West Seattle, Washington
Auto theft continues to run higher than usual in West Seattle, according to what Southwest Precinct operatisns commander Lt. Steve Strand told the Fauntleroy Community Association board tonight. (More on the meeting tomorrow.) Here’s a reader report we received tonight from NJ:
I’m on the hunt for my 1993 Subaru Impreza Wagon, teal blue, license plate AIN2495. It was stolen sometime between 9 pm March 9 and 6 am March 10, from the 4700 block of 48th Ave SW. It is likely parked/abandoned in West Seattle, as the transmission was in need of repair and probably wasn’t much fun to drive around. I am hoping someone will spot the car in their neighborhood. It has been reported to the police.
If you see it, call 911 ASAP. (And then let us know so we can get word to NJ!)
We start tonight’s roundup with a look ahead to tomorrow:
GOVERNOR PLANS ANNOUNCEMENT: According to a media advisory we received, Gov. Jay Inslee will be in Seattle tomorrow for a 10:15 am announcement with the King, Snohomish, and Pierce County executives and Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett mayors. The advisory says they’ll “announce new community strategies and social distancing plans to contain COVID-19.” It will be streamed at this link (we’ll also embed that for live coverage here on WSB). Regional outlets say the announcement will include a ban on events bringing 250+ people together.
TODAY’S KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the daily Seattle-King County Public Health news release:
Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 11:59 p.m. on 3/9/20
190 confirmed cases (up 74 from yesterday)
22 confirmed deaths (up 2 from yesterday)
The two deaths being reported today include:
A woman in her 80s, a resident of Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, was hospitalized at Swedish Issaquah, and died on 3/8/20. (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/7/20, in an earlier case count.)
A male in his 80s, a resident of Ida Culver House, was hospitalized at University of Washington Medical Center, and died on 3/9/20. (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/6/20, in an earlier case count.)
Of the 22 deaths reported, 19 are associated with Life Care Center.
FOR STATEWIDE NUMBERS … go here.
FOR A WORLDWIDE LOOK … go here.
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: First SPS school with a confirmed case is Aki Kurose Middle School (not in West Seattle). Here’s the SPS news release (PDF), which notes, “There are no other known cases of positive test results at Aki Kurose Middle School or any other SPS school or facility.” Meantime, a parent tipped us that the inTandem program at the old Roxhill building (30th/Roxbury) will be closed tomorrow – here’s the notice (PDF), which says, “Today almost half of our students and twenty-percent of our staff were absent or presenting with cold and influenza. For these reasons we have decided to close the program tomorrow, March 11.” We asked SPS if any other programs in that building are affected; no word yet.
WESTSIDE SCHOOL CLOSING AS A PRECAUTION: The first major independent-school closure announced in West Seattle is Westside School (WSB sponsor) in Arbor Heights, which will close its campus starting Thursday – here’s how that was announced today.
THE KENNEY RESTRICTS VISITORS: This too is a precautionary move, announced today
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES: Here’s our story about how businesses in The Junction are responding. Meantime, the city has announced an “initial package” it hopes will help small businesses stay afloat despite the loss of revenue.
NO UTILITY SHUTOFFS: The city also has announced it won’t shut off electricity, water, or sewer services during the civil emergency – details here.
BIKE-RIDE FOLLOWUP: As noted Monday, West Seattleite Kevin Freitas is launching a daily 4 pm bike ride. He tweeted from the first one:
— Kevin Freitas (@kevinfreitas) March 11, 2020
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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 westseattleblog.com/category/coronavirus. We’re also using Twitter (@westseattleblog) for instant bursts..
First numbers are in for the presidential primary. First, the STATEWIDE numbers (updated 9:52 pm):
Bernie Sanders – 335,498 – 32.71%
Joseph R. Biden – 333,414 – 32.51%
Elizabeth Warren – 126,093 – 12.29%
Michael Bloomberg – 113,422 – 11.06%
Pete Buttigieg – 59,868 – 5.84%
Amy Klobuchar – 31,425 – 3.06%
Tulsi Gabbard – 8,550 – 0.83%
Andrew Yang – 4,872 – 0.48%
Uncommitted Delegates – 4,828 – 0.47%
Tom Steyer – 3,098 – 0.3%
Michael Bennet – 1,561 0.15%
Write-in – 1,110 – 0.11%
Cory Booker – 1,054 – 0.1%
John Delaney – 461 – 0.04%
Deval Patrick – 393 – 0.04%
We will update those numbers as the evening goes on. Next, here are KING COUNTY numbers, and since the next release is not until tomorrow, these will NOT change tonight (10:03 pm, substituted ordered table for screengrab):
Bernie Sanders – 130,621 – 33.61%
Joseph R. Biden – 126,252 – 32.49%
Elizabeth Warren – 59,078 – 15.20%
Michael Bloomberg – 34,011 – 8.75%
Pete Buttigieg – 20,041 – 5.16%
Amy Klobuchar – 11,453 – 2.95%
Tulsi Gabbard 2,281 0.59%
Andrew Yang – 1,752 – 0.45%
Uncommitted Delegates – 1,121 – 0.29%
Tom Steyer – 729 – 0.19%
Michael Bennet – 394 – 0.10%
Cory Booker – 350 – 0.09%
Write-in – 339 – 0.09 %
Deval Patrick 112 0.03 %
John Delaney – 99 – 0.03%
The Republican primary was uncontested.
