year : 2020 3830 results

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 12/31 roundup

Last virus-crisis update of a most unusual year:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: The Public Health daily-summary dashboard has yet to post the 12/31 daily update as of this writing. There are King County numbers on the state dashboard, but we don’t know if those usually match the ones on the county dashboard, so we’re not going to substitute. .

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 83.4 million cases worldwide, almost 20 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

TESTING: The city’s West Seattle test site is closed tomorrow for the New Year’s holiday.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE: The state published this progress report today. The table below is an excerpt:

SMALL-BUSINESS GRANTS: The state has announced that 7,800 more small-business grants are being awarded, prioritizing businesses “such as full-service restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys.” See the full announcement here.

GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or – thank you!

TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: Fauntlee Hills, for the finale

We started this season of spotlighting West Seattle Christmas lights with a home in Fauntlee Hills … so tonight for the final night we went back to that neighborhood, which might be the peninsula’s closest thing to a “Candy Cane Lane.” We found this house on SW Concord, between 40th and 41st [vicinity map].

Whether you’re taking your lights down soon or keeping them up, thanks to everybody for making the season bright.

And thanks to everyone who sent tips and photos. Coverage from this season and previous years can be seen by scrolling through this WSB archive.

GIVING: Last 2020 call for the West Seattle Small Business Relief Fund

December 31, 2020 5:43 pm
|    Comments Off on GIVING: Last 2020 call for the West Seattle Small Business Relief Fund
 |   Coronavirus | How to help | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

One of many New Year’s Eve traditions … nonprofits inviting you to donate one more time before the calendar turns. If you still have giving capacity, the West Seattle Junction Association is inviting you to consider the Small Business Relief Fund, It was launched last spring, and donations through the fund have brought more than $120,000 in support to local independent businesses working to keep serving the community safely. The WSJA explains that “you can make a donation through the Junction (501c3) directly to your favorite business or to the Junction fund where the money is used for special programs and grants that support the small-business engine. It’s kind of a perfect note to end the year.” Scroll down this page for the donation form.

Mystery boom in North Delridge

4:30 PM: SPD and SFD are checking out multiple reports of what sounded like an explosion near Delridge Community Center/Playfield. So far, though, they haven’t found anything.

4:37 PM: SFD has closed the call.

2020 LOOKBACK: This year’s 10 most-commented WSB stories

What a year! With hours to go until 2021 arrives, it’s time for our annual lookback, with the 10 most-commented WSB stories of the year. As you can probably guess, the pandemic and the West Seattle Bridge closure loom large on the list; those two ongoing emergencies also made this a record year for WSB readership, averaging almost 2 million pageviews a month. Thanks for reading, commenting, sending tips, and huge thanks to the local businesses and organizations whose sponsorships cover our costs (which increase along with traffic, as we work to increase reliability and our server’s ability to handle big breaking news). Now, on to the countdown!

May 1, 2020 – 190 comments
Gov. Inslee announced the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order would be extended another month, and also outlined his plan for reopening in phases.

April 20, 2020 – 195 comments

Four weeks after the West Seattle Bridge was closed, five days after SDOT announced the closure would last until at least 2022, the City Council got a briefing.

July 30, 2020 – 196 comments

Their demonstrations weren’t the biggest seen in West Seattle, but the Seattle Evening March protesters’ visits here were among the most memorable, as they marched along many residential streets on their way to visit officials including City Councilmembers and, on this night, King County Executive Dow Constantine.

May 7, 2020 – 215 comments

As part of the city’s pandemic response, some streets were closed to through traffic to give people more space to walk, run, and roll. When Beach Drive’s northern end, alongside Constellation Park, was added, many were thrilled, many others were not.

May 10, 2020 – 230 comments
Shortly after the aforementioned stretch of Beach Drive was closed to through traffic, it was suggested that adding Alki Avenue west of 63rd would make sense too – and that happened quickly.

