asked for more details on exactly what’s going to happen starting tomorrow, and what people who travel through the area should know. Here’s the reply from city spokesperson Julie Moore, who also mentions that a “plan” is in the works for the mostly-RV camp in the area:
The City’s Navigation Team will be out there tomorrow morning to offer services and alternative shelter, as they did yesterday. They will be working with any individuals in the area, but are focusing on moving those living in tents along the north end of the bike trail. See the attached map that highlights the area where tents along the bike trail will be removed:
Note that the encampment of RVs and tents located directly under the bridge between the two lanes of Spokane Street will not be removed tomorrow, though we are working on a plan for moving those individuals into better alternatives.
As far as bike detours, SDOT will begin setup around 9 a.m., after the morning commute. There will be detours for bikes and along the trail; users should expect reroutes signed around the work zones.
Additionally, separate of the Navigation Team’s work to move the individuals in the tents along the bike trail, trash pickup will be occurring all along Spokane Street from the water to I-5 over the next couple days.
The city’s Friday evening update had noted that, related to the trash pickup, “.. there may be impacts to traffic as a truck will be doing rolling stops along the route to collect the trash.” And that work is scheduled to continue this Thursday. (If you missed it yesterday, here’s our interview with the sergeant who leads the aforementioned Navigation Team.)
We’ve been watching the Highway 99 tunneling-machine update page, now that “Bertha” is getting close to breakthrough, and just noticed that today’s update says 219 feet to go – same as yesterday. WSDOT explains via Twitter that “(Seattle Tunnel Partners) is wrapping up routine maintenance and plans to resume mining tomorrow.” So for those who speculated breakthrough might happen this week – highly unlikely.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Today was the original deadline for the owner of 9029 16th SW to either demolish the charred remains of a house that had caught fire at least three times in five years, most recently February 25th, or to show it is “not unsafe.” We reported the March 28th deadline in this followup on March 2nd, five days after the latest fire.
Since then, we have been going by to check on its status, and after still not seeing signs of demolition by late last week, checked the Department of Construction and Inspections page for the case, and discovered the property’s owners had been given an extension, to April 21st.
What the online-file notations don’t show is why. So we contacted SDCI spokesperson Bryan Stevens, who replied:
The owner is trying to find a way of bringing both structures down, so we’ve offered an extension of the violation case to allow for the necessary steps to make that happen and conduct the demolition all at once.
While the fire-damaged property can be removed with an over-the-counter permit, the second building cannot. The Land Use Code requires vacant residential structures to be maintained unless there is a complete application under review to allow redevelopment and a completed plan for waste diversion. The owner made an application last week to comply with this provision. This effort demonstrates progress towards resolving the violation and allowed us to grant an extension while the final details are sorted out.
The “second building” is on the alley behind the main house, and was not involved in the February fire. The city had ordered the owner to “secure” it, and as shown in a photo in our previous followup, it had been boarded up.
The city files, meantime, show the application for the redevelopment project, described as “mixed-use,” was officially accepted today. And SDCI spokesperson Stevens reminds us of something that we noted (with extensive backstory) in that March 2nd followup – the city is looking to change the rules to make it easier for owners to demolish vacant/derelict properties. We’re checking to see if there’s a current estimate of when the proposals are expected to go before City Council.
Good morning! Four highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, where you’ll find even more of what’s happening:
DIY BIKES: Bring your bike and be ready to learn how to fix it with the help of DIY Bikes! 5-7:30 pm at the West Seattle Tool Library on the northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: 6:30 pm at the Southwest Precinct. Hear from and talk with local police; possible guest speaker from the 911 Center. All welcome – you don’t have to be involved with a Block Watch. (2300 SW Webster)
STUDENT ART SHOW AT CSIHS: 7-8 pm in the library at Chief Sealth International High School, you’re invited to come see eight exhibits by student artists:
IB Visual Art Show – INdepenDENT
How does the visual expression of ideas make a mark or ‘indent’ on those around us?
