West Seattle, Washington
29 days after the first COVID-19 case was reported in King County, here’s our nightly roundup:
NEW HEALTH ORDER: Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin issued the “Quarantine Directive and Isolation Order” today. Read it here (PDF). The announcemnt summarizes it this way:
To protect the public, if an individual with active COVID-19 is not voluntarily remaining isolated, or if an individual who has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing) with a test pending is not remaining self-quarantined, they may be subject to enforcement actions, which could include legal actions for involuntary detention.
Even with that, Dr. Duchin says that “we cannot stop the outbreak completely and our community will likely remain at risk for months to come.”
NEW KING COUNTY NUMBERS: The order was announced along with today’s numbers, in the daily Public Health news release, which reported:
2,077 confirmed positive cases (up 249 from yesterday)
136 confirmed deaths (up 11 from yesterday)
That compares to 934 confirmed cases and 74 deaths one week ago.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: 4,310 cases, 189 deaths; other state stats here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
GOING BEYOND THE OFFICIAL NUMBERS: Two West Seattle women started a grass-roots effort to map how many people are symptomatic, given that testing still isn’t widely available.
LEADERS HAIL HOSPITAL: Elected officials including Gov. Jay Inslee, US Rep. Pramila Jayapal, County Executive Dow Constantine, and Mayor Jenny Durkan gathered at CenturyLink Field today – appropriately distanced – to hail the U.S. Army‘s arrival to set up a field hospital.
The hospital is meant to handle non-COVID-19 patients so that the city’s permanent health-care facilities can handle the expected crush. “We had a lot of rumors about, ‘are the military taking over Seattle?’,” said the mayor.”The answer is no – they are here to help.” P.S. After the speeches, the Q&A covered a lot of ground not-related to the hospital. Most notably, the governor said he saw too many people traveling on I-5 as he headed to Seattle – he implored more people to stay home.
GOVERNOR’S CLARIFICATIONS: Since the stay-home order took effect Thursday, the governor’s office has issued some clarifications about what it means for several industries. Today – here’s what it means for real estate and funerals (plus there’s a message for tribes). Earlier this week, a clarification about construction was issued.
HYGIENE STATION ARRIVES: One day after the announcement, we found the city-placed “hygiene station” at Westcrest Park.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE BUSINESSES: We’re still updating the restaurant/beverage-business list – including this closure announcement today – and the grocery-store hours list (with a lively round of discussion).
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
My car was broken into early this morning around 4-5 am. Neighbor heard a noise, popping sound. Apparently some other cars and neighbors with also the same. I’m on 61st & Spokane. Frustrating and a hassle especially with COVID-19, filed police report online and fingers crossed to find an open repair shop! Stay safe out there, be kind to others.
Here’s how to file an online report, if you need to.
That was the scene at Jim Clark Marina when we went by this afternoon, more than 12 hours after last night’s big fire (WSB coverage here). Environmental responders were on scene and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was hovering for a while.
This did far more damage than the 2010 and 2015 fires, which each destroyed two boats. This time, Seattle Fire says tonight, “at least nine boats and a boat house were on fire.” The flames were controlled with the help of this fireboat:
SFD says the cause remains under investigation. No one was hurt. Meantime, the state Ecology Department says one boat sank and another that broke loose during the fire generated an “oil sheen” today, but the boat’s been secured and the sheen dissipated. Booms were placed by West Seattle’s Global Diving & Salvage last night and Ecology says it’s “been effective.”
If you are a longtime WSB reader, you know that most days, we feature West Seattle bird photos with the daily calendar highlights. But the no-event orders mean no highlights. However, thanks to your neighbors, we have bird photos to share anyway!
That’s a Red-Breasted Sapsucker, photographed by Mark Wangerin. Below, the even-more-colorful Golden Pheasant:
That photo’s from Lori on Genesee Hill; Riley spotted it this week too. Sightings have recurred in recent years, including last spring, about the same time this celebrity bird first showed up in West Seattle:
This afternoon, The West Seattle Turkey turned up on Snake Hill, sipping from that pothole near 31st/Findlay; Tyler and Gabbi sent the photo. Yesterday, TWST wandered north to 35th/Edmunds – this photo was texted:
And from Chris Frankovich – a Bald Eagle:
Thanks to everyone who sends photos – birds, breaking news, bears, or … firstname.lastname@example.org or text 206-293-6302!
Two passings of note, lest they be lost among this time of so much other news:
JERRY BROCKEY: You may only know him as the namesake of the Brockey Center at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), but his backstory goes much further. Mr. Brockey died in Tucson a week ago, at age 86; here’s his obituary. West Seattle historian/journalist Clay Eals pointd it out to us and noted:
For 18 years, he was the president and face of South Seattle (then-Community) College and had a lot to do with increasing the college’s stature to the point where it was called “Paycheck College” because when you graduated from its vocational programs (aircraft, automotive, bakery, beautician, etc.) you were nearly guaranteed to walk into a job. (When I worked there part-time in 1991-1993 teaching journalism and advising the student paper, I had a key fob from SSCC in the shape of a paycheck.)
