Photo of a thoughtful Nancy Warren moderating one of our Candidate Forums by Micael Brunkf

Nancy Warren, a teacher at Highline College, Des Moines resident, musician and partner for Breeders Theater, volunteer for the Des Moines Arts Commission, loving wife to Dr. TM Sell, occasional Moderator of our candidate forums and much more – passed away suddenly on Friday, Dec. 5 from complications due to breast and lung cancer.

Nancy’s sudden passing was a tragic and painful punch to the gut of many in the community, as she was a very bright, personable, popular and intelligent woman with many friends.

A memorial service will be held this Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Federal Way.

Our hearts go out to her husband TM, family, friends and co-workers who are all already missing her tremendously.

Nancy was 52, but with the mind, spirit and energy of someone less than half her age.

If cranky old Lou Grant was ever around Nancy, he definitely would’ve said:

Lou Grant: You know what, you’ve got spunk!
Nancy: Well, yes…
Lou Grant: I *hate* spunk!

Quite prolific on Facebook, she almost always had a huge smile that lit up in nearly every photo, especially those with family:












Sadly, websites like Facebook are now becoming the place where we often hear of friends’ passings. We first learned about hers on a post by her husband of 19 years, TM Sell:


“Nancy Warren, 1962-2014. Rest well, ferry princess. A thousand tiny joys go with you.”

Condolences and memories have flooded both Nancy’s and TM’s Facebook pages, with posts like:

Josh Pehrson: “Last night, I learned my godmother Nancy Warren had been hospitalized, suddenly, earlier in the week. Two hours later, my parents called me and told me she had passed away. The last 24 hours have been so tough, and I already miss her so much. I’m unimaginably grateful for her presence in my life for the last 18 years. With so little time to take in her decline, I urge anyone reading this to take a minute and, in the words of her husband, go smooch a loved one – or even a friend – and tell him or her how much they mean to you. I’m sending lots of love to my Uncle Dr. T.m. and Amanda. Peace to both of you.”

Tara Sweeney‎: “On Friday, the jobs numbers were released and we learned how strong our economy is…We’ve been waiting for your perfectly educational post blaming Obama. Makes us so sad to know that post is not coming. But know you’ve trained us well, and you’ll always be thought of when great news is released.”

Janet Freeman-Daily: “Yesterday another warm, loving friend was taken by cancer. I will never again experience Nancy Warren playing lovely keyboard music, adopting another stray animal, demonstrating her cooking mastery, remarking on events in the classes she taught, or sharing pictures of beer and snowglobes acquired in foreign lands. Enjoy your meetings at the Rainbow Bridge, Nancy. Hugs to T.m. Sell , her family, and the many friends and students she touched in her lifetime.”

Mark MacDonald‎: “I think Nancy would have loved tonight’s Colbert Report broadcast with President Barack Obama. He hit it out of the park. Certainly he’ll be criticized but that’s the plight of any President. While on the outside Nancy and I appeared to have our differences, we were both moderate in our approach to political issues (but loved to stir the pot) and, among other things, I will miss her wit and our discussions on economics, politics, education, and family. Missing you, Nancy.”

Sam Blanton‎: “I find myself coming back to your FB page over and over – I guess I am somehow hoping that this is all a bad dream and that your post about a student who can’t understand how to knock on your office door or who asks for extra credit will prove me right.”

Darlene G. Miller‎: “The world has lost a bright, shining star. You were so committed to your students, to learning, to social justice and community. You lived life to the fullest. You made me laugh and appreciate life – I will miss all your damn Facebook posts and photos! It was a privilege to be able to call you my friend. Thank you for your courage of conviction, officiating at the marriages of your gay and lesbian friends. There will always be a special place in mine and Rahle’s hearts. I will miss you my friend but I know the world is a much better place having had you in it.”

Chris N. Johnson: “I will always remember the one phrase she always tried to instill in all of her students in all of her classes: Choose wisely. Nancy Warren, I love to dearly, and will never forget you. You were a true friend and champion to me.”

Paula M. Burckhard‎: “Nancy was the best teacher I had at Highline. She was proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. She made me laugh, remember the good ol days, learn new things. She will be warmly remembered and greatly missed. Praying for comfort in your time of sorrow.”

