day : 09/03/2020 11 results

CORONAVIRUS: Monday 3/9 toplines – first publicly disclosed West Seattle case; council briefing; SFD protection; more…

Here’s our nightly roundup of local COVID-19-related neww:

KING COUNTY’S UPDATED NUMBERS: From this afternoon’s Seattle-King County Public Health news release:

33 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported to Public Health – Seattle & King County through 11:59 p.m. on 3/8/20, bringing the total number of reported King County cases to 116.

Of the 33 new cases reported today, two are deaths. In addition, one person who was previously reported as a positive case has now died. The total number of deaths reported to Public Health is now 20. The three deaths being reported today include:

A woman in her 80s, a Life Care Center resident, was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth, and died on 3/4/20. (This case is included in the 33 new cases reported today.)

A woman in her 90s, a Life Care Center resident, was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center, and died on 3/8/20. (This case is included in the 33 new cases reported today.)

A woman in her 70s, a Life Care Center resident, who was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth, and who died on 3/8/20 (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/4/20, in an earlier case count.)

Of the 20 [King County] deaths reported, 19 are associated with Life Care Center.

OTHER NUMBERS: Official dally statewide reports are here; a nationwide/worldwide look is here,

FIRST CASE PUBLICLY LINKED TO WEST SEATTLE: As we reported earlier in the evening, a South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) student has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and is now in “self-isolation.” The college was already moving to “alternatve modes of instruction” for the rest of winter quarter and is now going entirely into remote-operation mode, as explained here.

CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING: Seattle City Councilmembers had their first meeting by phone today. Starting seven minutes in, they got a COVID-19 briefing from county and city officials:

REP. JAYAPAL’S TOWN HALL: We listened in tonight as U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal, also accompanied by a local Public Health official, presided over an hourlong telephnne town hall focused on the outbreak. We haven’t yet found a recording of it but the major bit of news was that the federal government is sending more protection gear. 4,000+ people listened in, Jayapal noted. Her website’s coronavirus infopage is here

SEATTLE FIRE DEPARTMENT: Wondering what kind of training firefighters are getting regarding dealing with medical calls? SFD published this video:


TOP HAT QUARANTINE/ISOLATION SITE: No patients at the SW 112th site yet. We followed up with King County today and will be writing a story for White Center Now shortly; we’ll link it here when published. (10:30 pm update: Here’s the link.)

TIRED OF WORKING ALONE AT HOME? Kevin is starting a daily community bike ride.

RESPONSE FUND: Want to help the organizations on the front lines of COVID-19 community response? Heather shares this link about a new fund.

TOMORROW: Gov. Jay Inslee just announced a 9 am news conference “to detail new policies that will support workers and businesses impacted by COVD-19, as well as announce a directive for long-term facilities in the state. The governor’s office says it will be streamed on TVW.

WHAT’S CANCELED, POSTPONED, CHANGED LOCALLY: We’re continuing to update our West Seattle list – see it here. If your organization, business, church, school, group, etc. has cancellations, postponements, changes, PLEASE let us know – or text/voice 206-293-6302.

WSB CONTINUING COVERAGE: Everything we publish related to the COVID-19 situation is categorized so that you can find it anytime at We’re also using Twitter (@westseattleblog) for instant bursts.

CORONAVIRUS: South Seattle College closing campus after student tests positive for COVID-19

We’ve just received word that this update has been published on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) website:

South Seattle College learned on Monday, March 9 that a student at our main campus in West Seattle has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Information so far indicates the student was on campus for an evening class, entering one classroom in the University Center Building (UNI). UNI is now closed in preparation for cleaning and sanitization.

The individual is complying with instructions from health care professionals to stay home in self-isolation, and we wish our student the best in their recovery. A college employee who had a confirmed interaction with the student is in contact with their physician and has been advised to remain at home.

College officials are in direct communication with King County Public Health, and stand ready to support their work. Department of Health guidance at this time is that you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes scenarios like living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, or if someone with COVID-19 coughed on you, kissed you, shared utensils with you, or you had direct contact with their body secretions.