This show features mini exhibits by Seniors and Juniors in the IB Art program. The 4 solo Senior exhibits showcase a self-curated exhibition of work over the 2-year course. Four small-group exhibits highlight the work by juniors and seniors from this year. Each group is curated and presented to showcase the theme or intention of the art.
(2600 SW Thistle)
OPENING RECEPTION FOR ‘CHANGE’ PHOTO EXHIBIT BY SCOTT MX TURNER: 7 pm at Parliament Tavern – “An opening-night soiree with wine, merriment, and Charley Rowan on piano and accordion. Turner takes photos of things most people walk right past. He brings his camera wherever he goes, snapping images of objects left behind and moments quickly forgotten.” The show runs for two months, but come celebrate tonight! 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Family and friends are remembering Peggy Cook, 92. Here’s the tribute they’re sharing with the community:
Peggy A. Cook, 12/24/1924 – 03/08/2017
A true friend to everyone and anyone she met.
An adventurist at heart: through person to person interaction, reading accounts of people’s lives or history, and living in communion with nature. A poet, Woman in the Trades (construction), Rosie the Riveter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother … great, great grandmother!
Peggy endured many a challenge in her life, yet always emphasized the good through it all, and held herself accountable for her actions.
She had a positive effect on everyone, and if you believe in “six degrees of separation”, you know she will continue to have a positive effect forever on all of humanity.
In her memory, please pay it forward whenever possible, offer a kind word and touch, and breathe in life through nature and sharing with others.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
7:30 AM: Good morning. Bridge trouble right now – “a stall is blocking the left lane on the EB West Seattle Bridge after Fauntleroy Way SW,” according to SDOT.
7:39 AM: And SDOT says it’s cleared.
7:41 AM: No alerts from Metro but two people have e-mailed to report the 7:09 Route 56 apparently didn’t run today – as a result, Steve says, “The 57 is full before Belvedere and not stopping.”
7:54 AM: We mentioned that on Twitter and Michelle tweeted this in response to confirm “57 full to the gills.”
8:45 AM: If you’re headed for I-5 northbound, beware – WSDOT reports: “NB I-5 at I-90. A disabled vehicle is blocking the center lane.”
9:01 AM: Via e-mail, Lisa says the Route 57 bus set to leave The Junction shortly after 8 am didn’t show up either. No Metro alert.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:42 AM: Thanks for the tips. We have multiple reports of apparent gunfire along Delridge – described as sounding like five shots – and one person reports police are searching Delridge Way by SW Kenyon. No medical calls, so, no reports of anyone hurt, so far. (Just a reminder – if you think you hear gunfire, even if you didn’t see it and aren’t sure exactly where it happened, police ask that you call 911 – the more reports they get, the more likely they are to be able to figure out what happened and where.)
10:08 AM UPDATE: We followed up this morning with Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson, who tells WSB that responding officers did not find victims or property damage but did find, photograph, and collect five 9mm shell casings in the street.
Just a week and a half until West Seattleite-founded-and-led Northwest Hope and Healing stages its annual fun fashion show to raise money to help cancer patients! NWHH executive director Kristina Dahl explains STYLE ’17, coming up April 6th:
NW Hope and Healing was founded by a West Seattle resident, Christine Smith, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and learned that many low-income women in treatment go without meeting their basic needs during treatment, and she decided to start NW Hope & Healing to help out. We give grants of up to $500 per patient to women currently in treatment for breast or gynecologic cancer at Swedish Cancer Institute. The need for our grants rises every year, and we strive to help more women in 2017 than ever before. The most frequently requested grant is for utilities payments: all too often, women need to make horrific decisions about whether to pay their utilities or purchase medicine for treatment, and NWHH is here to help.
The fashion show is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we count on it to raise the funds to help the women that we serve. The show is high-energy and a great night out, and this year we’re excited to announce that we have a beautiful new Belltown venue, Block41. This year for the first time we’re also hosting a VIP reception for our VIP ticket holders, with food, drink, and entertainment – it’s a can’t-miss party! The show itself is beautiful and inspirational: all of our models are breast or gynecologic cancer survivors, some of whom are still in treatment. The fashions are provided by local boutiques, including West Seattle’s own Carmilia’s and Coastal.
