Meet some of Burien's Bright Gems

Our community is truly the Gem of the Sound and below are some of the people who are the reason why.
Welcome to Burien — New Rabbi, Moshe Wolff!
September 15th, 2022
By Martin Barrett.Burien has a new family in town, Rabbi Moshe and Devorah Wolff, who, along with their three children, moved into our city just a few weeks ago. They have been appointed to establish a new Chabad center to service the cities of Burien to Federal Way.The word “Chabad” is a Hebrew acronym for the three intellectual faculties of chochmah-wisdom, binah-comprehension, and da’at-knowled...
The Battle for Burien - Kennedy versus Highline
September 7th, 2022
This Friday, September 9th, at 7 PM, the established Kennedy Lancers and the long defeated underdogs, the Highline Pirates face off — this is why Head Coach Deontae Cooper came to Highline High School. He believed that this City and the kids at Highline could be something special, capable of great things. It has taken four years and incredible work; building a first-rate coaching staff, raising th...
The Battle for Burien - Coach Cooper (part 1)
September 6th, 2022
By Joe Slye.Head football coaches Deontae Cooper at Highline High School, and Sheldon Cross at Kennedy Catholic High School work less than a mile apart. The route each took to get to their respective school is hundreds of miles apart. Back then, much was different, but today a lot is similar — they are passionate about their roles in Burien and doing great things with their teams. The 2022 footbal...
Overcoming Drugs & Homelessness - James's Story
September 6th, 2022
“The separation is what kick-started it,” James explains of his descent into addiction and homelessness. “My ex-wife left. She ran off with someone else and that caused me to spiral into a downwards depression. I lost everything. I lost my house. I lost custody of my kids and I didn’t much care. I started using drugs and started going in the streets. I lost all sense of hope. I had nothing.”Before...
Highline Pirates Kickoff Game
September 1st, 2022
By Martin Barrett.Today, September 1st, kicks off not just the first game of the Highline High School Football season but also the start of a new era for the Pirates. It has been decades since the Pirates began a season with the coaching, talent, discipline, and confidence required to make a run at the championship. Tonight against the Steilacoom Sentinels, the Pirates will get an opportunity to s...
Australian Pie Company - Interview With Owner Angus Wood
August 26th, 2022
By Joseph Riverson.There are two things in life that we cannot easily forget, no matter how hard we try. They are:That warm embrace we get from Mama when we need it most, andMama's hot and tasty homemade meals straight from the oven.Oh yes! When we heard her wonderful voice calling us in that loving tone: "Lunch is ready", "Breakfast is ready," or "Dinner's Ready", no matter what time of day it wa...
The Three Tree Point Store: Restoring a Neighborhood Landmark (Part 3)
August 22nd, 2022
Throughout the interview with Three Tree Point Store owner Nelle Reichert, there were beloved neighbors and visitors coming into the store with broad smiles and expectant visages as they entered through the doors, enjoying the beautiful summer morning. Many came with their children, and one after the other, each patron satisfactorily walked away with a beverage or food of some sort. Quite a few sa...
With the Eagle Landing Stairs Disappearing, an Unsung Burien Stair Builder Continues to Build Magnificent Stairs
August 17th, 2022
By Matthys Van Leeuwen With the Eagle Landing Stairs disappearing, an unsung Burien stair-builder continues to build magnificent stairs. Meet Loran Dugan, a man who for his stature you could easily overlook, but his craftsmanship to build stairs makes you look up. He has been building unique stairs from his shop in Burien for 34 years. So, I asked him how many feet in the air he has created over a...
Remembering Earnest Thompson
August 16th, 2022
By Ruth Storkel: Here in Normandy Park we are mourning the loss of city councilman, Earnest Thompson, who passed away August 1, 2022. We offer our sincere condolences to the Thompson family. We want to tell you we appreciate the time and energy Earnest contributed to making this city a truly great place to live! Good city council members are “watchman on the wall” for our cities. They work diligen...