Thanks to the reader who tipped us that West Seattle’s remaining Baja Taco, on the east side of Jefferson Square, is closed, with a document titled “Default Notice” taped to the door. We went over for a look last night; the top page of the notice is a demand for rent payment. We checked court files and have not yet found anything related to rent, though the state filed an $11,000 action in late January claiming unpaid taxes. We went back this afteroon to check – still closed, with the notice still taped to the door. The restaurant briefly closed in November 2018; then reopened under new ownership. The Westwood Village BT closed permanently last August and the space is part of the soon-to-open Westwood Village MOD Pizza.
Received from The Kenney retirement complex in West Seattle:
John Cruz, The Kenney Executive Director, has announced that The Kenney, a Heritage senior living community in West Seattle, has issued a voluntary stop placement on all visitors.
The Kenney currently has NO confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, they are taking precautions.
Cruz shared, “At The Kenney, our residents and those we serve are our highest concern. The health and safety of both our residents and staff is of the utmost importance, and we are taking action to reduce the risk of exposure for all. In following Governor Inslee’s orders as of today, 3/10/2020, The Kenney is issuing a proactively voluntary stop placement. Our staff have been well trained in preparation to support our residents.”
Effectively immediately, The Kenney will restrict all visitors except for those visiting end-of-life residents. End-of-life residents may have one visitor per day, age 18 or older. All visitors will be screened for illness before being allowed to visit using a screening questionnaire. To reduce the spread of influenza and other respiratory illnesses, The Kenney is also restricting all visitors younger than 18 years of age until further notice.
Presently, any individuals, including vendors and employees, are being screened daily before entering a building. Ancillary services should provide and were wear personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the crisis. Those who exhibit any symptoms, have recently traveled, or have been near anyone ill with symptoms are not currently being granted entrance.
The Kenney staff have prepared extensively, and Executive Director John Cruz shared he has confidence in the team. “The Kenney and Heritage have taken a proactive approach to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19 within its communities. Heritage has formed a COVID-19 task force, including experts in the fields of nursing homes, and senior housing.”
Today’s Seattle-King County Public Health update on COVID-19 notes that 10 long-term-care facilities in the county “have reported residents and/or employees who tested positive for the virus”; none are in West Seattle.
Announced this afternoon by Mayor Jenny Durkan – an “initial recovery package” to try to help small businesses with effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Five key points, from the announcement:
Deferral of B&O Taxes. Effective immediately, the department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) will defer business and occupation (B&O) tax collections for eligible business owners …
Expansion of Small Business Stabilization Fund. OED is expanding their Small Business Stabilization Fund to support income-qualified microbusinesses.
Assistance to Access SBA Loans. OED will provide direct technical assistance to local small businesses and nonprofits to ensure they can immediately access the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) federal loan program once it becomes available.
Relief for Utility Payments. As announced earlier by Mayor Durkan, all SPU and SCL customers can set up deferred payment plans if their financial stability has been jeopardized by COVID-19.
New Small Business Recovery Task Force. The Mayor has appointed former Governor Gary Locke and former Council President Bruce Harrell to lead the COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Task Force, which will advise on long-term policy recommendations and provide technical assistance and outreach.
Read the full announcement here, with details on each of the above points, including membership of the task force (no West Seattle representation that we can see).
Thanks for the tip! We received email on Monday that the ex-Midas site at 4457 Fauntleroy Way SW had a new FOR SALE sign. No online listing as of last night, but it’s up now: Asking price $3,250,000. From the brochure (which is a wealth of info about demographics, other nearby prperty prices, etc.):
The 11,442 SF lot provides flexible zoning, NC3-75(M) with a 5.5 FAR (floor area ratio) for maximum density. … Although the highest and best use is considered a mixed-use multifamily development, a developer could lease out the existing building until development plans were in place.