Jerry also was a highly visible connector between the college and the rest of West Seattle, no easy feat given the college’s geographical isolation. An example, of course, was the handshake agreement he made with Elliott Couden, founder of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, in guaranteeing our organization meeting space and a mailing address during our fledgling days in the dozen years prior to our acquisition, renovation and opening of the museum on Alki in 1997. Speaking of handshakes, the legions who knew Jerry would agree with my assessment that there was no one in this world with a stronger handshake than Jerry.
For various reasons, I spoke with him by phone a few times in the past 10 years or so, and from Arizona he maintained his same bold, welcoming personality. He was a true force for good, worthy of admiration.
BILL RIEFLIN: When we heard about the recent death of this high-profile rock ‘n’ roll musician at age 59, we were not aware he was a West Seattle resident. Thanks to Dan Mullins for enlightening us, noting, “He was a truly amazing musician.” So say many in tribute. One of many obituaries published in memory of Mr. Rieflin is this one from Rolling Stone. His wife, acclaimed artist Francesca Sundsten, died just half a year earlier.
This unusual time has inspired many to create art – visual art, musical art, written art, and more. This example of the latter was sent by Michelle, written by her 75-year-old mom, who has been “sheltering in place” with her dad at their West Seattle home for two weeks now:
Life as I know it…
by Marjorie Laughlin
Life as I know it…has changed
achy muscles, fever meant the flu
possible infection with COVID- 19
Parkinson’s at 75 meant living with…
a risk factor for coronavirus
sheltering in place
a step back from the sidewalk
an act of courtesy
an act of social distancing
drive-thru meant fast food
the bell curve diagram
flatten the curve-
a chance to defeat the-
Following up on Friday’s city announcement of “hygiene stations” on the way to Westcrest Park and others around the city, we went over this afternoon for a look, and found it in place by the parking lot south of the P-Patch. That lot is reachable via walking or driving in from the entrance that Seattle Public Utilities had told us was the planned location. According to Friday’s announcement,”The new facilities will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days per week. Daily maintenance will be provided including sharps disposal, waste removal, and supplemental cleaning.” They are not replacing, but rather supplementing existing park restrooms – the ones at Westcrest, for example, are further north.
Almost every day, it’s noted that the official case numbers are not the full picture of COVID-19’s spread because so few tests are done. So two West Seattle women have come up with a project and are inviting you to participate. It’s informal, unofficial, and anonymous. From Leda Costa (a former WSB contributing photojournalist):
I created a site with a friend of mine to help flatten the curve, locally.
Since all data right now is of “confirmed cases” it feels like we’re not getting the full picture of our community and how everyone’s feeling around us. It was inspired by a friend of mine who is rather sick but just at home because he got denied testing and was told to only go to the hospital if he absolutely can’t breathe. I’m sure stories like his are everywhere! So we made this survey that takes less than a minute to complete and populates a map with the data:
It will only work if lots of people do this on a local level’ right now we’ve passed it around our personal circles so we have a few answers all over the country, the next step is to get it localized!
(WSB file photo)
C & P Coffee Company (longtime WSB sponsor) has decided to close for now, almost two weeks after the governor’s order to close restaurants/beverage businesses aside from takeout/delivery. Co-proprietors Cameroon and Pete Moores sent us their announcement, which spotlights a way for the community to help their staff:
Dear Friends and Neighbors
It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to temporarily close the coffee house. We feel that it is the best way to support our community and keep our customers and employees safe.
We have established a Go-FundMe “Tip Jar” for our hard working baristas who are most affected by this.
Here is the link if you would like to contribute.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out through Facebook or e-mail: email@example.com.
We will update the website with any additional news:
We will miss you during our closure but know that we plan on opening up our doors as soon as possible. We will continue to be a community hub of arts, music and conversation. A place where neighbors can share a cup of coffee, support a cause, and a whole lot of joy and laughter.
Our doors may be closed for now but our hearts are open.
With so much love and gratitude,
Cam and Pete
If you are new – C & P Coffee has a unique backstory; two years ago, the property’s owners put it on the market as a potential redevelopment site; with community support, the Moores bought it, two years ago this month.
We are continuing to update the West Seattle restaurant/beverages list as changes come in.
(Photo tweeted by Bill Schrier)
Again today, our weekend coverage starts with a reminder that we’re continuing to monitor and update local standalone grocery stores’ hours. Here’s our updated West Seattle list. This week’s biggest change: More set-aside hours for seniors and others at elevated risk. Also of note, more bans on personal bags. Thanks again to everyone who has shared info on changes and conditions!