Read More

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: ‘Road-rage’ arrest; robbery followups; laundry-room burglar

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes this midday:

ROAD-RAGE ARREST, GUN SEIZED: This happened just after 5 pm last night. Here’s the SPD summary: “Officers responded to a road-rage incident in the 3200 block of SW Morgan St. The caller reported a male in a vehicle blocking the roadway, and when the caller asked him to move his vehicle, the driver pointed a handgun at her. The male fled the scene but was located a few minutes later when he returned to his residence. The suspect was arrested for Felony Harassment and for DUI.” A subsequent search turned up this gun:

The photo is from SPD. We’re checking on the suspect’s status.

ROBBERY FOLLOWUPS: We reported briefly last night on two street robberies reported in West Seattle. Police tell us today they’re still investigating whether these might be related. From the initial SPD summaries, we have a few more details. In the first one, around 8:10 pm, “two juveniles were walking at 30 Ave SW/SW Thistle St and a dark 4-door sedan pulled up next to them. The sedan was occupied by four males. One of the males exited the vehicle and began asking the juveniles questions. The male pulled out a handgun, and demanded items from the juveniles. A couple of the occupants exited the vehicle and talked the suspect out of committing the robbery. The sedan fled the scene. The juveniles walked home,” and called police. In the second one, about 8:25 pm, “the victim was driving in the alley at 16 Ave SW/SW Barton St. (One suspect) was in the middle of the alley and the victim stopped her vehicle. (He) displayed a handgun, and (the second suspect) approached the victim in the driver?s seat and punched her in the face. The suspects took the victim s purse and wallet. The suspects fled the scene, possibly in a vehicle.” No further descriptive information in either case.

LAUNDRY-ROOM BURGLAR: The photo and report are from Beverly:

Apartment storage/laundry room break-in on 9th and Holden:

On Monday (12/27/) morning, this man broke into our secured apartment building and then broke the locks off the washer and dryer to take the very small amount of change, then proceeded to break into our shared locked storage room. He was clearly rummaging around in our storage locker as he had a few tools inside the door ready to take. My husband confronted him while I called 911. He ran out the back door just minutes before police arrived.A report has been filed, case # 2020-355004. If you have any info on this man, please contact SPD 206-733-9800.

Save The Stone Cottage’s campaign continues with four ‘Finding the Story Stones’ events

(1940s-era photo courtesy Save The Stone Cottage)

As reported here last weekend, Save The Stone Cottage is almost halfway to raising the funding needed to move the iconic beach bungalow off its to-be-redeveloped site, putting it on the path to preservation. Next step: Four events for you! Here’s the announcement:

In a race to beat the wrecking ball, throughout January 2021 the “Save The Stone Cottage” committee is putting on a series of educational, entertaining and inspiring events called “Finding the Story Stones,” to raise awareness about the GoFundMe Charities fundraising drive. Four fun activities will be held over the course of the next 30-day period in which individuals, virtual teams of friends, and families with children all can participate. Finding the four “Story Stones” will unlock elements of the unusual stories surrounding the Stone Cottage, Eva Falk and the early history of Seattle and Alki.

The first of four family-friendly events launches this weekend!

Finding Story Stone #1: ‘Count the Stones’ Begins January 1, 2021

The first contest begins with the onset of the New Year. From January 1st to January 6th you and/or your team can be one of the first to “Count the Stones” on the front façade of the Stone Cottage at 1123 Harbor Ave SW. Participants who correctly guess the number of stones (within a 50-stone range) will earn bragging rights and help unlock the “Story of Eva,” the free spirit who built the Stone Cottage. Submit your team’s name, contact information, and single best guess at:

Finding Story Stone #2: ‘Search for the Lost Stone’ launches January 9, 2021

This second contest is a clue-based Twitter search in which clues to the whereabouts of the second Story Stone will be tweeted out over six hours. Finding this Story Stone will unlock stories and secrets about the Stone Cottage itself.

Finding Story Stone #3: ‘Walking in Eva’s Shoes’ January 16, 2021

This third contest highlights the story of Eva Falk when, during the early 1930s, she enlisted the help of her children to tow wagon loads of beach stones from the Alki Lighthouse to where the house was being built on Harbor Avenue more than two miles away. Participants will be encouraged to complete the trip from the Alki Lighthouse to the Stone Cottage and symbolically re-enacting the journey of Eva and her children. Finding this third Story Stone will unlock the story of “Building the Stone Cottage.”