After the Midas shop abruptly closed more than nine months ago, a sign on the door called it a “construction” closure, and corporate HQ told WSB, “We have every intention of reopening the location to continue serving the community.” But there has been no sign of activity at the site or in permit files. Two weeks ago, an apparent burglary led to an explosives scare, and now, the site’s on the market.
From city-run Southwest Pool:
Due to a contamination, Southwest Pool will be closed all day, Tuesday, March 10th. All drop in and lesson programs are cancelled. Participants will receive a credit on their account for the missed lesson. We expect to reopen for our regular schedule at noon on Wednesday, March 11th.
We asked – the “contamination” is NOT related to COVID-19.
Another school closure – out of caution, NOT because of illness: Westside School (WSB sponsor) in Arbor Heights will close its campus starting this Thursday, and is getting ready for online instruction. From the letter sent to families:
Dear Westside School families,
We are making the difficult but necessary decision to close school at the end of the day on Wednesday in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Effective Thursday, March 12, Westside School will be closed for at least two and a half weeks, with the possibility of an extended closure. We will continue to hold conferences as scheduled this week remotely by phone or Zoom to minimize adult contact.
This has been a complex and painful decision to close. There are a multitude of factors and I am very aware of the challenges and complications it presents to our families and the impact it has on you. However, after careful consultation and collaboration with my leadership team and the Chair of our Board, with medical professionals, and with public health, we are confident that we are making a decision that places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of our children, staff and families in our immediate and wider communities.
Why are we deciding to close school now?
Since my letter to you on Sunday March 8, the factors informing the decision about holding school have shifted, with the number of COVID-19 cases rising in recent days, including a case reported in West Seattle, and a steady increase of area independent schools making the decision to close. Furthermore, guidance from government agencies has moved in the direction of greater urgency and more support for schools to make independent decisions that best serve their communities. Governor Inslee last night said that genetic modeling by the University of Washington suggests there could be as many as 1,000 cases in the state. He added “that’s why all of us have to be dedicated to making decisions earlier in this epidemic, even when it may not seem overwhelming at the moment.”
We currently have no known cases of COVID-19 within the Westside School community, and yet we have colleagues and family members who are in at-risk categories. We are more comfortable with a position of caution and vigilance in such a rapidly evolving and deteriorating public health crisis. This decision allows us to support the safety efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in our community at large.
We are closing at the end of the day tomorrow (Wednesday), and not today, in order to give parents 24 hours to prepare.
What is the day-by-day plan?
Tuesday 3/10 – a regular day, EDP and sports practice open.
Wednesday 3/11 – school ends at the regular time (2:45 for PS/PK; 3:15 for K-4; 3:30 for Middle School). EDP and sports practices canceled. All students will bring home everything they need for extended remote learning. Regularly scheduled Middle School conferences begin remotely by Zoom.
Thursday 3/12 – regularly scheduled conferences for both divisions, held remotely. EDP closed.
Friday 3/12 – regularly scheduled conferences for both divisions, held remotely. EDP closed.
Saturday 3/13 and Sunday 3/14 – volleyball games canceled.
Monday 3/16 – Day One of official closure. Teacher in-service day for technology training. Catch-up/reading day for students.
Tuesday 3/17 – Day Two of official closure. Remote content planning day for teachers. Catch-up/reading day for students. General all-school remote learning plan will be sent to families, as well as grade and class specific remote learning plan.
Wednesday 3/18 – First day of remote learning.
Thursday 3/19 – WPA Parent Education event postponed.
Saturday March 28 – Spirit Auction postponed. We have been planning for this possibility for a couple of weeks. Our Advancement Team will be sending out full details in due course.
When will Westside School re-open?
The short answer is that we cannot be certain at this time. The factors that have led us to school closure are complex. The factors that will help us to decide to re-open will be equally difficult. My team and I will continue to monitor the situation closely and daily. We will re-assess the situation officially on Thursday March 26 for a Monday March 30 re-opening. Please prepare for a longer closure.
How will conferences work?
By Wednesday afternoon, we will send out explicit instructions to parents on how to connect with teachers for your regularly scheduled conferences. Many of our teachers will choose to host the conference by Zoom from their classrooms so that they can continue to show evidence of student work and progress. …
How do I handle this situation with my child?
