CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 9/17 roundup

Pandemic news on a still-smoky Thursday night:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS, WITH A CAVEAT: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals – but with this caveat, “An issue with duplicate records that affected the number of positives, people tested, and hospitalizations was corrected. Due to this correction, the column named ‘New since yesterday’ displays negative numbers of hospitalizations and a low number of new positives. There were 86 new cases and no new hospitalizations reported on 9/16.” That said, here’s what’s on the dashboard summary:

*21,196 people have tested positive, up 38 from yesterday’s total

*748 people have died, up 0 from yesterday’s total

*2,310 people have been hospitalized, down 7 from yesterday’s total (see above)

*407,596 people have been tested, up 2,306 from yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 20,566/743/2,288/386,709.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Just passed 30 million cases worldwide, 6.6 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

IT’S OK TO NOT FEEL OK: That was the message of mental-health professionals who were featured during the governor’s media briefing today. A situation like the pandemic affects everyone’s mental health, they said, urging people to reach out for help. You can watch the briefing here.

NEED FOOD? Saturday afternoon, all are welcome at a drive-up distribution in West Seattle.

IF YOU CAN DONATE FOOD … Saturday is also when there’s a drive-up donation event in West Seattle. (Toiletries, too.)

GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

DELRIDGE ROAD PROJECT: Outage today; weekend closure postponed

Two notes related to the Delridge Way SW road project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line:

OUTAGE: SDOT confirms a crew working on the project hit a water line this morning. That caused an hour-long water outage, according to the Seattle Public Utilities map, which says more than 30 customers were affected. The photo above was sent by Josh, who says the crew also “hit our internet.” SDOT spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth tells WSB the department is “investigating the situation.:

POSTPONEMENT: In our exchange with Ducksworth, we asked if this weekend’s Delridge/Oregon closure was still on, since we hadn’t seen a mention yet of preparations such as bus rerouting. No, he said, it’s postponed; they’re aiming for next weekend, weather permitting.

WEST SEATTLE PROTESTS: Tonight & Saturday

First, thanks for the tips on this:

PROTEST TONIGHT: “Override/for Black lives’ was the chant of that group outside City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s house in Highland Park this evening. That’s a reference to a decision the council has to make soon – whether to override Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s veto of three recent bills, including the budget-rebalancing bill with Seattle Police budget cuts. Council President Lorena González noted earlier this month that the law requires the council to reconsider vetoed legislation, while saying that wouldn’t happen sooner than next Monday (September 21st). About a dozen people were gathered when we stopped by after reader tips.

The group sponsoring this, the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, is not the same group that visited Herbold’s house twice before as well as other elected officials in West Seattle and elsewhere in the city; that’s the Every Day March. That group does have a West Seattle event coming up this weekend:

PROTEST SATURDAY: If you haven’t seen this in our calendar (which we’re slowly reviving) – the Every Day March group has announced a Youth March on Alki this Saturday (September 19th), gathering at Alki Playfield/Whale Tail Park at 1 pm. From the announcement:

“We fight every single day for a better future for our youth. Which is why we’ve decided to do a kid-friendly march to get our youth involved! … We have planned the safest march down the Alki strip for the youth to lead.”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Catalytic-converter thieves strike again

Reader report:

Our Prius was vandalized this week. It was sitting on the street (Hill Street SW, North Admiral). We found it still jacked up with the catalytic converter missing. We read an article online that said catalytic converter theft has become popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying marketings. Metal recyclers will pay an average of $50 per converter for the precious metals inside them. Unfortunately our estimate to repair is $1,799.

This is the sixth reader report we’ve received this summer about catalytic-converter thefts, and others have been noted in those stories’ comments.

FOLLOWUP: Duwamish River body investigation

One more South Park note: On Tuesday, after multiple reader tips, we mentioned King County Sheriff’s Office deputies were investigating a body found alongside the Duwamish River, by the bridge. The person who died, described by KCSO as a man in his early 40s, has not yet been publicly identified. But when we checked back with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott today, he told us that detectives now say, “As right now it does not appear criminal in nature, but it is still an active investigation.”