Finding Story Stone #4: ‘Stone Cottage Karaoke Rock Concert’ January 23, 2021

We will hold a live “Stone Cottage Karaoke Rock Concert” in which participants can choose from a list of songs to perform. Songs can be performed as an individual or a team. The winning Karaoke performer will receive the final Story Stone and unlock the “Story of the Duwamish.”

You can enter the first contest here starting at midnight tonight; crowdfunding continues here.


(Wednesday rainbow off Alki, photographed by James Tilley)

A few notes for the last day of 2020 ….

LAST DAY BEFORE CLICK! BREAK: Shop at longtime WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits today, 11 am-4 pm, before the shop’s annual winter break. (4540 California SW)

DEMONSTRATE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: The twice-weekly sign-waving event organized by Scott happens again today, 4-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t have your own. (16th/Holden)

PUGET RIDGE EDIBLE PARK VIGIL: As announced earlier this week, PREP volunteers welcome you to visit the park – one small group at a time – between 6 and 8 pm, to say farewell to 2020. (18th/Brandon)

SPACE NEEDLE: No fireworks, no lasers, just a virtual light show you can only see via streaming or TV.

Online memorial Saturday for Jonathan M. Hetzel, 1985-2020

Family and friends will gather virtually Saturday to remember Jonathan M. Hetzel. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:

Jonathan Mark Hetzel died peacefully at 8:44 pm on 12/15/2020 at St. Anne Hospital in Burien. He was 35 years old. He was surrounded by family, including his parents who were bedside, and siblings virtually. Jon is survived by many friends and family including: parents Mike and Anna Louise Hetzel; siblings Charlene McRae, Dave Hetzel, Michelle Hetzel, and Steve Hetzel; many cousins, including Stephanie Stone; and five nieces and three nephews.

Jon was a hard and diligent worker. By trade, Jon was a marine pipe fitter with U.A. Local 32 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He worked at Foss Maritime for almost 14 years until mid-2020, when he became too ill to work. He was a valued employee and his colleagues in the shipyard will miss him. Jon specifically enjoyed going out on Puget Sound for test runs after making fixes to tugboats or other marine vessels.

Jon was active in his union and appreciated the support and collective-bargaining strength that came with union membership. Because of his work history and union protections, his health insurance was maintained for months after he wasn’t able to work due to health problems. When he wasn’t able to work, he was concerned his health insurance would run out. We are deeply relieved, and grateful to UA Local 32, that he had continuous health insurance until his death.

Jon was a beautiful combination of extrovert and introvert. He could talk your ear off and very much enjoyed the company of others. He could make friends with almost anyone and specifically enjoyed the company of those who were older than he was. He also enjoyed his own company and often kept to himself. In the last several years, Jon’s health deteriorated and he suffered the loss of several friends who passed away. He felt the loss of his friends deeply. Jon was notoriously private and kept his friends and family separate; only in his passing are we beginning to meet each other.

Jon was an incredibly kind, compassionate, and gentle soul with a variety of interests. Jon was an avid reader and had boxes upon boxes of paperback novels. Jon particularly enjoyed learning about history and regularly watched the History Channel. He was knowledgeable about electronics and had many computers; he had a penchant for disassembling and repairing or upgrading them. Jon had a special relationship with puzzles – he found them particularly cathartic when he was going through treatment for his illness. Jon enjoyed traveling to far-off places. His most notable trips included Europe; Central America; Southeast Asia; and the Mediterranean. He loved learning about other cultures and was an adventurous eater, with a willingness to try local cuisine and apt enthusiasm for spicy foods.

Jon loved to barbecue with friends and was a regular when cookouts were held at Big Al’s Brewery; beer Mondays and BBQ Wednesdays were standing commitments on his calendar. Stubbs barbecue sauce was a mainstay in Jon’s fridge and pantry, along with meats and cheeses; chips and sour cream; fried chicken; gummy bears; and Jolly Ranchers. Jon chose fruit over vegetables and meat over anything else. His only foray into cooking was meat and jalapeño poppers. For dessert, he preferred ice cream or the occasional slice of apple pie.