STYLE regularly sells out, so buy your ticket(s) now – just go here.
Avoiding rainouts has been tough so far this season – but the West Seattle High School Wildcats played the Roosevelt HS Rough Riders today and got the win. The photo and report are from Sheree Fantz-Gut:
It was a come-from-behind win with WS scoring 8 runs in the 6th to go ahead by 2. Final: WSHS 10, Roosevelt 9. Photo: Anthony Coats, starting pitcher, who threw an excellent game.
The game was played at Hiawatha, where WSHS is scheduled to play Highline HS at 4 pm Wednesday.
The latest West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
VANDALISM: Suzanne says this happened overnight Friday into Saturday in the underground garage by the Admiral Bartell store:
Several cars that have monthly parking there had windows broken by a fire extinguisher. My housemate’s old Z car had windows broken & the spray of the Fire Extinguisher all over the interior of his car which is powdery. This is just ridiculous!! He has had both his vehicles vandalized before, his truck stolen, etc…
CAR PROWL: From Sierra:
My car was broken into for the second time in 5 months within less than a block of the Spruce apartments sometime between Monday evening and Wednesday evening. It was parked on 40th Ave SW just past Jiffy Lube. They sat in the car and went through everything and stole air freshener (weird), items from my roadside emergency kit (zip ties, tape, possibly for drug use) as well as my green iPod nano (engraved with my name Sierra S——-) and my Coach sunglasses (gold frames, Coach logo with green inside on the arms). I would appreciate an help keeping an eye out for these items or people in the area to stay mindful of suspicious activity since this happens frequently within a few feet of homes and apartments.
FOLLOWUP: The 44-year-old man pulled from the Duwamish River after an alleged burglary and assault at a nearby marina just got out of jail tonight. Prosecutors told us charges have not yet been filed against the suspect, who had an Admiral address listed on probable-cause documents. The documents say the suspect was found eating food from a refrigerator in a boathouse; he pepper-sprayed the person who found him and then started to punch him. After that, police say, he jumped into the water under the boathouse and refused to come out for an hour. The narrative concludes, “Suspect came very close to drowning.” His bail was set last week at $50,000 but tonight the jail register says that, after his second appearance, it was a “conditional release.”
TOMORROW – WEST SEATTLE BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS NETWORK: Our area’s next crime/safety-related community meeting is Tuesday night, 6:30 pm, at the Southwest Precinct, when all are welcome at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network‘s monthly meeting. You’ll get a briefing from the Southwest Precinct; WSBWCN leadership is awaiting confirmation of a guest speaker from the 911 Center. The precinct is at 2300 SW Webster.
Last Friday, hours after we first reported that a woman riding her bicycle from her West Seattle job to her Georgetown home had been attacked near Spokane and East Marginal, the city promised action this week – including clearing campers encroaching on the bicycle path in the area.
We’re following up on those promises, and to start with, we met up this afternoon with the Seattle Police sergeant who leads the Navigation Team (explained here), a team of officers and outreach workers.
Sgt. Eric Zerr tells us that the “hazard” clearance does not require the 72-hour notice called for in other areas, but they have been out talking to the people in the area, so they have been warned. He said an area on the north side of Spokane with about 10 “structures” will be cleared, but is not sure if they are all currently occupied. Here’s our five-minute interview recorded in that area this afternoon:
The Navigation Team is a citywide squad. Enforcement and patroling of the area is separate, handled by local officers (this area is in the South Precinct’s jurisdiction, not the West Seattle-based Southwest Precinct). While the RV camp to the south is not being cleared, as Sgt. Zerr reiterated and as the city Human Services Department explained on Friday, a major trash cleanup is planned in the area too later this week – starting on Wednesday. We’ll be following up tomorrow on specifics of those plans.