This evening, I urge you to talk with your child(ren) about this decision and to help them understand that you – and the school – are taking care of them. Children are resilient, and we owe them thoughtful and honest explanations of what a situation like this means to us. They can handle complexity, uncertainty, and frustration, in ways that often surprise us. Much of what we work on in our social and emotional learning program at school is developing the ability to name and manage our emotions. This time away from school, though not ideal, does give children an opportunity to grow in unexpected ways. I will have more to share on this later.
Final thoughts for today
I truly understand the profound and disruptive effects this decision will have on our families; this was not an easy decision to make, and I hope you understand the thought and care that went into it.
A caring community is one of Westside School’s values: “We believe students become caring members of a global community by treating each other honestly, with respect and generosity of spirit.” I firmly believe it is our community that will guide us and help us meet this challenge. We must work together and support each other in this unprecedented time. None of us have all the answers, but I believe we as a community will see this outbreak through day by day. It will pass, and when it does pass and we look back on what we’ve learned, I am very hopeful we will be able to tell ourselves that it brought us closer together as a community and made us stronger.
Thank you everyone, truly, for your patience, understanding, and commitment to working together through this unprecedented time, and please stay safe and healthy.
Steve de Beer
Head of School
Though schools are communicating directly with families, we’re publishing notices like these as we get them/confirm them so the wider community is updated too. As always, we appreciate tips/info on this and all other kinds of local news, email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
We’re starting to get word today of some independent school/preschool closures – out of caution, NOT because of illnesses. Fauntleroy UCC confirms that its Little Pilgrim School has canceled classes for the rest of the month. From the letter sent to families:
It is with the abundance of care that the leadership of Fauntleroy Church has decided to cancel Little Pilgrim School classes starting this Monday, March 9 through March 31, 2020.
As you’ve realized by now, the issues around the COVID-19 virus have been a dynamic concern for everyone in Washington, and particularly in the King County area. New information about best strategies for prevention and health have come out every day. Each day we’ve asked, “What is the best way to care for those at Fauntleroy Church, Little Pilgrim School, the Y, and our neighbors?”
Our primary concern has been for those who are considered most vulnerable–and at Fauntleroy Church, that especially includes your children. We do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 on our campus, but we are taking the CDC’s recommendation at its most serious level to limit group interaction.
Also, as has already been communicated, a challenging part of small programs is that they are easily rattled by even small events. It is apparent that at this moment we presently don’t have sufficient staffing to provide the quality program we want for your children. Our remarkable LPS staff’s hearts and attention are being stretched to the limit trying to care for those they love at home and at school. We have had to stretch to find substitutes in the past week and anticipate this as an ongoing challenge.
We know that closing our preschool until the end of March will create consequences for your family. However, part of our job as an organization is to continue to do what we do best, and this is putting our community and the people (especially your child) in our community first, especially in times of crisis.
We know that some preschools and area schools have not yet closed. But we suspect that we are one of many that will begin to make the same decisions in the best interest of limiting the spread of COVID-19 and helping to protect the children and families they serve…
We know that Jenny Romischer and LPS teaching staff will be in contact with you soon with information about how you can talk to your child about this closure and how LPS will continue to support your family from March 9- March 31, 2020, even though there will be no physical classes.
Next steps? Well, we assume the Coronavirus will continue to be an on-going concern. We know we will have to reassess how to best care for and love one another day by day. But that is at the heart of all we do every day. Thank you for your patience as we made this difficult decision and for your love and care of Little Pilgrim School. Let us know if you have any questions. And as we get closer to March 31, we’ll be in touch about how we move forward together in ways that are both healthy and hope-filled.
The Executive Committee of Fauntleroy Church
Senior Pastor Leah Atkinson-Bilinski and Associate Pastor Karyn Frazier
As previously reported, the church itself moved to online services as of this past Sunday.
That’s the King County Elections ballot dropbox in The Junction, one of two in West Seattle. You can take your ballot to an official dropbox up until 8 pm sharp to vote in today’s presidential primary. The one in our photo is on the sidewalk alongside the parking lot on the southwest corner of 44th/Alaska. The other West Seattle box is by High Point Library on the southeast corner of 35th/Raymond. There are also boxes at the libraries in White Center (1409 SW 107th) and South Park (8604 8th Ave. S.) – the full countywide list/map is here. The slot is right on the front of the boxes – you should be able to get your ballot in without touching the box, if you’re worried about that. The county says it’s emptied the busiest boxes multiple times already today but if you see signs one is full – report it to 206-296-8683.
