Ballard First Lutheran church held it's 85th annual blessing of the fleet service today at Fisherman's Terminal. Pastor Erik R. Wilson Weiberg presided.
The hardened Seattleite may cringe when you bring up going to the downtown waterfront. There are too many tourists, there is nothing interesting to see or do. I would even be guilty of that some days, but not on Valentine’s Day. The Seattle Aquarium cleverly disguises a hot, passionate, and tentacle-filled interlude as an educational experience. At noon they arrange a blind date between two giant Pacific octopuses, in hopes they will fall madly in love and, well you know, do what octopuses do.
This is the second year in row I have been able to cover this event, and I am so glad that I did. The crowd this year was amazing, most were school kids on field trips. And what I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall at dinner tables across Seattle that night. I can only imagine how kids answered the question of, “what did you learn at school today?’
The hot couple this year was a lovely female named Squirt. And Rain, a rugged, but bashful hunk of tentacles. After some encouragement by the aquarium’s biologists, the octopuses found each other irresistible and showed all of us there how lovely an under-water romance can be. It is definitely one of the most unique events to cover living in Seattle, and it’s pretty amazing that we all have access to such a great aquarium. Hopefully love will find its way under water again next year!
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The geoduck is big business in Washington State. The large clam can fetch $100-$150 per pound on a plate in Asia, which is where most of the clams are exported to. Here is some of our raw video shot off the shore of Langley on Whidbey Island. Our full story here.
Friday was the last day of business for Easy Street Records at their Lower Queen Anne location. For the final in-store show, Yo La Tengo came to town and played a nearly hour-long set.
Easy Street owner Matt Vaughan bid a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the store over the last dozen years:
"I'd just like to thank the Queen Anne neighborhood, they've been very supportive of us. I wish we could have stayed longer, we're coming off a pretty good year, but there's some things out of my control. Hopefully we didn't let anyone down, made up for it tonight. Go west young man, we'll see you in West Seattle" (Easy Street's West Seattle location is still open.)
The big surprise of the night was the marriage proposal from long time Easy Street employee and KEXP DJ Troy Nelson to his girlfriend Mackenzie Mercer. (the proposal happens at about the 4 minute mark)
Tucker, a 5-year-old chocolate lab, was raised in the country, far from big bodies of water. So when he and his owner Robyn Nelson moved to Seattle, Tucker was fascinated with big waves. And Monday's storm and high tide were almost too much excitement for him to take.
First United Methodist Church of Seattle read the names of each one of the Sandy Hook victims this Sunday morning. For each name read, a candle was lit and a bell tolled. Much of the service centered around the shooting and the larger issue of gun violence in this country.
In my 28 years of telling stories, there are two tales of guts and character that shook me to my very foundation, moved me like no others. And they tear at my heart still.
One is the story of our beloved Kathi Goertzen. The other is Marin Morrison.
When I met Marin, she was swimming the breast stroke at a junior varsity swim meet for Eastlake High School. She was swimming with one arm and one leg. Her other limbs were paralyzed. She finished dead last by a mile, but you should have seen the place go wild!
I learned that she had, just two years earlier, been one of the best swimmers for her age in all of America. She had dreamed --and planned -- to swim in the Beijing Olympics.
Aggressive brain cancer changed all that. But Marin kept swimming, kept living, and she set her sights on the Paralympcs, which were also in Beijing.
The fight to get to Beijing was an epic one, and the performance she turned in once she got there is, in my mind, one of the great sports stories of my generation.
I couldn't shake the spell that Marin had cast upon me, and so, along with KOMO-TV editor/producer Darrin Tegman, and photographer Doug Pigsley, we set about making a documentary about Marin's life and triumph. Four years later, I haven't shaken her spell yet, and I want her story to be heard.
These words can be heard during the movie. They sum up the way I feel about Marin and her struggle:
"At every pool where dreams and potential are measured by the hundredth of a second, the name should be whispered in wonder and awe: Marin Morrison, the girl who loved swimming so much, she put off death itself for one last race.
"This is the story of a dream that would not die, and a dreamer who will live forever."
It's called "Touch the Wall." It airs on KOMO-TV, Sunday at noon.
Watch the trailer:
After 104 years of worship in their church, Tacoma's First Congregational Church held their final service this Sunday. The massive, Gothic style building is in need of significant repairs, and the small congregation has had difficulty supporting it. Mars Hill Church has agreed to buy the building, and the money from the sale will help the congregation find a smaller, more appropriate facility.
When you work on Sunday mornings, you end up covering stories in many different churches and places of worship. Yesterday's final service was one of the most poignant and emotional services I've been to, and the final prayer was one I won't forget.
In what is turning into a tradition, election night parties on Capitol Hill converged to form one giant celebration.
Photographed by KOMO photographers Randy Carnell, Brad Baker, Matt Arnold, and Joe Lawson
Last year on Halloween night a friend suggested our family take a little drive to Lake Forest Park to take a look at an amazing decorated Halloween house. It was a bit out of our way but boy was it worth it. The smoke the lights the sounds were incredible. Homeowner Doug Woods had put up one eye popping display complete with air hoses powering monster heads and a garbage can ghoul that springs out scaring the unexpected visitor.
That night last year I told Mr. Woods that I would be back next year to do a story on him. I followed him weeks before the big night, setting up most of his display by himself, along with a little help from his neighbors. Thanks to Doug Woods for his great work and his dedication to scare everyone on Halloween.
After a wet, stormy October, November began with a dramatic rainbow and sunset.
Komo Photographer Peter Mongillo was out covering stormy weather and found himself on the picturesque shores of Lake Samish, just south of Bellingham.
Traveling through Cle Elum, Eric Johnson and I happened upon Stephen Ristene, his neighbor Caleb, and their amazing wheelbarrow tower.
Imagine the surprise to those passing by,
the quizzical looks, the wondering why.
What’s that in the woods on the edge of Cle Elum?
Would anyone believe ya if you dared even tell ‘em?
The wheelbarrow’s a rickshaw for dirt and debris,
a long shot for glory and immortality.
But there in the trees among pine cones and sparrows,
is a sky scraping tower of rusty wheelbarrows.
There was no master plan when he first stacked dirt carriers,
imagination and gravity his only true barriers.
Does he rent them? Does he steal them? Is he on the straight and narrow?
Does his old dog Hunter beg, steal and wheel-barrow?
But he could only go so far without pushing his luck,
what the stacker really needed was a big fire truck.
And then just this morning, like a gift dropped from heaven,
came the big ladder truck from fire district seven.
Of all the great towers in all this great world,
we should remember and try to be mindful.
Spectacular feats of engineering and vision,
Babel, and Pisa, Eiffel.
But when they ask you to name the greatest of towers,
made by kings, czars or pharaohs,
Be sure to tell ‘em,
‘bout the one in Cle Elum,
Known simply as “Tower Wheelbarrows”
And when the stacking is done
and the stacker grows old,
there will be no sad goodbye.
He’ll look up for a while then Stephen will smile,
and climb his wheelbarrow stairway to the sky.
- Eric Johnson
Fire District 7 Chief Russ Hobbs says that they don't often get a chance use their ladder truck, the wires and angle of the wheelbarrow tower made this project the perfect training exercise.