Mayumi Fumagalli Kumagai‎: “What…? It must be a joke right, Nancy? I even didn’t know what happened to you. You are still in your office at HCC and waiting me to visit, aren’t you? Because I and Ayaka were seriously planing to visit you.
Literally I really can’t believe..
I still remember your big smile, enthusiasm, kindness and everything like a yesterday.
You are the best teacher in my life and great person.
I can’t believe..”

Lucie Jiraskova‎: “Just heard that devastating news that saddened me deeply. I am shocked, hurt and cannot stop crying. The most beautiful woman, full of life, love and laughter, who touched the life of hundreds of others and was the inspiration for her students, passed away last night. Gone too soon. City of Des Moines, Highline college and lives of many will not be the same. Nancy, you will be greatly missed. We love you!!”

Here are some interesting items from Nancy’s FB page:

“Is it vacation yet?”

“I’m still me! And now I’m 50 and happy to be 50. It beats the alternative.”


  • “I think, therefore I am”
  • “I’ll think about it tomorrow!”
  • “Here we are now, entertain us.”

Originally from Aberdeen, Nancy attended Weatherwax High School, Grays Harbor College, University of Puget Sound, Cornell University and Central Washington University.

Nancy will be missed tremendously by many, including everyone at South King Media.

Our deepest sympathies go out to all who knew her, and even those who didn’t.

Here’s a video shot by Michael Brunk showing Nancy singing and playing piano during a Breeders Theater rehearsal:

We think it’s appropriate to end our brief tribute to Nancy with this quote from her husband TM Sell:

“Tonight, if you haven’t already, give your significant other a big hug, maybe even a big wet one, and tell him or her how much you love them.”
















Photos & Story by Sterling Paris

On Friday night (Dec. 5) at Big Catch Plaza, colorful lights lit up all around the Des Moines Christmas Tree to a crowd of around 450 people, the largest in a long time.

Hosted by Destination Des Moines, with help from John L Scott Real Estate, cookies and hot chocolate were served and glow sticks were sold for donations.

At 6 p.m. on the dot Rodney Olsen, the music instructor of Des Moines Elementary School, conducted his 6th grade band with the help from band students of Pacific Middle School and Mount Rainier High School.

“I have been bringing students here to play for the past 10 years and they all seem to love it,” Olsen said.

Friday was not too cold – unlike previous years – and everyone bundled up in warm clothes big or small, singing songs and waiting for Santa to light our tree.

This year was the first lighting of our new tree.

Next thing you knew Santa was standing at the foot of the tree ready to light it up. Everyone counted down from 5 and the estimated 25-foot tree lit up in green, red, blue, orange and pink with a nice white star on the top to finish it off.

Afterwords, parents had signed up while waiting to have their kids’ pictures taken with Santa.

All and all this year was one of the best – all the cookies were gone!

SterlingParis1EDITOR’S NOTE: Please welcome our newest Big Picture High School Intern – Sterling Paris – to The Waterland Blog and South King Media!

Sterling is the latest in our long line of industrious bright young students, and she’ll be creating art, photography, writing stories and much more for our blogs (and perhaps even SoKing Internet Radio) over this school year.

She lives in Des Moines, and you may recognize her from her face-painting booth at the Des Moines Farmers Market, where she’s been working for the last six years.

“Hi, I’m Sterling!

“I’m the Blog’s new intern! You can find me taking the bus or walking the streets or at the news’ next big thing. I’m a little blonde girl wearing either all black or a dress. So please say hi to me on the streets, I’m really friendly and love to smile so I assure you I don’t bite!”

She is our fourth Intern from Big Picture, and we’re excited to have her on board.


REMINDER: A benefit screening of the locally produced, award-winning UFO film “The Maury Island Incident” – for the Burien Actors Theatre and the Highline Area Food Bank – will take place next Tuesday night, Dec. 16 at the Tin Theater, starting at 6 p.m.

“The Maury Island Incident” is a 30-minute film that tells the forgotten, tragic story – taken directly from declassified FBI documents – of Harold Dahl’s June 21, 1947 UFO sighting near Maury Island, and the first reported ‘Man In Black’ encounter that happened to him the very next day.

Each screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Filmmakers.