4:06 PM: That’s an SDOT-camera image of a semi-truck that’s gone onto its side on the 4th Avenue offramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge – so if you’re headed that way, you won’t be able to use that ramp for a while. To check the status, use the live-video feature at the lower right of the SDOT “travelers’ map” – choose Greater Duwamish on the pulldown, and then the 4th Avenue S./Spokane St. Viaduct camera, which is currently pointed at the scene.
4:59 PM: Camera shows a tow truck is now on the scene, though the truck has not yet been righted.
5:55 PM: Two tow trucks are there working on it, per the webcam view.
7:52 PM: Four hours and not upright yet – ramp still closed.
8:03 PM: If you watch the live video feed as explained above (not directly linkable, or we’d be doing that), the trailer’s now close to upright.
9 PM: As of a short time ago, SDOT says, the truck’s gone and the ramp’s open again.
Thanks to Lisa at CAPERS in The Junction for the heads-up after getting a scam call:
I just had someone call saying they were from Seattle City Light and that if I didn’t pay my bill in 20 minutes they would shut off my service. They also asked for a credit card to satisfy the bill.
She didn’t fall for it because she knew that’s NOT how City Light works – this is a phone scam that’s been going on for years, but it’s worth another reminder, since they’re obviously still getting some victims, or else they wouldn’t keep trying. Here’s the City Light webpage dedicated to stopping the scammers – with this advice:
If you suspect a scam attack or have questions regarding your bill, call our Customer Care Center at 206.684.3000 as well as the Seattle Police Department at 206.625.5011.
So busy with other news this morning, we forgot to check in on the midmorning announcement from Dick’s Drive-Ins about their South vs. East new-location poll, until Matt mentioned it on Twitter. The winner … South, potentially including West Seattle. Now they’re taking suggestions for specific locations … but given the criteria, might be hard to find a spot in West Seattle:
Anyone who would like to share a specific location in the South region should e-mail email@example.com. Dick’s Drive-In is interested in purchasing a parcel that is approximately one acre in size, close to high schools, colleges, nightlife and busy highways.
Dick’s says it received 177,645 votes plus 4,000+ e-mails “suggesting everything from a city preference to a specific address.”
ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:41 AM MONDAY: We had just noticed a few days ago that the “for lease” sign was gone at the former Subway site that closed last November at 2758 Alki Ave. SW. No hint at the time and nothing in public records – but this morning we found the windows papered and decorated with this:
Sushi Samurai has a Queen Anne location, according to the website on the flyer. We’ll be contacting them shortly to find out more. While the window flyers only say “coming soon,” we just found a social-media post that suggests they’re hoping to open May 1st.
UPDATE, 11:20 AM TUESDAY: Just got a reply to our e-mail inquiry, from proprietors Amanda and Ray Maranon:
If all goes to plan, permits, Liquor board, and all of the inspections, then yes we do plan on opening on May 1st. We are still planning our menu and our hours of operation.
We will be offering sit down, takeout and delivery. Our challenge is to provide 100% sustainable sushi in a fast casual setting. Our restaurant is going to be family-friendly and will have a fun atmosphere.
Our menu will be changing every season and we strive to use high-quality organic ingredients and sustainable seafood, and we also look forward to being part of the community.
Our family is very excited.
(From the WSB Flickr group: Vashon water taxi M/V Sally Fox passing Alki, photographed by Raul Baron)
Good morning and welcome to a new week! Four highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for the rest of your Monday:
FREE TAX HELP: The deadline is getting closer, and if you need help, you might qualify for the ongoing free tax-prep help offered at various locations around the area. Today’s drop-in session is 2-7 pm at Delridge Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
COMMUNITY ORCHARD OF WEST SEATTLE: You’re invited to stop by for the weekly Monday work party – bring gloves and water – 3-5 pm. North end of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. (6000 16th SW)
TRIANGLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE’S LAST SCHEDULED MEETING: 4:30-7 pm today, it’s the last scheduled meeting of the citizens’ advisory group that’s been working on some “quick fixes” for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route-related problems. Here’s the agenda. All welcome to attend; meeting’s in the Fauntleroy Church Fellowship Hall. (9140 California SW)
Looking ahead … does your business/church/organization have an Easter/Passover/spring-festival/etc. event coming up in West Seattle/White Center? (Including restaurants with special brunch/dinner plans.) We’re working on our special seasonal event page and would love to get the info on what you’re planning, ASAP – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
6:37 AM: Welcome to the last workweek of the month – April starts next Saturday. But first, we’re watching traffic and transit for Monday, March 27th. No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.