Following the guidance from King County Public Health and out of an abundance of caution, South Seattle College is moving the main campus in West Seattle to remote operations starting March 10 and for the remainder of Winter Quarter, ending March 25, 2020. During this time, the West Seattle campus at 6000 16th Ave SW will be closed for deep-cleaning and sanitization and to provide us time to work with public health officials to best protect the campus community and slow the possible spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Georgetown Campus, NewHolly Learning Center classrooms and the Harbor Island Training Center will stay open (with possible alternative modes of instruction in place) at this time.

College leadership is actively planning for remote operations, and additional information will be shared in the coming days. Students, please keep in contact with your instructors, and more information about accessing student services will be shared soon. Faculty and staff, please keep in contact with your supervisors as we work through this ever-changing and unprecedented situation.

Staff and faculty may come to campus on March 10 to consult with their supervisor and gather necessary supplies for remote work. Staff should reference recent emails from IT Services and Human Resources for further instruction. Staff who receive a paper paycheck can stop by the cashier’s office by 2 p.m. on March 10. Otherwise, the paycheck will be mailed to your home address on file.

We have made this decision to put the safety, health and well-being of our campus community first. Students, please keep in contact with your instructors, and faculty and staff, please keep in contact with your supervisors as we work through this ever-changing and unprecedented situation.

SSC already had started the process of moving to “alternative modes of instruction” starting this week. This is the first *announced* case of COVID-19 publicly linked to West Seattle, though we can’t say for sure that there aren’t others, as Seattle-King County Public Health has stopped announcing details on new cases.

FYI: More ‘high-powered engine testing’ of 777X at Boeing Field on Tuesday

Two weeks after a night of rule-breaking 777X engine testing led to noise complaints, Boeing Field (King County International Airport) has published a notice of more testing at midday tomorrow:

The Boeing Company will conduct high-powered engine testing of their 777X aircraft on Tuesday, March 10. This testing is expected to take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., though the exact timing may vary slightly. Under no circumstances will engine testing be conducted after 10 p.m.

If you need to file a noise complaint, the notice on the Boeing Field website offers three options.

(Photo: 777X test flight in early February, by David Hutchinson)

Working @ home and missing your bike commute? Here’s an invitation

An open invitation from Kevin Freitas:

Afternoon, neighbors! With work-from-home requirements from my and many companies, my bike commute went from 14 miles a day to about 14 feet. Since this is pretty much my only form of exercise, I want to invite y’all to join me in a daily “commute” ride around our beautiful area. Here’s my plan:

Bike “Commute” Loop

Meet near SW Alaska/Fauntleroy (NW corner of Les Schwab parking lot)
Depart daily at 4 pm

Do a 11-ish mile loop from there, down Avalon, around Alki, then back up Fauntleroy from Lincoln Park

If you want to join, let me know or just show up. I plan to kick off tomorrow (Tuesday, 3/10) and promise no handshakes, but many a hearty thumbs-up.

FOLLOWUP: Want to run the next West Seattle vehicle-licensing office?

(WSB photo from January, former West Seattle Licenses office post-closure)

More than two months after the abrupt closure of West Seattle Licenses, this area’s longtime vehicle-licensing subagent, the search has begun for a successor. King County, which handles the contracts for licensing subagents, has just published the Request for Proposals. . The RFP document (PDF) spells out qualifications and criteria for how applications will be rated. The document also notes the volume of business the previous office did – last year, 20,966 title transactions, 85,078 non-title transactions. The successful applicant will have to provide their own office, within boundaries shown in a map – between SW Charlestown and SW Holden (north to south), between Beach Drive and Delridge/16th (west to east). Anyone interested has to apply by April 9th; county spokesperson Cameron Satterfield tells WSB that if the process proceeds as quickly as it could, a new subagent could be in business as soon as June. Meantime, here’s a list of currently open licensing offices around the county.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Gabriel Putnam on trial

Jury selection is under way for the trial of 40-year-old Gabriel Putnam, the suspected would-be burglar shown on porch video last June trying a Beach Drive door handle while holding a large knife. After he failed to show for a court appearance; a warrant was issued, and he was arrested in October in Idaho and extradited back here. Putnam has been in the King County Jail ever since, in lieu of $25,000 bail; Once a jury is seated, testimony will begin in the courtroom of King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts. He is charged with attempted residential burglary and second-degree burglary. According to various trial-preparation documents in online files, the defense argues that Putnam carried the knife for protection and that the fact he was shown walking away after discovering the door locked (here’s the video) indicates he was not intending to burglarize the house. He was arrested on the property of another Beach Drive home further south; the defense says he was just trying to find somewhere to sleep. Pretrial motions granted by the judge included one to exclude any mention of WSB news coverage, which the defense called “inflammatory, unsubstantiated, and irrelevant.” His trial is expected to last about a week.