Cost is $10 per person + 2 items of non-perishable food items for the food bank.

The film – which was shot in Des Moines (at the historic Landmark on the Sound), Burien, Tukwila and off the shores of Maury Island during the summer of 2013 – had its world premiere at the Big Island Film Festival, and its North American premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival.

It has also screened at the Port Townsend, Burbank, Local Sightings, International Family, Tacoma and Gig Harbor Film Festivals, where it won an Audience Choice Award for “Best Narrative Short.”

It was also awarded the competitive Washington FilmWorks Innovation Lab funding during production, and special episodes premiered as IndieFlix’ “first original series” in August, 2014.

Directed/Produced by Scott Schaefer from a script by Writer/Producer Steve Edmiston, it features Seattle-area actors Tony Doupé, Allen Fitzpatrick, John Patrick Lowrie, David S. Hogan and many others. It was Executive Produced by John White, and Produced by Scott and Laura Beth Peterson and Danny House.

Here’s a brief review from noted paranormal/UFO radio host Clyde Lewis:

“The tension in this film is so thick you can cut it with a knife. The Maury Island Incident captures a moment in time long forgotten by most UFO researchers. It also reopens those Cold War feelings that are nothing but a forgotten memory in the post 9/11 era. Bravo!”

Here’s a trailer:

The Maury Island Incident Trailer #1 from The Maury Island Incident on Vimeo.

Screenings will be held hourly, starting at 6 p.m., then again at 7 and 8 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with filmmakers.

Tickets are $10 each – and are available for online purchase by credit/debit card:


A ticket stub from this screening will also be worth $3 off on one ticket for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.”

Plus, if you bring non-perishable food for the local food bank, you’ll get an additional $2 off – so a stub and a food donation means $5 off the price of a ticket at BAT!  (This deal cannot be combined with any other deal or coupon, and only while tickets last.)

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm.

Collectible t-shirts and posters for the film will also be on sale in the lobby.

The Tin Theater is located at 923 SW 152nd Street.

by Jack Mayne

The nexus of the recent recession and the Washington State Legislature’s redirection of financial supports that cities used to use to balance their budgets has resulted in the City of Des Moines grinding down its financial reserves to the point the state auditor say the city “is it at risk for not being able to meet its financial obligations and maintain current service levels.”

The latest audit, released on Dec. 1, said the city’s general fund “has been diminishing due to the downturn in the economy and declining tax revenues” and that the city “has not effectively controlled costs in relation to reduced revenues … and ending fund balance has declined for three of the past four years.”

The general fund ending balance was actually at a loss of $55 in 2012 and only at $251 in 2013, the auditor wrote. Revenues have decreased and expenditures have increased.

“Therefore, the city is at risk of not being able to meet financial obligations at current service levels,” and should “monitor and evaluate its to ensure it meets the needed funding requirements.”

The auditor’s recommended that Des Moines adopt and follow “a formal comprehensive plan” and that it needs to “closely monitor and evaluate its financial activities” to be certain “the desired results are achieved.”

City ‘respectfully disagrees’
In its response to the auditor’s report, the city said “the steps the city has taken to address its financial situation, particularly the level of expenditure reductions and deferrals that have been implemented in the past three to four years” do not justify the proposed state recommendations.”

The Legislature has taken away from cities many of the streams that permitted cash-strapped municipalities to balance their budget, said Des Moines in its response to the auditor.

“When the Legislature eliminated the Sales Tax Equalization Program, the city lost a significant revenue source. In 1999, Sales Tax Equalization revenue totaled $1,667,000, representing 14.3 percent of the City’s General and Street Fund revenue.

“If this program had not been eliminated, this revenue, for 2014, is estimated to have been in the range of $2,800,000,” Des Moines told the auditor.

The city said it has done much to keep expenses in check and to reduce what it can.

It has changed and relaxed “dozens of development regulations and authorizing an economic development position to work directly with the development community to attract business.”

The City Council has also “maximized the use of just about every councilmanic revenue that is allowed under state law—including B&O taxes, Transportation Benefits District vehicle assessments, gambling taxes, utility taxes etc.—to balance its budget.”

But, the city wrote, “the Legislature has continued to deal with its budget problems by, in part, diverting revenues that have historically gone to cities.”