Highline Pirates - State Champions in Football
August 5th, 2022
By Martin Barrett Seriously? For those of us who can remember seasons of not even one win, where scoring a touchdown was the only reason to stand up and celebrate, and that not often, that statement is surreal.  It has never happened before. Can it ever happen?Meet the man who chose to come to Burien to take a program that few wanted, to coach kids most had bypassed. Meet Deontae Cooper, the man w...
Love Thy Neighbor
July 27th, 2022
By Chestine Edgar For approximately the last decade in Burien; a diminutive, dark-haired woman volunteering at the Transform Burien non profit has been known as "Mom", the Clothing Bank Lady, or Charlotte. She helped thousands of people from Southwest King County find clothing, food or household items they needed to live. Charlotte was a living example of "loving thy neighbor" and she will be sore...
Sky Warrior and Leader: Ken Smith
July 22nd, 2022
By Jim Fursman Boat mechanic, computer programmer, aspiring pilot, Naval Flight Officer, Vietnam combat veteran, lifelong volunteer and successful manager. “A jack-of-all-trades, master of many” accurately describes the focus of this Bright Gem. Ken Smith is a native of Burien. He graduated from Highline High School in 1960; working while continuing his education, Ken graduated from Seattle Pacifi...
Chirlee House: Other Centered Generosity
July 6th, 2022
By Martin Barrett Inspiring! That was my experience with Chirlee House. A 1953 graduate of Highline High School who still meets monthly with many of her classmates; while now the gathering is down to five as friends are passing away, the commitment to relationship has not waned. A proverb says the most important letter in the word f-r-i-e-n-d is the letter “i” and that letter stands for `”initiate...
Bright Gems: Midway
June 23rd, 2022
By Jim Fursman; Midway is usually the halfway point in a journey. For the kid next door to me, Midway was the beginning of a journey and a recent highlight too.  Taylor moved with his family to Burien in 1995 when he was about 5 years old.  From a young age Taylor was “pushing the envelope” of excitement while displaying a disarming and mischievous smile.   His adventures included skate boarding.....
"God Wasn't Done With Me." Mark's Story
June 13th, 2022
Below is a story of recovery from the Men's Recovery Program at Riverton Place in Burien "God wasn't done with me"Life change isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes falling into the darkness again to truly see the light.Mark battled alcoholism, depression, and codependency for many years before he came to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. For 12 years, his address was the streets.“I had drunk myself into ob...
Service with a Smile!
June 10th, 2022
By Ruth Storkel Living  in the Burien community, there are MANY unsung heroes who day-by-day  serve us at various places of business: banks, stores, restaurants, auto garages, etc. These people are the ones who assist us in many areas to provide our basic life necessities. Not only do they work hard but they do so WITH A SMILE and a positive attitude that gives us hope and  enjoyment of life.Recen...
Quiet Heroes
June 9th, 2022
By Jim Fursman Nearly 30 years ago Dave and Susan Woltz moved to Burien. They purchased a home on the beach at the  north side of Three Tree Point, a home built in 1912.  Because of the steep hillside, the move into their home was via barge,(as were the supplies for a major remodel a few years later). Soon I saw Dave riding his road bike along Maplewild Avenue. Dave and I were both flying for Alas...
Silver Wisdom
June 2nd, 2022
Step Into Spring at Boulevard Park Place, By Beth Barrett: Around Burien, in our many neighborhoods, people are doing good things.  In our far northeast corner, bordered by Seattle and SeaTac, a group of seniors has been logging thousands of miles during this unusually wet and chilly northwest spring.  That’s commitment that inspires all of us!“Step into Spring”, their Walkathon fundraiser, is pro...
Gareth's Story - "Prison Ministry Has Changed My Life."
June 2nd, 2022
Using drugs was all that mattered: Gareth’s childhood was not an easy one. “I witnessed and experienced a lot of physical and emotional abuse that changed me,” he says. The abuse led to depression, stress, and anxiety, which Gareth was unable to control. “It led to a point where heroin and meth made me feel like a h......