Jon was active in the local White Center community. He was an enthusiast for small businesses, specifically restaurants including: Full Tilt; Proletariat Pizza; Itto’s Tapas; Young’s; Super Deli Mart; and Beer Star. He enjoyed White Center Art Walks and Jubilee Days. Jon made frequent trips to Lincoln Park, where he’d bring his breakfast and soak up the views.

In the last couple years, Jon became an active member of the White Center Eagles Club. He was there almost daily, socializing with everyone. The club members became like a surrogate family for Jon, making sure he had holiday plans and checking on him when his absence was noted. Since his passing, club members have stepped up to support the family and honor Jon’s memory. He was valued as a kind and caring member of the club.

A Zoom memorial for Jon will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, at 2 pm. A celebration of Jon’s life will be held this summer at Lincoln Park and will include a display of Jon’s favorite sarcastic T-shirts. Friends, coworkers, and others are encouraged to email to participate in either or both events.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to


December 31, 2020 6:16 am
|    Comments Off on ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC, TRANSIT: New Year’s Eve 2020
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

6:16 AM: It’s Thursday, December 31st, the 283rd morning without the West Seattle Bridge – and New Year’s Eve.


Delridge project: Crews are scheduled to work today but not tomorrow (New Year’s Day), SDOT says.


Metro – Regular schedule today, running a Sunday schedule for New Year’s Day tomorrow.

Water Taxi – Regular schedule today, but no service New Year’s Day.


West Marginal Way (substitute camera since the one at Highland Park Way has been out of alignment):

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am, with camera enforcement starting 1/11/21) low bridge:

The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here are two cameras:

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

Going through South Park? Don’t speed. (Same goes for the other detour-route neighborhoods, like Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge.)

To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

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

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

UPDATE: 2 rescue responses for crashes on West Marginal Way SW

11:57 PM: A crash on West Marginal Way SW, near Puget Way, has led to a “rescue extrication” callout and closed WMW both ways. More info as we get it.

12:33 AM: The road has reopened. The crash was described as one car, one occupant, who had to be cut out of the car and was taken to a hospital.

2:30 AM: Now there’s another “rescue extrication” callout for West Marginal, this time in the 6300 block.

2:35 AM: This time, it was quickly downsized. … Southbound lanes are reported to be blocked.

2:55 AM: Two people are reported hurt in this crash. There’s early word it’s being looked at as a hit-run.

11:32 AM: Checking on the victims’ conditions from both crashes and will add that update when we get it. Meantime, here’s the initial SPD summary from the second crash:

A silver sedan was southbound in the 6300 block of W Marginal Wy SW, when it left the roadway and collided with a red sedan in an adjacent driveway. The elderly couple in the red sedan sustained substantial injuries. The unknown driver of the silver sedan fled on foot.

The subsequent search, involving a K9 team, was unsuccessful.

11:45 AM: Here are the victim updates, from SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley, with all three of these people in stable condition when taken to the hospital: In the first crash, a man in his early 30s, transported by SFD medic unit; in the second crash, a woman in her early 60s and a man in his late 60s, transported by private ambulance.

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 12/30 roundup

Tonight’s pandemic toplines:

GOVERNOR EXTENDS RESTRICTIONS: The rules first ordered in mid-November, most recently set to expire January 4th, will now continue until at least January 11th. Governor Inslee made that announcement in a news release today rather than a briefing. The announcement added, “An updated reopening plan is currently being developed to provide a pathway for businesses and workers impacted by this order to reopen safely. The updated plan will be released next week.” Here’s the one-week-extension proclamation.

HEALTH OFFICIALS’ BRIEFING: Though the governor didn’t have a briefing today, key state health officials including new Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah did. While they stressed that the situation is “precarious,” they also spoke of some encouraging trends such as decreasing case counts. They also said they’re working on figuring out how to speed up the vaccination rate – a problem nationwide – with nearly 60,000 vaccinated so far but more doses available and even more on the way. The briefing video is here.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now, from the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*61,392 people have tested positive, 593 more than yesterday’s total

*1,082 people have died, 16 more than yesterday’s total

*4,116 people have been hospitalized, 16 more than yesterday’s total

*740,836 people have been tested, 895 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the four totals we track were 58,750/1,022/3,909/721,289.