TRIANGLE IMPROVEMENT TASK FORCE: Today brings the last scheduled meeting of the citizens’ committee working with Washington State Ferries on improvements along the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. 4:30 pm-7 pm, Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall (9140 California SW), all welcome.
9:04 AM: Quiet commute wrapping up. One note: We are now two weeks away from the start of the West Seattle Water Taxi’s seven-days-a-week spring/summer schedule – April 10th. You can preview it by scrolling down the main WSWT page.
(UPDATED 10:12 AM with Weingarten statement, 12:40 PM with Whole Foods statement)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:25 AM: Back in January, you might recall, we reported that Whole Foods had decided to delay its West Seattle opening in The Whittaker (WSB sponsor) until summer 2018. That was a delay from what the company told us last June, when it said the West Seattle WF would open “in the second half of 2017.” And that in turn was two years later than the original plan – when we reported in November 2012 that WF would anchor the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW mixed-use project, the announcement projected the store would open in 2015. (A bitter battle over the project’s “alley vacation” – lots of backstory here – figured into some delays.)
Since our January report of the latest WF delay, rumors have continued to circulate that – as eventually turned out to be the case with its previously planned WS location across SW Alaska – Whole Foods might be icing the plan all together. But there were signs of life in city permit files as recent as last month, with an application and permit for sign installation.
This morning, there’s a new report – the Daily Journal of Commerce says in its Monday edition that Whole Foods has “decided to indefinitely delay its plans” for West Seattle. Note that most of the story is behind a paywall, so if you’re not a subscriber, you won’t be able to read it. We have already sent a followup inquiry to WF and will update when we get a direct update.
10:12 AM UPDATE: Our first reply of the morning is from Carrie Murray with Weingarten Realty, which owns The Whittaker’s retail space:
Weingarten Realty is actively working with Whole Foods to find a replacement for the space Whole Foods leased at The Whittaker. We currently have several prospects interested but we cannot make an announcement at this time.
12:40 PM UPDATE: Whole Foods spokesperson Beth Krauss‘s statement in response to our inquiry does not elaborate further:
As part of a careful evaluation of our growth strategy, Whole Foods Market has decided to delay indefinitely the opening of our West Seattle store. We look forward to continuing to serve Seattle with our three other area locations: Interbay, Roosevelt Square, and South Lake Union.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One year has now passed since first word of a brazen round of tree-cutting on publicly owned slopes in east Admiral.
On Saturday, March 26, 2016, a stream of visitors made their way to the narrow street ends from which the cut trees could be seen (the photos above are from just north of City View/34th). The night before, The Seattle Times had broken the news, reporting that more than 100 trees had been cut on Parks– and SDOT-owned land, apparently weeks earlier.
Among those who visited the slashed slopes a year ago today were City Attorney Pete Holmes and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. As noted that day in our first followup, she reported being “assured that criminal and civil sanctions are on the table for the responsible parties.”
No criminal cases so far. But you might recall that midway through the past year – six months after the tree-cutting went public – Holmes announced two civil lawsuits on September 20, 2016. One involved “the northern site” (off 35th SW), naming nearby residents Stanley Harrelson and Mary Harrelson and Martin Riemer and Karrie Riemer, as well as Forrest Bishop and John Russo, who the city alleges “were hired by the Harrelsons and Riemers to cut trees on city property located adjacent and/or across from (theirs).” The second suit involved “the southern site” (off City View), naming nearby residents Kostas Kyrimis and Linda Kyrimis. Both lawsuits also mentioned John/Jane Does whose identities the city had not learned yet.