Liquor tax revenues the city received in the past three fiscal years “were $272,065 less than what would have occurred had the Legislature not taken those funds. In 2015, we expect liquor funds to be at least $65,767 less than what they should be.

In addition, the city says the Legislature took away from cities Public Works Trust Fund revenues and used the money to balance the state general fund.

This forced cities to use “other revenues to construct vital public works projects or to simply forgo them entirely.”

Living off savings
The Waterland Blog sent e-mails last week to the six state legislators representing the South King County area. We sought thoughts on legislator’ “views on actions the Legislature can, will or will not do to alleviate/change these financial problems.”

None responded.

We also copied the request to area City Council members and city managers, but only one person responded despite several days delay in completing the story.

The one respondent was Des Moines City Councilmember Jeanette Burrage.

“Great issue and I am glad you are covering it,” Burrage wrote.

“The City of Des Moines has the lowest sales tax per person of any city in King County,” just $80 compared with $125 per Burien resident or $387 for each SeaTac resident, according to figures put together by Des Moines City Finance Director Paula A. Henderson.

“For the last 12 years, Des Moines has been living off savings, one time money from building permits, and taking money from the Marina account, which is now also operating in the negative,” she wrote. “We have not put any money into replacement funds for computers or equipment for many years and no street overlays.”

‘Draconian’ cuts drew crowds
The officials city response to the auditor noted that “when draconian budget cuts to the Park and Recreation programs were proposed in 2008, residents filled the Council chambers and made it quite clear that these services were vital to the well being of our community and that budget reductions must cut across all City departments, not just one or two.

“The City Council has worked very hard to make sure that we maintain the highest possible level of services given the realities of our revenue situation.”

Des Moines officials did not dispute the auditor’s finding that it was relying on “one-time revenues to balance its budget” not “there are revenues from one-time projects in the 2014 budget that have not fully come in yet” but “we are seeing an uptick in onetime sales and B&O tax revenue from two of these projects (the Des Moines Creek Business Park project, and the Sheraton Hotel).”

The Des Moines Creek Business Park also started two months later than expected because of a delay in the Port of Seattle finalizing the land lease with the Panattoni Development Company.

“Building permit issuance will occur later in 2014 than we anticipated because of the delay in finalizing the land lease and a change to the city’s development agreement with the Port but the permits will be issued this year.

Pacific Middle School – located in nearby Des Moines – is the only school in Washington to receive a $10,000 grant from Code.org to buy technology to support computer science learning in the classroom.

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 9:50 – 10:30 a.m., State Representative Tina Orwall, as well as representatives from Code.org and Microsoft, will present the $10,000 check to Pacific students during a schoolwide assembly.

After the assembly, Microsoft engineers will visit two science classrooms and teach students how to code.

“With this gift, we will be able to provide students with greater access to technology, ensuring that our students will be on the forefront, not just consuming technology of the future, but creating it,” said Principal Deborah Rumbaugh.

Computer science is among the fastest growing industries in our region. Coding is an essential aspect of computer science, as well as finance, accounting, marketing, social media, and many more professions.

All 675 students at Pacific will also participate in Code.org’s annual Hour of Code event, which is designed to show that anyone can learn the basics of code.

On Thursday, December 11, Pacific students will participate in a one-hour introduction to computer programming during school. The hope is that after spending one hour learning how to code, students will want to keep going.

Hour of Code will take place in classrooms across the country the week of December 8-14. More than 2,200 students in Highline Public Schools will participate.

“We’re excited to have so many schools across the country introduce students to computer science for one hour,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO, Code.org. “The Hour of Code is an introduction to computer science, designed to demystify ‘code’ and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, or an innovator.”

Pacific Middle School is located at 22705 24th Ave South in Des Moines.

From our sister site The Normandy Park Blog:



Thieves crashed their pick-up truck through the doors of the Normandy Park Market early Monday (Dec. 8) then stole the automatic teller machine and fled.

A video surveillance camera showed a new black Dodge Ram pickup was driven through the doors of the Normandy Park Market, 19805 First Avenue South at approximately 2 a.m. Monday.

The suspects removed the ATM machine from inside the store and fled the scene.

Read the full story here.