YOU CAN HELP: Concord PTA’s weekend yard sale to help families with rent and utilities

We’re continuing to spotlight ways to help neighbors affected by the pandemic, as well as ways to get help. This weekend, if you’re able to help, you can do it by shopping a big yard sale in South Park, coordinated by the Concord International Elementary PTA:

This weekend, September 19-20 [noon-6 pm both days], we are hosting a fundraiser to raise money for rent and utility assistance for Concord Elementary School families in the South Park neighborhood.

75% of Concord Elementary families live below the poverty line and many have not qualified for unemployment benefits during this pandemic.

During our last fundraiser yard sale in July, we raised just under $10,000, and every penny went to rent and utility assistance for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Here’s more background on the school and the PTA’s work to help families and students. The sale address is 8507 14th Avenue S., just west of the bridge – here’s a map.

SMOKE: Air Quality Alert extended again; cancellations continue

(Wednesday photo by Suzanne Murray)

Dare we hope that this will be the final extension? The National Weather Service, in consultation with other regional agencies, has extended the Air Quality Alert, this time until 10 am Saturday. Some cancellations/closures continue – city parks are still closed today, Seattle Public Library curbside service is canceled today, and the twice-weekly BLM sign-waving at 16th/Holden is canceled again today too, per organizer Scott.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Restoration work begins for another mural

At the corner of California/Oregon in The Junction, muralist Bob Henry has started work on the next West Seattle mural restoration. This time it’s “Bank Day,” on the north-facing side of the Chase building (which, by the way, has been a bank since its 1952 dedication as a Washington Mutual branch). Henry tells WSB he’ll be working on this one for “four or five” days, and it’s weather-dependent, so that might stretch out a while. The mural was painted by Alan Wylie, one of 11 murals created ~30 years ago. Of the nine remaining at their original locations, this is the sixth to be extensively renovated. While the mural-restoration project kicked into high gear with philanthropy seed money two years ago, donations will get it to the finish line – you can assist by going here.

NEED FOOD? Where to get some free on Saturday

(WSB photo, last Friday)

Hunger is on the rise because of the pandemic-fueled economic crunch. In hopes of helping neighbors in need, the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church in West Seattle has another drive-up distribution coming up this week, open to all – 1:30 pm-4:30 pm this Saturday (September 19th), 2620 SW Kenyon. It’s a no-contact-style event – just drive up and volunteers will load the food into your vehicle.

Remembering John E. Sacco, 1929-2020

Family and friends are remembering John E. Sacco, and sharing this with his community:

John E. “Buddy” Sacco passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on September 7th, 2020 at the age of 91.

John was born at the family home in “Garlic Gulch” on January 19, 1929 with the help of his loving Aunts. He was the second-born son of John B. Sacco and Elizabeth Rickenbacker Sacco, preceded by his brother Carl.

He attended Mt. Virgin Grade School and graduated from Franklin High School in 1947. An independent soul, he attempted to sign up as a cabin boy in the Merchant Marine during WW2, but was stopped by his mother before he could get aboard. He served during the Korean War at the Atomic Bomb plant at Hanford, Washington as an anti-aircraft gunner on the Quad 50 machine gun. He lived in a tent for two years in the desert and would never sleep outdoors or in a tent again for the rest of his life.

He met the love of his life, Elsie Novito, and they were married on April 24, 1954, a marriage that lasted for over 66 years. He held several jobs, but finally settled in at Seattle City Light, at first a cable splicer and then in the streetlight division, retiring in 1990 after 30 years.