You of course can use the U.S. Postal Service too, but if you are going to do that, get to a post office ASAP, because it has to be postmarked today. West Seattle’s two post offices are in The Junction at 4426 California SW and at Westwood Village, 2721 SW Trenton. As usual, we expect to see one round of results shortly after 8 pm, and daily updates thereafter. Democrats will use the election results to allocate delegates, and the next step will be legislative-district caucuses like the one for our area, the 34th District, on April 26th – that process is explained on the 34th District Democrats‘ Election HQ page.
After a week without photos of The West Seattle Turkey, several have arrived in the past several days -thank you! So today’s list of what is and isn’t happening features multiple TWST photos.
First, what IS happening:
COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE: As announced Monday, West Seattleite Kevin Freitas is organizing a daily community bike ride for anyone interested. (Meet up at Les Schwab corner of Alaska/Fauntleroy)
FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: The regular FCA board meeting is at 7 pm in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse conference room. Board members who prefer or need to attend virtually have Zoom and phone-in options. (9131 California SW)
TUESDAY TRIVIA: 8:30 pm at Admiral Pub. 21+. (2306 California SW)
FREUDIAN SLURP: 9 pm at Parliament Tavern, “avant-jazz” music. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Now – from our changes, cancellations, postponements list, what’s NOT happening:
Canceled – The Whale Trail’s Orca Talk
Canceled – Rotary Club of West Seattle meeting
Canceled – Playspace at West Seattle Church of the Nazarene
Canceled – West Seattle Booster Club meeting
Canceled – South Park Neighborhood Association meeting
Canceled – Seattle Public Library events – here’s SPL’s current plan
Canceled – 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 – firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302 – thank you!
9:04 AM: With some businesses closed on Mondays, Tuesday marks the start of a brand-new week in Downtown West Seattle – aka The Junction. So how are those independent small businesses handling the COVID-19 outbreak? West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Radford surveyed merchants and recorded this summary of what they told her:
(Video by Jaroslaw Media)
Radford heard from dozens of Junction businesses. Intensified cleaning and disinfecting was at the top of the list for everyone. But there are other notes of interest in the responses she got:
DO YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE/ON THE PHONE: More than a few local retailers have robust online options – check the websites for Click! Design That Fits* and My Three Little Birds*, for starters. Carmilia’s too – you can even email to buy gift cards.
NEED TO BANK? Along with online options, telephone service is available from HomeStreet Bank* and Verity Credit Union*. Or you can still do some banking in person while maximizing “social distancing” – ATMs or, at HomeStreet, drive-up.
IT”S THE SIMPLE THINGS: Some steps are simple – Flying Apron has shelved self-serve lids. Fleurt says, “Samples of all products have been taken off the floor. These include perfumes, lotions, soaps.” At Bikram Yoga, “use your own mat” and “respect personal space.”
EXTRA PROTECTION: Skin Care by Casey* is using masks and gloves while giving treatments. At health-care facilities, cleaning was already a high priority, but the game has been upped at practices including Dr. Michael Korn‘s dental office* and Greentree Animal Hospital. Dr. Korn adds, “We are also asking patients swish chlorhexidine, a germicidal mouth rinse, when they are chairside before starting any planned procedures.”
IF YOU’RE FEELING SICK … don’t show up, even if you have an appointment! Some of the providers made a point of saying they’ll waive the last-minute cancellation fee if you’re not feeling well – VAIN* among them.
EMPLOYEES UNDER ORDERS TOO: Not feeling well? They won’t be coming in, said many businesses.
SORRY, NO SNACKS: Mathnasium has pulled its pretzels “to reduce the number of shared touch-points.”
ESCAPING GERMS: At The Escape Artist, the props get multiple rounds of sanitizing too.
That’s just a sample. If you have any questions, ask your favorite merchants …or call them. (Yes, they’re even wiping down their phones.)
P.S. In The Junction and elsewhere, this month’s West Seattle Art Walk is still on, 5 pm “until late” on Thursday.
(Businesses with asterisks* are WSB sponsors.)
ADDED 4:20 PM: Here’s the full list as published on the Junction Association website.
The first of three consecutive “supermoons” brought breathtaking sights, and we have three to share. Above, Greg Snyder photographed the Monday morning moonset over the Olympic Mountains’ iconic Brothers. Below, Dan Ciske‘s view of the Monday evening moonrise over the Cascades, from Duwamish Head:
Just a bit further southeast, David Hutchinson was along Harbor Avenue:
Just a week and a half until spring arrives – 8:49 pm Thursday, March 19!