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

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

GOT INFO? Email us at or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 street robberies; burglary suspects sought; 2 followups

Four West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:

STREET ROBBERIES: Right now police are investigating reports of two armed street robberies tonight – one near 16th/Barton, one near 30th/Thistle, both at gunpoint. No other details yet.

BURGLARY SUSPECTS SOUGHT: The Southwest Precinct is looking for help identifying the two people shown below, saying that on November 12th, they “burglarized an apartment complex, located at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, taking several bicycles, kayaks and paddle boards from the secured garage’s storage area. They were driving the pictured green Dodge pickup truck, with unknown plates, at the time the crime was committed.”

If you have tips, contact the Southwest Precinct at 206-733-9800 and refer to case 20-332739.

Now, two followups on incidents we covered Christmas Eve:

WALGREENS ROBBERY: On Thursday afternoon we reported on police arresting a suspect in a robbery at the High Point Walgreens after he found his way onto the roof of an apartment complex next door. Today a first-degree robbery charge was filed against 35-year-old Farah I. Yusuf. The documents say he stole a phone charger while brandishing a knife at a store employee who tried to stop him. Store staff told police he had robbed the store before, once with a rock, once with a broom handle. King County Jail records show this is his 11th booking this year, with jail stays from 2 days to 2 months on allegations including assault, harassment, and repeated violations of a domestic-violence court order. He remains in jail, bail set at $100,000.

STOLEN-PACKAGES CRASH: The 36-year-old man arrested Thursday morning after crashing into a North Admiral garage door, leading to police finding stolen packages in the vehicle, got out of jail yesterday after five days. Court records show he has not yet been charged.

ABANDONED BICYCLES: Missing either of these?

Two more bicycles found by readers:

Above is the bicycle John found in The Junction: “Abandoned bicycle left in the street on 46th Ave SW between Alaska and Oregon. This one is pretty beat up, looks to be a ’70s Schwinn painted several times. Might be a White Bike (white paint on frame and rims).” If it might be yours, let us know and we’ll connect you. Below is a bike Theo spotted:

Says Theo: “Not sure if it’s that a child forgot their bike or it was stolen/abandoned, but it seems like someone would care about missing this bike. At Lafayette playground near the west gate.” Again, since bicycles are less likely to be simply lost/misplaced than stolen/dumped, we publish these reports here in the main news stream, but most other lost/found items are posted here.

TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge followup

Tonight as our extended holiday-lights spotlight continues, we revisit the West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge. We first reported one month ago on this community-created combination of scavenger hunt, food drive, and local-business support. 67 homes and businesses are on the official Polar Bear Challenge map – including the one where you’ll find the polar bear above, 5700 block of SW Charlestown. That site, by the way, also has characters from the legendary Island of Misfit Toys:

Back to the Polar Bear Challenge. Its delighted organizers report that participants have collected many hundreds of pounds of food. And even if you don’t visit displays, you have one more chance to donate before the WSPBC wraps up on New Year’s Day:

On January 1, 2021, our Polar Bears and Polar Bear Team will be down on Alki, the famous location of the Polar Bear Plunge, for one final opportunity to contribute to the West Seattle Food Bank. We will be set up by the Alki Bathhouse between 9 am and 11 am, just look for the bears and do an easy drive-by food contribution. We will be giving away stuffed polar bears for food donations while supplies last.

With and without bears, we’ve featured more than three dozen displays this season – scroll through them all via our archive.

New leader for Washington State Ferries

December 30, 2020 6:46 pm
|    Comments Off on New leader for Washington State Ferries
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

Of note since West Seattle is home to one of Seattle’s two Washington State Ferries terminals: WSF is getting a new leader. Washington State Department of Transportation announced leadership changes today, put into motion by the impending retirement of Deputy Transportation Secretary Keith Metcalf. He will be succeeded by Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton, who has led WSF since 2017. She in turn will be succeeded by Patty Rubstello (2019 WSB photo at left), who has been Assistant Secretary of Urban Mobility and Access. The announcement says Rubstello “created and led the Office of Urban Mobility & Access, which brings together tolling, regional transit coordination, and the management of mobility divisions to enhance operational and planning coordination in the greater Puget Sound area,” adding that she “has experience in design, construction, planning and traffic operations, and in 2015 served as the agency’s assistant secretary for Tolling.” The job moves start in January. Read the full announcement here.

REOPENING: Seattle Public Schools asks families to watch for survey next week

When Seattle Public Schools leaders decided two weeks ago to resume in-person learning March 1st for PreK through 1st graders and some special-education students, they said a survey would go out to affected families in early January. This afternoon the district sent this announcement advising those families to watch their inboxes next Tuesday:

Seattle Public Schools will send an important survey next week to families with students in preschool, kindergarten, first grade and moderate to intensive special education service pathways in order to determine how many students from those groups will be returning to in-person learning in SPS schools in March 2021.

The survey, which will be sent to families on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, is the primary way for the district to ascertain how many families from the specific groups want to return to in-person learning.

The survey must be returned to SPS by Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. It will then be followed by direct communication from each student’s school. The response goal is 100 percent participation in the survey.

SPS is currently in the remote learning framework that the SPS Board of Directors approved prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
As previously announced by Superintendent Denise Juneau, SPS will resume in-person learning on March 1, 2021, for the following four groups of students:

• Preschool;
• Kindergarten;
• 1st Grade;
• Students enrolled in special education moderate to intensive service pathways. On Dec. 17, the school board approved the resolution to begin the phased in return of students.

The survey will be emailed, but families will also receive robocalls and texts. Among other things, survey responses will help SPS figure out:

• How many in-person teachers will be needed;
• How much classroom space will be needed;
• The appropriate amount of PPE for students and staff;
• Necessary bus and other modes of transportation needed for students;
• Necessary adjustments by SPS Nutrition Services to provide in-person meal service;
• How many remote teachers will be necessary for students choosing to remain remote for the rest of the school year.

The SPS website has more info on the in-person-learning plan.

UPDATE: Crash at Fauntleroy/Oregon sends 1 to hospital

3:13 PM: Thanks for the tips. A two-car crash at Fauntleroy/Oregon has sent one person to the hospital, and SPD says Traffic Collision Investigation detectives are responding, so this will be affecting traffic in the area for a few more hours. Right now, police say, southbound Fauntleroy and both directions of SW Oregon at Fauntleroy are closed. We’re checking on the injured person’s condition.

3:37 PM: Police tell us at the scene that they believe the white vehicle’s driver ran the light and hit the black vehicle, whose driver is the person taken to the hospital.

4:45 PM: SFD spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says the injured person is a woman in her 60s, in stable condition when transported. The victim’s daughter also has commented below.

5:15 PM: The scene has cleared.

PANDEMIC: Governor extends restrictions one more week; state health experts see ‘encouraging trends’

Governor Inslee has extended the latest statewide restrictions – such as no indoor dining, fitness, movies, and capacity limits for many businesses – one more week, until January 11th.

By that time, the restrictions will have been in place for almost two months. Inslee issued the extension proclamation today without an accompanying briefing, but state health officials did have their weekly briefing earlier this afternoon. Toplines included a vaccination update – so far, almost 60,000 people have been vaccinated. This week, another 100,000 doses of the two U.S.-approved vaccines are due to arrive in the state. New state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah described the pandemic response overall as at “halftime” – no time to let up. He and his team also described some encouraging trends – while key stats such as case counts and hospitalizations remain higher than ever, some are starting to move downward. But, Dr. Shah warned, “We’re not out of the woods yet.” You can watch the full briefing here.

Wondering why it takes so long to fix some streetlights?

In the dark, often-rainy heart of winter, a nonfunctioning/malfunctioning streetlight stands out. Right now, West Seattle has more than 20 of them. After a question from a reader, we looked into the current state of streetlight trouble-reporting and repairs. Above is a screengrab from the Seattle City Light streetlight-repair tracking map. Once a streetlight’s been reported, it gets categorized at one of three levels. The most-common type in our area currently, marked by red dots on the map, generally will take a while to fix, the map explains, because: “The streetlight is failing due to issues within the streetlight’s electrical system. … These repairs require engineers to assess and design a solution to fix the streetlight’s electrical system.” Since so many nonfunctioning West Seattle lights are shown in that category, we asked SCL spokesperson Julie Moore to elaborate on what those “issues” tend to include, and whether that means repairs will take months rather than weeks. Here’s her reply:

The most common “issue” is often related to old equipment that needs to be brought up to current standards. As the note on the streetlight tracker says, these kind of fixes require additional time and effort as engineers must assess and design a solution, then it must go through permitting, crew scheduling and construction within the City right-of-way. Another issue that can sometimes prompt this type of solution is wire theft; however, this has not been as prevalent an issue in 2020 as in recent years.

Yes, these “red ticket” repair jobs can take much longer to complete than simple fixes for the reasons described above. Please also be aware that City Light is experiencing significant resource challenges and a growing backlog for certain work, including streetlight repair and new service connections, at this time. Several factors combined created this situation, including a pause in work in response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order earlier this year, other COVID-related impacts to our operations staffing model and vacancies, as well as competing priority projects and unplanned essential work. Depending on the complexity of the project, we estimate timelines for completion are weeks or even months longer than in the pre-COVID world.

You may have noticed the pop-up note when you first visit the streetlight tracker site: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle City Light is prioritizing essential critical infrastructure work and doing work in a way that minimizes service disruptions to customers. Crew availability is limited to emergency streetlighting repairs, so we apologize if there is a delay with your request.

We will continue to prioritize emergency repairs to address public safety concerns. Our goal is to meet or exceed our customer expectations and it is disappointing when we do not. We are working on near- and long-term improvements to address the backlog and reduce project timelines.

Some repairs can be completed more quickly, so keep reporting nonfunctioning streetlights – check the map first to see if someone has already made a report – click on a dot to see the address and pole # to verify it’s the same one. There are multiple ways to report a problem – this online form, the Find It Fix It app,, or 206-684-7056.

HELPING: Start the new year with a community cleanup

Earlier this year, we introduced you to Jessica, who was organizing a monthly volunteer cleanup at Alki. She’s renewing her call for volunteers as 2021 starts, with the first cleanup set for this Saturday (January 2nd):

1st Saturday of every month, 10 AM to 2 PM

Pick sticks and buckets provided – RSVP to reserve one. Feel free to bring your own. Supervised kids welcome. Behaved dogs welcome off beach. We spread out to cover most surface. Stay as long as you desire; go as far as you would like. The goal is to collect the garbage before it enters the beach and ocean. We can gather after for a distancing coffee if time allows. We meet at 10 am outside, between Blue Moon Burgers and 56th on Alki Ave SW

If you can’t make it Saturdays, consider starting your own group that meets another day. Looking forward to meeting you.

To RSVP or ask a question, text Jessica at 206.769.6330.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen silver/blue Tahoe

From Nick & Paula:

We had a silver & blue 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe LS stolen from the Alaska Junction QFC parking garage. Stolen at 10 pm on 12/28. Plate: AYN6951

Police are also searching for a silver older-model Acura sedan, tinted windows, sunroof, front-end damage. This vehicle was seen on camera and is suspected to be involved in the theft. Please call 911 if either is seen. Incident #2020-355968

ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC, TRANSIT: Last Wednesday of 2020

6:16 AM: It’s Wednesday, December 30th, the 282nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.


Delridge project: Here’s the newest plan. No work Friday (New Year’s Day), SDOT says.


Metro – Regular schedule through Thursday (running a Sunday schedule on New Year’s Day).

Water Taxi – Regular schedule through Thursday (no service New Year’s Day).


West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way (if the camera angle is still bad, please report to SDOT, 206-684-ROAD):

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am, with camera enforcement starting 1/11/21) low bridge:

The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here are two cameras:

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

Going through South Park? Don’t speed. (Same goes for the other detour-route neighborhoods, like Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge.)

To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

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

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