It’s that time of year, when the annual Argosy Christmas Ships Festival cruises around the sound, and from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11, the MaST Center in Redondo will be hosting a viewing party.

“Visitors are welcome to enjoy the aquarium while they wait, and warm up with snacks from Cutter’s Point Coffee and Salty’s,” reads an announcement. “You can also stop by and enjoy the Redondo Beach Bonfire which will be staffed by MaST Center and City of Des Moines volunteers.”

Admission is free.

Here’s the schedule for our area:

    DEPARTS: Des Moines Marina, 7:00pm-9:45pm
    CHOIR: Rainier Youth Choir – Colla Voce
    PERFORMANCES; 8:00-8:20 Brown’s Point*; 9:00-9:20 Redondo Beach*
    DEPARTS: Des Moines Marina, 7:00pm-9:30pm
    CHOIR: Joyful! Noise
    PERFORMANCES: 7:20-7:40 Des Moines Marina Park*; 8:20-8:40 Dash Point*

The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship festival is a holiday celebration that has been a Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949. Every year, the Argosy Christmas Ship sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities, over 45 in total. Choirs onboard sing 20-minute performances to these communities, all broadcast via state-of-the-art speaker system. On shore, thousands of people gather around roaring bonfires anticipating the arrival of the Christmas Ship.

Join the song at St. Luke’s Annual Carol Sing event on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 4:30 p.m.!

Festive carols and stories, hot cider, cookies, cheese and wine are on the bill for this donation-only event at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in nearby Renton.

Evening light filtering through the early 20th-century colored glass windows, along with warm candle light set a festive and cozy mood for this traditional event.

The nave has been renovated, yet retains much of its historic charm, befitting its status as one of the older churches in Renton’s historic downtown core.

Guests are invited to join in favorite carols from a variety of eras or simply sit back and enjoy the show.

After the program, there will be a time to mingle and enjoy refreshments, snap photos and make some Christmas memories.

All are welcome!

The event is schedule to begin at 4:30 p.m.:

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at:
99 Wells Ave South

Click here for more info: http://stlukesrenton.blogspot.com/p/events.html


Via Marina Pizzeria Ristorante – the newest concept of the Vince’s family of restaurants in Des Moines – is making you an offer you cannot refuse – this exclusive Waterland Blog coupon (click image to print, or show it on your mobile device):

Click image to print coupon, or just show this image from your mobile device!

An authentic Neapolitan pizza is the perfect way to end your night and stay local after tonight’s Tree Lighting celebration!

Vince Mottola, along with partners Stephenie Abadilla and Eric Timper, are very excited about featuring authentic Neapolitan pizza, classic Italian dinners, along with craft cocktails and a thoughtful selection of wine and beer to Des Moines and the surrounding area.

All so you can discover their delicious food and warm hospitality…AND to make it even easier to take advantage of this amazing offer you don’t even have to print a coupon! You can simply load it on your mobile phone or tablet and redeem it straight from your device. Of course you can also print it and bring it in as well, just click here – and you are on your way to enjoying a delicious meal with savings to boot.

The menu is a fusion of popular Italian dishes from Vince’s and the same pizzas as their certified Neapolitan pizzeria in south Seattle, Pulcinella. Their goal is to become a dining establishment that is a source of pride in the Des Moines community and a destination restaurant for all of south King County. The name “via Marina” meaning “Marina Way” or “Marina Street” in Italian, was chosen to connect with this charming Puget Sound community.

Vince’s Italian Restaurants is one of the oldest restaurant companies in the Pacific Northwest, founded in 1957 by Vince (Enzo) and Ada Mottola shortly after arriving from Naples, Italy. Now son Vince with partner Fred Martichuski proudly continues the tradition with Vince’s in Burien, Federal Way and Renton and Pizzeria Pulcinella in south Seattle.

When it comes to their pizza they are serious about bringing real Neapolitan authenticity to the south end. Via Marina will apply for certification with the Vera Pizza Napoletana Association (VPN) in hopes to become the first VPN certified pizzeria in south King County. The certification demands strict adherence to their guidelines which include using ingredients from Italy and baking the pizzas in an 800 degree oven in less than 90 seconds.

Hungry yet? Well, hurry in because this special can’t last long!