UPDATE: Truck trouble on SW Genesee

12:54 PM: Thanks for the tips/pics – SW Genesee east of Avalon is blocked because of truck trouble. We just went by – westbound traffic is getting through but an officer is diverting EB vehicles at the top of the hill.

1:10 PM: Radio communication indicates only “local traffic” and buses are being allowed through, so we’d advise avoiding TFN. The cleanup is estimated to need at least another hour.

2:56 PM: We just went by. Still closed.

4:38 PM: Just verified, open and clear.

West Seattle Monday: What’s happening, and what’s not happening

(Photo by Dené Miles)

Today we’re lucky to have two wonderful Great Blue Heron photos to share along with information on West Seattle events that are, and are not, happening, First, the list of what’s on:]

TELEPHONE/ONLINE TOWN HALL: Thanks to commenter Zephyr for the tip on this – 6 pm, with U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

On Monday, March 9th at 6:00 pm PT, I will be holding a telephone town hall and briefing where I will be joined by local public health officials who will provide updates and help answer your questions.

You can dial in at 855-286-0292 or tune in online at

3 TRIVIA/QUIZ NIGHTS: Three options tonight:
*Best of Hands Barrelhouse (7500 35th SW; WSB sponsor), 7 pm, $2/person, 21+
*The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW), 7:30 pm, free, all ages
*Parliament Tavern (4210 SW Admiral Way), 8 pm, $2/person, 21+

(Photo by Mark Wangerin)

Now – what’s NOT happening, from our ongoing cancellations, postponements, changes list:

*Evening Book Groups and other Seattle Public Library-located events canceled (though libraries remain OPEN) – here’s SPL’s current plan

*Senior Center of West Seattle programs/events (except what’s specified in the newest update)

Please continue sending in not only cancellations/changes but also announcements of what IS happening – or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!

FOLLOWUP: Councilmembers’ questions delay The Whittaker’s alley-vacation finalization

That’s video of last Wednesday’s City Council Transportation and Utilities Committee meeting, one of the last committee meetings before councilmembers’s decision to change their schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak – for at least the rest of this month, they’ll hold their weekly full-council meetings by phone, and they’re canceling committee meetings. One major West Seattle item was part of the T&UC’s meeting last week – action to finalize the alley vacation originally (and contentiously) approved in 2014 for The Whittaker (the two-building complex at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW). We mentioned last month that the finalization was going to the City Council, after developers LMC paid $2.3 million for the city right-of-way property that now goes through and alongside their site. Committee members were briefed by Beverly Barnett, the longtime SDOT lead on alley and street vacations, and Brad Reisinger from LMC, who went through this slide deck recapping the project and the “public benefit” features they included as part of the deal:

But councilmembers had questions, primarlly District 1’s Lisa Herbold and (corrected) District 2’s Tammy Morales, and they decided to postpone a vote until there were answers. On Wednesday, that meant a delay until the committee’s March 18th meeting, but since all committee meetings were shelved two days later, now there’s no new date. One question Herbold wanted answered was raised during public comment earlier in the meeting by West Seattle community advocate Deb Barker – she noted that left turns onto Fauntleroy from The Whittaker’s center drive were supposed to be prohibited, but there’s no signage or striping indicating that.


(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:57 AM: Good morning. Though we know many are working from home, we’re still keeping an eye on traffic and transit, and always appreciate tips if you see something and are NOT at the wheel – 206-293-6302, text or voice any time – thank you!

NEXT WEEKEND: Northbound Highway 99 Tunnel is scheduled to be closed for maintenance, Friday (March 13) 10 pm-Saturday (March 14) 8 am.


If the sky stays relatively clear – as forecast – you might see the full moon setting this morning; official moonset time will be 8:01 am. Above, Theresa Arbow-O’Connor photographed the rising moon through blossoms; below, Danny McMillin caught it setting Sunday:

This is the first of three consecutive “supermoons.”