(March 2017 video by Christopher Boffoli)
Since then, we have continued to watch the online files of both lawsuits, which have tentative trial dates in fall 2017. Two months after the filings, we reported last November on some action in both cases: The Kyrimises had sought a stay, saying they “have good cause to believe that one or more criminal charges are potentially going to be brought against them.” They were granted a partial stay. The Harrelsons and Riemers, meantime, filed documents that acknowledged they hired Bishop and Russo for tree-cutting but specifically not admitting to any involvement in the illegal tree-cutting on the city parcels. The Harrelsons’ lawyer acknowledged that a month before the tree-cutting came to light publicly, they had contacted the city — “on February 5, 2016, the Harrelson Defendants sent a letter to the City advising the City of what had occurred on the Parcels and offering to share a remediation plan the Harrelson Defendants had developed with a former arborist for the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. …”
Since that report, another four months have gone by; we’ve continued to check the files, and nothing else of note has happened in the cases. No criminal charges, either misdemeanor or felony, either. In preparation for this “one year later” update, we checked directly at week’s end with both offices that would be involved with such filings – the City Attorney’s Office (if misdemeanor) and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (if felony).
KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe said nothing has yet been referred to their office (which would have to happen before prosecutors could prepare felony charges). CAO spokesperson Kimberly Mills told us they have nothing to report yet but affirmed that the investigation is still very much active. So we haven’t heard the end of it, apparently. Stay tuned.
Services are planned Tuesday for Clement John “Chelly” Chelminiak, 96. Here’s the remembrance his family is sharing with the community:
Clement John Chelminiak – July 17, 1920 to March 17, 2017
C.J. Chelminiak lived a remarkably American life. He loved his family, his community, and he had a deep faith in God.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, he ran outside to watch the Spirit of St. Louis fly over. That inspired a young man and he worked 42 years at Boeing and was one of Joe Sutter’s “Incredibles” who designed the 747. He enjoyed the Boeing retirees lunch in Renton on Thursdays.
“Chelly” was all about family. He is survived by his children, Paul, Kathy, and John (Lynn Semler). There are four grandchildren, Mindy Simmons, Kelsy Ausland (Aaron), Morgan Tuff, and Megan Chelminiak, and a great-grandchild, William Ausland. His youngest sister Antoinette (Angie) Claxton survives him. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Theresa Chelminiak, brothers Ted and John, and sisters Gertrude McKiel and Sr. Helen Marie C.R.
The greatest commitment of his life was to his wife Gertrude Kroll, who left us much too soon. He wore his wedding ring through more than 30 years of grieving. And now, they are dancing a polka in heaven.
Dad and Mom moved to Seattle toward the end of World War II. They came with son Paul, and soon daughter Kathy arrived; son John arrived at West Seattle Hospital in 1952. They lived in apartments along California Ave. SW, not far from West Seattle High School. They made lifelong friends in those apartments – other families, most of whom worked at Boeing. We spent our major holidays together with those families for several decades.
In 1949, Dad built the family home on Genesee Hill. He remained in the home until days before his death. The neighborhood was his closest family. Growing up, we had water fights, picnics, parties, touch football games and incredible Fourth of July celebrations. Those families grew up and moved out and new families came. Dad made fast and lifelong friends with those families, and they became part of our celebrations. West Seattle was his true home.
His rock was Holy Rosary Church, and he used his engineering skills on many building projects there. His neighbors on Genesee Hill were often his best friends. He loved the mountains, golfing, and Hawaii.
Chelly followed traditions. One of those passed down to all family members is making Polish sausage. It is the heart of all family celebrations. Dad was the master mixer. All of us were the grinders and stuffers.
Services will be Tuesday, March 28, at Holy Rosary Church – West Seattle. Rosary will be at 9:45 a.m., Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with a reception to follow. A donation to the American Cancer Society is requested in lieu of flowers. Aloha!!
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)