Via Marina
22636 Marine View Drive South
Des Moines 98198

Phone: 206.592.2659

Click here to download Dinner Menu (PDF)

Website: www.viamarinaitalian.com

Happy Hour everyday from 4 – 6 p.m.:

  • $5 PIZZA & MORE!


  • Sunday: 12:00pm — 9:00pm
  • Mon—Thurs: 4:00pm — 9:00pm
  • Friday: 4:00pm — 10:00pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm — 10:00pm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/viamarinaristorante/






ALERT: If you try to access the Blog this Saturday afternoon, Dec. 6 and you get nuthin’ – don’t fret, we haven’t been hacked – we’re merely moving our Server to a new hosting company.

This means though that we have to physically unplug, remove, drive to, then install and configure the hardware at a new location.

Expect the Blog to be down from around 1:30 p.m. on for a few hours on Saturday, Dec. 6.

We appreciate all our Readers ad Advertisers, and will do our best to get everything back online as quickly as we can!

by Dave Markwell

Tonight I am sitting on an airplane flying over the vast nothing of the Pacific Ocean travelling from Hawaii to Seattle. My son lies next to me with his head on this fold down tray. My wife and daughter sit across the aisle, restlessly trying to find a comfortable position to sleep.

We are flying the red-eye from Kauai to home during the hour of whispers. This is a time usually, and rightfully, reserved for other things besides sitting in a cramped chair for five straight hours watching strangers sleep with their mouths open. Though mildly amusing, my alternative preferences would be many.

The hour of whispers is a solemn time of soft tones and touch and sacred conversation. It is a healing time…unless you’re on an airplane flying over the ocean. Then, it’s something else. However, since I’m returning from a warm weather vacation, I can’t complain too much. In my world, vacations are rare. Thus, they are valuable and I do not take even a long, dark plane ride for granted.

For a solid week, my family and I swam and ate and played cards and explored the ins and outs of a new place. In damp trunks and flip flops, we cruised the island at a pace of our choosing. We were deciders. We could do or not do. And it was nice.
It is rare to have such control. Perhaps this is why we value vacations so much: we have total sanction over our hours. This feels good. It is necessary and right and reminds us of a deeper connection to the larger world and our place in it. In all of us, buried in some deep pocket of our characters, resides an ancestral nomad intent on seeing the world. Most of the time, this neat little dude or dudette suffers in silence as we go about our business, marking time for someone else. That’s why it’s fun to let this little feller out once in a while. We are reminded that he/she exists at all.

As I glanced out the window past my son and a large stranger, I caught a wonderful shot of the moon. Low and bright over the wing of the aircraft, for a brief moment, the moon was mine. And we travelled, as explorers have since the dawn of time, in a necessary collaboration of spirit and light. Then, the moon moved to someone else’s window. Though the moment was brief, it, too, reminded me of great mysteries and fantastic wonders of this world and made me appreciate the ones I love sitting near me, sleeping with their mouths open on an airplane over the ocean…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


REMINDER: Real Estate Sponsor Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest will be participating in Winterfest in Burien this Saturday, Dec. 6, with FREE Santa Photos from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.!

“It’s Winterfest in Burien!” reads an announcement. “You and your family are invited to stop by and have your picture taken with Santa compliments of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest Real Estate.”

Winterfest is an annual event sponsored by Discover Burien that runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on SW 152nd Street in Burien.

Celebrate the Holiday Season by shopping locally at this annual community event that includes free horse and carriage rides, hay rides, hot treats and in-store specials.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WHERE: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest, located at 930 SW 152nd Street in Olde Burien.


The Burien Bark Family (Advertisers and friends of the blog) are keeping the local holiday spirit alive by opening a second Christmas tree lot once again this year.

The second lot is open right now at the Normandy Park Towne Center, located at 19900 1st Avenue South.

The home base tree lot will, as always, be at “our bark yard,” says Burien Bark proprietor Jeff Clairmont.

Their year-round bark yard is located at 13258 1st Avenue South in Burien.

Jeff’s Normandy Park lot trees are located right in front of Normandy Park Market.

“And our Christmas store is open right next to Normandy Park Market,” Jeff said. “We have gifts and wreaths for sale. And, we’ll flock your tree there, as well.”