A quiet genius, he could make anything and do just about everything he put his mind to. He remodeled the house he and Elsie lived in for nearly their whole married life, working on it after his work day ended and then on weekends. He had many hobbies, from building his own darkroom for color photography, to being an expert airplane-model maker. He could look at a picture of a plane and build it from scratch and fly it, but flying model aircraft only whetted his appetite for flight and he learned how to pilot sailplanes and then small engine airplanes. He was a past member of the Puget Sound Soaring Association.

He also belonged to other clubs: A past member of “The Cascade Mountain Men” and present member of “The Sons of Italy” and the “West Seattle Italian Club.”

He leaves his loving wife Elsie, son Joseph “Joey,” daughters Diana and Mary. Grandchildren Danielle Sacco Wartena (Eric). Erica Concannon Martin (Brett). Anthony Concannon, Katie Concannon Brenner (Nathan), Nicole Concannon, and Sean Concannon. He also leaves 5 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.

A private family Mass was held at Holy Rosary Parish, West Seattle.

Donations may be made to St. Jude Hospital.

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

ROAD WORK & TRAFFIC WATCH: Thursday 9/17 notes

6:16 AM: It’s Thursday, the 178th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

ROAD WORK, ETC.

*Delridge project: Here’s the latest update, with closures the next two weekends.

*Westwood Village parking lot: Work continues on the SW Trenton side of the center. If you have to go to the post office, use that entrance – but don’t use it to try to get anywhere else at WWV.

CHECK THE TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO

Here’s the 5-way intersection camera (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Here’s the restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am) low bridge:

The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here’s that camera:

The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s that camera:

Going through South Park? Don’t speed.

Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

Metro – Routes 125 and 128 are now stopping at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. Otherwise – still reduced service and distancing, with some changes starting this Saturday (September 19th).

Water Taxi – Still on its “winter” schedule, with the 773 and 775 shuttles running – see the schedule here.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

VIDEO: ‘Complicated and expensive problem,’ city councilmembers told in presentation of bridges audit

(Seattle Channel video of Wednesday morning’s committee meeting)

When the City Auditor’s Office presented its audit of Seattle bridges to the City Council’s Transportation and Utilities Committee today, one thing was clarified right off the start:

“Our audit was not an investigation into the specifics of (the West Seattle Bridge closure),” stressed deputy auditor Sean DeBlieck. It was, though, a result of the sudden closure almost 6 months ago – soon afterward, committee chair Alex Pedersen called for it. We reported on the audit when it was made public Monday, in advance of today’s presentation. Here’s the slide deck they used:

Continuing the presentation, assistant auditor Jane Dunkel noted that while the report mentions 77 city-owned bridges, SDOT cites 124, because its count includes pedestrian bridges and co-owned structures.

No West Seattle bridges were in the “poor” category in SDOT’s most recent inspection ratings. But as Councilmember Lisa Herbold pointed out, pre-closure, the West Seattle Bridge was rated “fair,” so some of those bridges may have repair needs long before getting into the “poor” category.

A key point of the audit, as mentioned in Monday coverage – SDOT has averaged $6 million on bridge maintenance annually over the past 14 years, but should be spending $34 million to $100 million a year. (It should be noted that this was not an audit of SDOT’s budget in general, so auditors weren’t necessarily saying the agency needs more money, just that it should be spending more on bridge maintenance.)

The report’s 10 findings included that SDOT could be out of federal compliance, as suggested in an “informal” state/federal review last year (at SDOT’s invitation), which could cost the city dearly if it’s found ineligible to compete for federal grants, such as the ones that might factor into West Seattle Bridge repair or replacement funding.

Other recommendations included that SDOT should spend less time doing “reimbursable work” for others and should spend less time maintaining private bridges. SDOT deputy director Lorelei Williams noted that the department does not agree with the recommendation to cut back on reimbursable work, as, she said, it allows them to afford more staff. “Sustainable, scalable sources of revenue” are overall a big challenge for the department. Yet even if they had all the money more bridge maintenance would cost, she said, scaling up staff would take a while.

Williams also repeated a point SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe made in his written response to the audit, that SDOT does not believe the West Seattle Bridge problems resulted from any deficiencies in its maintenance program. She also mentioned that SDOT set aside Roadway Structures – which includes bridges – as its own division just last year. Its acting director Matt Donahue also participated in the meeting; Herbold asked him for clarification on the new load rating that the city has to do for its bridges because of new classifications of vehicles approved by the feds; the re-rating was ordered in 2015, to be completed by 2022.

Bottom line, the maintenance backlog and funding gap – identified as a nationwide challenge – was summarized as a “complicated and expensive problem.” Auditor Jones told councilmembers that this report isn’t a one-time check-in with SDOT – they’ll check with the department each year to see how the implementation of recommendations is going.

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 9/16 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic-related toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals (keep in mind, these are the first since Monday):

*21.158 people have tested positive, 145 more than yesterday

*748 people have died, 1 more than yesterday

*2,317 people have been hospitalized, 8 more than yesterday

*405,290 people have been tested, 1,841 more than yesterday

One week ago, those four totals were 20,440/741/2,283/386,938.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

VACCINE PLAN: In today’s weekly state Health Department briefing, it was noted that states have to get their vaccine-distribution plan ready for the feds by October 16th, so they’re working on it. “Essential” workers such as health-care workers are likely to be the first to whom a vaccine would be made available. More than 40 potential vaccines are in clinical trials around the world, Secretary of Health John Wiesman said.

ALSO AT THE BRIEFING: State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy talked about new data regarding contact tracing (here’s the news release) – in short, many are reluctant to participate. Watch the full briefing here.

WEDDINGS & FUNERALS: New rules announced today by the governor’s office:

The update allows wedding and funeral receptions to resume, as long as they meet specific requirements.

-Receptions and ceremonies must be capped at 30 people, or 25% of venue occupancy, whichever is less

-All tables at the reception must be seated by household, with table sizes capped at 5 people

-Facial coverings are required, and social distancing must be maintained

Read the full guidance document here, and associated memo here.

TWO WAYS TO HELP: Order flowers ASAP to help farmers; donate food and/or toiletries at a drive-thru event on Saturday.

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

SEEN FROM WEST SEATTLE: Hope!

(WSB photo)

6:33 PM: For the first time in days, we saw a hint of the downtown skyline from Seacrest while out on late-afternoon errands. Looking to the west, the sun was pink through the smoke/fog – we didn’t photograph that, but Marc Milrod did:

Dare we hope the worst is past? The latest “forecast discussion” says cautiously, “A front moving through the area late Thursday into Friday is expected to help clean out some of the smoke.”

ADDED 8:56 PM: Thomas just sent this photo of what the smoke looks like from above – that’s Mount Rainier barely poking through in the distance:

‘ It’s time for action’: West Seattle Junction Association’s plea to the city about park problems

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Junction Plaza Park just passed its 10th anniversary. In those 10 years, it’s been the site of many celebrations and gatherings, including the annual community Christmas tree lighting.

Right now, it’s a source of concern.

Since the city installed a “hygiene station” there four months ago, though it already maintains a public porta-potty a block west, the West Seattle Junction Association has been receiving reports of what it summarizes as “escalating violence and drug use in the park.”

Out of “the continued frustration of our citizens, coupled with the escalating violence, compounded by zero response (or accountability) from Human Services,” WSJA executive director Lora Radford has just launched a webpage meant to call public attention to some of those concerns and ask for community support in seeking a city response.

One example of the escalation of trouble in and near the park: The recent rampage at the QFC across the street, for which a suspect has been charged and remains in jail. But that’s just one incident mentioned in some of the anecdotes and observations posted on the page so far. While trash and discarded needles are mentioned, so are concerns about personal safety:

“… while I was sitting on a bench in the park trying to comb my dog, a young man approached me and accused me of staring at his girlfriend, then promptly flashed a large knife at me and told me to leave the park.”

“… There was a police response as a belligerent and violent man was accosting his fellow transients but also two innocent men who were literally just walking by on the sidewalk.”

“… We have had instances of our tenants being verbally accosted while trying to cross the street at that location and an instance where a colleague was chased by one of person s congregating in the park.”

The WSJA’s page makes it clear that it’s fully aware that the big picture involves “significant health, economic, and social challenges” and services are needed. But in the meantime, it’s concerned about safety – of the vulnerable people in the park as well as others in the area. It is asking all those with concerns to contact the Human Services Department (info). So far, after previous contacts, the only response from the city is a reply that just acknowledged the concerns and added:

You are correct that providing mental health and drug addiction counseling services is a broader question that needs to be addressed city-wide.

The Hygiene Station program team includes representatives from the Human Services Department (HSD), Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), Office of the Mayor, Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) and Department of Neighborhoods (DON). Many team members are also working on COVID-19 and homelessness response issues and policies.

Aside from that acknowledgment a week ago, nothing, says Radford. So here’s how you can help if you have concerns too:

When you observe illegal behavior or see drug and mental illness issues in the park – first and foremost, please call 911. Please do not engage with the persons.

Send an email to Human Services. Together, we can work to elevate the need for more mental and drug counselors at the park. Let’s get people to the services they need, and support accountability:

Copy/paste into the send line of your email

Tom.VanBronkhorst3@seattle.gov; Frank.Coulter@seattle.gov; Bill.Benzer@seattle.gov; Tess.Colby@seattle.gov; Lisa.Gustaveson@seattle.gov; Donna.Waters@seattle.gov

cc: Lora@wsjunction.org

Or Call Human Services
Tom Van Bronkhorst
Office: 206.233.3954

Other business districts in the city have similar concerns; WSJA recently joined with some of its counterparts in this letter to the city. An excerpt:

We ask you take small businesses and the owners, employees, customers, and adjacent residents into consideration when assessing the public safety needs for the constituents of this city. Seattle is at a crossroads and is choosing its path forward. It’s time for us to ask our leaders, both legislative and executive, to find a way to work together to achieve what they essentially agree on: a reimagined municipal social contract—especially around public safety—that protects and lifts up all of us. Confronting and dismantling systemic racism and providing a safe environment for our neighborhood business districts are not mutually exclusive; indeed, they rely on each other completely.

For the Junction Association, the bottom line is at the end of its new page: “Join us. It’s time for action.”

GETTING AROUND: New maps, videos to help with bicycling around – and to/from – West Seattle

New to bicycling around the peninsula? Cascade Bicycle Club has a new set of maps and videos meant, according to the announcement, ” to help West Seattle residents impacted by the West Seattle Bridge closure more safely and confidently bicycle to downtown and throughout their community.” (Cascade also is advertising on WSB to help get the word out.) The featured routes:

West Seattle Junction to South Lake Union
White Center to downtown via the Spokane Street Bridge
Spokane Street Bridge Detour to 1st Avenue South Bridge
White Center to Georgetown loop

Cascade says those routes “encompass the most common commutes for West Seattle residents.” You can find the maps and more on this resource page that “also includes links to free resources designed to help bicyclists of all levels become confident riding on the streets, learn the rules of the road, and get a bike in road-ready shape.”

HOW TO HELP: Drive-up donation drive on Saturday

Another way to help this weekend, if you can donate: Hope Lutheran Church in The Junction is hosting a drive-thru collection on Saturday (September 19th) from 10:00 am-noon.

All proceeds benefit The Welcome Table, which is run by WIN – Westside Interfaith Network. This is a free community event that happens every Saturday at Body of Christ Church in White Center. They serve neighborhood families who are low-income or homeless. Each week a meal is provided. Other items are also offered such as used clothing, personal toiletries, and food. Many families use this “pop-up food bank” each week to help ends meet.

Please consider donating these items (please, no expired items)

Cereal
Cartons of shelf-stable milk – regular, soy, almond, rice, oat
Canned fruit, vegetables, meats
Canned meals such as Spaghetti-o’s, ravioli
Cup of noodles
Pasta
Peanut butter

(Non-food items:)

Toothpaste
Deodorant
Toilet Paper
Hand sanitizer
Antibiotic ointment
Laundry detergent pods
Underwear- new or clean used, sizes M, L, XL
Men’s shirts/pants used, in good condition, all sizes
Blankets, Backpacks or Duffel bags – new or used, in good condition
Coats, Hoodies – Men’s L, XL, 2X
Cash Donations also accepted

Hope Lutheran Church is at 4456 42nd Ave SW. Enter our parking lot by turning in on 41st Ave SW and exiting to SW Oregon Street. NO-CONTACT DONATION – Volunteers will be on hand to unload your backseat or trunk so you don’t even have to get out of your car.

YOU CAN HELP: Flower fundraiser to help farming families

(Photo courtesy Hmong Association of Washington)

Need some more brightness after all these smoke-hazed days? Beautiful flowers like that can help – but they don’t just magically appear at local markets. They are grown on small farms. And like so many, those farmers have been hard-hit in these times. So they’re having a flower fundraiser, with online orders through tomorrow, and a Saturday pickup spot in White Center. Explains Cynthia Yongvang of the Hmong Association of Washington, who emailed to let us know abut this: “Our fundraiser would benefit both the Hmong flower farmers who are struggling financially during this pandemic and also our 4 very small communities (Mien, Hmong, Khmu, and Lao) in the Puget Sound area by providing rental-assistance relief to families in need so that they won’t be displaced during this time.” The order form is here, and it explains, “This weekend, based on the farmers’ selection of flowers, the mix bouquets will include sunflowers, dahlias, lilies, phlox, statice , snapdragons, gladiolus and greenery for $25, with $10 of every bouquet going to our rental assistance program.” Orders will be accepted until 3 pm tomorrow (Thursday, September 17th), with pickup options (also listed on the order form) including 9 am-noon Saturday in White Center.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen beige Civic; Triangle window-smashing

Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this morning:

CAR STOLEN: From Cynthia:

Our son’s 2000 beige Honda Civic was stolen from our driveway at 3642 Beach Dr SW, Seattle, WA 98116 sometime during the night. It was reported to the police this morning, but thought we’d get the word out in case someone finds it and for neighbors to be on the lookout for suspicious activity on Beach Drive. Here is a picture after a recent hit and run.

Call 911 if you see it.

WINDOW-SMASHING: Staffers at DogCity in The Triangle (36th/Oregon) arrived this morning to find windows smashed on cars outside as well as on their building. Here are two of the photos they sent:

So far, it does not appear burglary was the motive. They’ve reported it to police.

Remembering Monica Stenberg, 1944-2020

Friends and family are remembering Monica Stenberg, and sharing this with her community:

Monica was born Monica Eklöf on October 2, 1944 in Gothenburg, Sweden. She grew up there with her mother and her two younger sisters. During the summers they moved out to their mother’s family home in a small fishing village on the island of Mollösund off Sweden’s West Coast.

As a young adult, Monica got a job working in the finance department of a shipyard in Gothenburg, and it is there that she met her future husband Bengt Stenberg, who was originally from Malmö, Sweden. In 1969, Monica and Bengt moved to the United States, first to New Orleans and then Santa Monica and finally Seattle, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Bengt passed away in 2004. After so many years in the US, Monica felt more and more American, but kept Sweden in her heart and always had a love of the sea.

Monica worked for many years at Seafirst Bank in West Seattle, which later became Bank of America. She enjoyed visits with her Swedish family, travels in Europe and the US, and adventures with friends in the Pacific Northwest. Monica also liked going to opera, musicals, plays, and celebrating the holidays with a traditional Swedish Christmas Eve julbord dinner with friends.

Monica was a happy and energetic person, and was always ready to laugh. She was known for her quick wit and many jokes, and she was a fun person to be around. Monica had a big heart and never forgot the birthdays of her friends and family. Monica was a loyal friend and beloved sister and aunt.

She is greatly missed by her friends and family in both the US and Sweden. Monica is survived by her two sisters, Gertie Skeppstedt and Margreth Eklof, niece Petra Myhren, and nephew Mathias Skeppstedt, and their children.

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

ROAD WORK & TRAFFIC WATCH: Wednesday 9/16 notes

6:21 AM: It’s Wednesday, the 177th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

SCOOTERS

The first company to deploy them in Seattle’s new “pilot program” is scheduled to start distributing them early today. Please let us know if you see any in West Seattle!

ROAD WORK, ETC.

*Delridge project: Here’s the latest update, with closures the next two weekends.

*1st Avenue S. Bridge: Tonight is the last scheduled NB overnight closure for the deck-panel replacement project.

*Westwood Village parking lot: We checked on this project Monday. If you have to go to the post office, use the SW Trenton entrance – but don’t use that to try to get anywhere else at WWV.

CHECK THE TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO

Here’s the 5-way intersection camera (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Here’s the restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am) low bridge:

The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here’s that camera:

The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s that camera:

Going through South Park? Don’t speed.

Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

Metro – Routes 125 and 128 are now stopping at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. Otherwise – still reduced service and distancing, with some changes starting this Saturday (September 19th), and the potential return of fares on/around October 1st.

Water Taxi – Still on its “winter” schedule, with the 773 and 775 shuttles running – see the schedule here.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 9/15 roundup

Mid-September virus-crisis updates:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s today’s daily summary from Public Health – the cumulative totals:

*21,013 people have tested positive, 82 more than yesterday’s total

*747 people have died, 4 more than yesterday’s total

*2,309 people have been hospitalized, 4 more than yesterday’s total

*403.349 people have been tested, 1,714 more than yesterday’s total

NO ONE-WEEK-AGO COMPARISONS … because last Tuesday was the day when county and state stats were down.

ONE MORE AREA DEATH: One of the five zip codes that are entirely or partly within West Seattle, 98146, recorded another death in today’s report and is now up to 14. (Cross-referencing the daily by-city stats, it appears this is a Burien death, as that jurisdiction is shown with 1 in today’s report, while Seattle and White Center both show 0.)

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 29.5 million cases worldwide, 6.6 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING TODAY: He talked about COVID-19 as well as wildfires – you can see the video here; he turns to the pandemic just past 17 minutes in, starting with words of concern about college-community outbreaks, particularly what happened in Pullman, and continuing with a graph showing a possible uptick in virus activity overall. “This virus hasn’t gone away,” reminded Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

STATE HEALTH LEADERS’ BRIEFING TOMORROW: You can get a full update on the statewide situation by watching the media briefing with the state’s COVID-19 response leaders tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 pm; it’ll be streamed here.

COVID CLOSURE: Walgreens confirmed to WSB today that the High Point store’s Friday and Saturday closure was COVID-19-related.

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STILL SMOKY: What’s ahead, and above

(Looking toward the smoke-obscured downtown skyline – photo by Marc Milrod)

You might have given up trusting forecasts by now, since we’re still socked in by smoke. But if not – here’s what forecasters are saying: “Relief from smoke will come in the form of an upper-level trough moving onshore late Thursday into Friday, bringing widespread rain that should help clear out the smoke.” So don’t expect relief tomorrow. Couple of interesting side notes from the Washington Smoke Information website: First, if it’s any consolation, this isn’t the longest smoky stretch we’ve lived through in recent years, though it does top one disturbing category. Also: If you’re wondering about which fires this smoke is from – look south, not east.

P.S. If you’re watching the numbers, readers shared their favorite sites in this thread earlier today.