“The tree lighting will be Sunday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. in front of Normandy Park Market. The 25-foot tree is donated by Burien Bark.”

The lot is open seven days a week.

They carry a variety of fresh cut Noble, Douglas, Grand, Nordman and Fraser Firs.

To get to Normandy Park Towne Center, head south on 1st Avenue South to 198th and turn right.

The regular location is at:

Burien Bark
13258 1st Ave South
Burien, WA 98168

(206) 242-6567



Washington State Patrol detectives are investigating a collision that occurred Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 on I-5 just north of I-405 at approximately 6:00 p.m., and are seeking the public’s help.

The collision involved the injury of an on-duty, Tukwila firefighter who was attending to the driver of a previous collision involving a white pick-up truck.

The firefighter was struck during a second collision involving a red Ford Mustang and the same white pick-up truck.

Detectives are requesting information regarding the collision and/or any observations of the vehicles prior to the incident.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to contact WSP Detective Sergeant Jerry Cooper at jerry.cooper@wsp.wa.gov or 360-805-1192 or Detective Ruth Medeiros at ruth.medeiros@wsp.wa.gov or 425-401-7719.

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The King County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying a serial armed robbery suspect who has struck four motels and one pizza shop in the city of SeaTac since Nov. 15.

All of these robberies have happened since Nov. 15 between Midnight and 3 a.m.

A white male wearing a mask enters the business displaying a handgun and threatens the clerk to hand over the cash. He is described as a white male with a thin build wearing dark blue sweatpants and a dark blue sweatshirt. He has worn a ski mask in all of the robberies and wears ski-type gloves.

In at least a couple of the cases a female accomplice has cased the victim business prior to the robbery either by enquiring if rooms are available or by calling for a shuttle pick up from the airport. Both of these ruses are believed to ensure having just one employee in the business at the time of the robbery.

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The suspects were seen at one robbery leaving in a gray or silver 4-door, possibly a Nissan Sentra or Altima. It is believed the suspects have used vehicles other than this one in commission of the robberies:



Anyone with information on the identity of the suspects or the owner of the vehicle is asked to call the King County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at (206) 296.3311.


Des Moines’ annual Tree Lighting celebration will be held at Big Catch Plaza this Friday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m.!

“Join with us as we celebrate the lighting of our Des Moines tree in Big Catch Plaza,” reads an announcement. “This annual event is a treat for the whole family with caroling, hot cocoa, snacks, and photos with SANTA!!”

There will also be a Giving Box available starting at 6 p.m., and guests are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Des Moines Food Bank.

All are invited to this open and free event.

Big Catch Plaza is at the corner of S. 216th and Marine View Drive, near where the old QFC store was located.

WHERE: Big Catch Plaza (old QFC parking lot)

WHEN: Friday, Dec 5, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

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by Chris Scragg
Puget Sound Weather Geek


We’ll be slowly crawling out of our cold spell throughout this week, but until we’ve fully thawed out, cold and icy roads will remain to be an obstacle for your commutes. Dress warm, and enjoy the sun while it’s there!

Clouds are going to start filling up our skies and rain chances are going to increase as a few fronts develop, and aim our way. Rain will begin falling on Thursday as the first of the train of fronts enters the region. Rain will again be the story for Friday, and Saturday. We should experience a break between systems on Saturday.

By the way: I wrote my first forecast for the KOMO4 Weather Page tonight. If you want to check that out (it’ll likely be replaced by Tuesday morning) click here: Komo Weather Forecast. I’ve also been offered a position to write blogs for the local up-and-coming weather group/website: WeatherOn. I’ll still continue writing blogs as the Puget Sound Weather Geek for the B-Town Blog and South King Media for the foreseeable future.

For the latest local weather, be sure to follow the Puget Sound Weather Geek:

Thanks for visiting! If you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback please email me at info@pswxgeek.com

Giving Tuesday DMLF ad

Giving Tuesday FCMSSF ad general

The Des Moines Legacy Foundation is asking for donations to provide scholarships so economically challenged youth and seniors can participate in Des Moines Parks, Recreation & Senior Services programs.

The pool district is seeking donations to provide swimming lessons for the economically challenged.

To donate, click below: