West Seattle, Washington
While out checking on a few things a little while ago, we stopped in downtown White Center, where West Seattle muralist Sarah Robbins is working on the boards covering the windows at Beer Star and its (also closed) co-housed businesses. She told us she’s working on the next panel (to the south) after this.
West Seattle Nursery – the only business of its kind on the peninsula – has decided to close, though it wasn’t required to. Thanks to Marie and Nicole from WSN for sharing their message to customers:
We have made the difficult decision to close West Seattle Nursery until Thursday, April 9th. However, any curbside pick-up or delivery orders (that were) received by 5 pm today (Sunday, March 29th) will be fulfilled over the next few days.
We need to do our part to fight this thing and to not invite our customers to take unnecessary chances during this critical period.
The nursery may be closed, but we can’t wait to see you again and get back to gardening together.
Thank you so much for your patience, loyalty, and love!
Take care and stay safe.
The West Seattle Nursery Team
The montage was sent by Jim, who explains:
We thought people might find this interesting. Our neighborhood has an established collection of Little Free Libraries and some changes have emerged in this era of Covid-19. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It’s kind to donate a roll for those in dire need but it might be best to seal it in a bag before leaving it.
We’ve mentioned in our Sunday morning lists that some vendors from the West Seattle Farmers’ Market – which is currently closed by order of the mayor – have been coming to The Junction on Sundays (or at other times) anyway, mostly for pickups of pre-orders. Today, Kate sent photos of what she described as more of an “informal farmers’ market.”
This is the third Sunday without the official market. Farmers’ markets are described as “essential businesses” in the governor’s order from last week (see page 4), but the mayor’s order issued two weeks ago categorized those in Seattle as “permitted events” (as in, events that require special permits).
12:18 PM: Emergency responders are at the scene of what’s reported as a car-on-side crash in the 1500 block of Alki SW (map).
12:21 PM: Adding a texted photo (thank you!). Per crews’ reports from the scene, everyone in the vehicle got out OK but a medic unit is being sent for a woman who may need treatment.
12:33 PM: At least three people will be taken to the hospital, via SFD medic unit and AMR ambulances.
12:44 PM: Added two more texted photos above (thanks to that texter too!). Some of the SFD units are being dismissed.
UPDATE 12:20 PM MONDAY: This is being investigated as DUI, SPD confirms. As for the victims, here’s what SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells us:
5 of the occupants were able to self-extricate from the vehicle. Our crews were able to safely extricate the 1 year old female from their car seat.
29 year old female in stable condition.
26 year old male in stable condition.
5 year old male with no reported injuries.
9 year old male with no reported injuries.
7 year old male with minor injuries.
1 year old female with no reported injuries.
All were transported to HMC.
2:16 PM MONDAY: SPD’s update includes this:
At the hospital, the 26-year-old male driver was evaluated and showed signs of impairment. There was evidence of drug use by both the adult occupants. Officers obtained a search warrant for a blood sample from the driver. Following his release from the hospital, the driver was booked into the King County Jail for DUI.
12:11 PM: SDOT crews have continued to work through the weekend installing the “temporary signal” at Highland Park Way and SW Holden (map), announced Wednesday as one of the first traffic-tackling measures to deal with the detous forced by the West Seattle Bridge closure. The picture above is what we saw about an hour ago. SDOT told us on Friday they expect to be done sometime in the coming week. Until the bridge’s sudden shutdown, the city had been in the early stages of designing a “fully signalized intersection” after many years of community pleas (here’s the plan posted earlier this month). We should find out more about the bridge situation and traffic-mitigation plan when the City Council is briefed Monday morning at 9:30 am (here’s how to watch/listen).
5:38 PM: Just went through to confirm what a commenter reported – it’s now operational.
As noted here earlier this month, though the Log House Museum is closed for now, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is producing videos and other online info you can access at home. Checking the SWSHS website this morning, we found this video, published this week – the story of Katherine Smith, the Alki woman who helped lead the fight for women’s right to vote. Our state approved it in 1910, a decade before the 19th Amendment. (Read more about Ms. Smith here.)
P.S. Remember that you too are making history right now, and the SWSHS has a special way for you to share it.
Good morning. Thanks to Jim Borrow for the skyline photo from Tuesday. On to our Sunday list of what is/isn’t happening – our third Sunday spotlighting churches that have taken their services online:
ADMIRAL UCC: The video service for today is posted online here.
ALKI UCC: 10 am online service, via Zoom – info and link on lower right of this page.
ALL SOULS SEATTLE (WSB sponsor): Daily online worship here
ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY CHURCH: Livestreaming here at 10 am.
BETHANY COMMUNITY CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, 7 pm.
EASTRIDGE CHURCH: Livestreaming here at 9 and 11 am.
FAUNTLEROY UCC: Livestreaming here at 10 am.
FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH OF WEST SEATTLE: Today’s online liturgy is here.
GRACE CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 10:30 am.
HALLOWS CHURCH: Livestreaming at 10 am here.
HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming in English at 8:30 am, en Español at 10 am, here.
HOLY ROSARY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming Mass at 9:30 am here.
HOPE LUTHERAN: Today’s recorded service and children’s sstory are viewable here.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming Mass here at 10 am.
PEACE LUTHERAN: Watch here for the pastor’s message for today.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Livestreaming here at 10:15 am, or view later on the church website.
TIBBETTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (WSB sponsor): The video service for today is viewable here.
TRINITY CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 10 am.
WEST SEATTLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: The video service for today is viewable here.
WEST SEATTLE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE: Livestreaming here, 11 am.
WEST SIDE PRESBYTERIAN Plans are explained here, including livestreams at 8:30 and 10 am today.
WESTSIDE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION: Livestreaming via Zoom, 10:30 am.
Any other churches to add? Please email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
FERRY SCHEDULE CUTS: The Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route is among those affected, starting today, as previewed here.
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Open 11 am-4 pm – need a tool to fix or improve something? (4408 Delridge Way SW)
FREE COMMUNITY DINNER TO GO: High Point Community Dinner Church will serve to-go meals at 5 pm at Walt Hundley Playfield, as previewed here. (34th/Myrtle)
What’s NOT happening:
CANCELED: West Seattle Farmers’ Market (as announced). Here’s this list of how to get the vendors’ products even while it’s on hiatus.
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.
(Governor’s Office photo via Twitter)
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 pointed 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!
9:35 PM: Big response on the way by land and sea to Jim Clark Marina under the West Seattle Bridge for a boat fire. Updates to come.
9:38 PM: Per emergency radio, this is described as two boathouses, “well-involved.” Crews on scene have reported “explosions,” and are going to pull back to fight this “defensively.”
(Photo by Aaron Freeman via Twitter)
9:46 PM: At least one fireboat is about to arrive; shore crews report having access challenges. The fire is reported to be spreading.
(Video by Bryan Vlok)
9:57 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s sending photos and video. SFD is calling for more engines.
10:08 PM: SPD says the West Seattle low bridge is closed because of the smoke. Meantime, firefighters have been searching the marina to look for anyone who might have been trapped aboard boats.
10:30 PM: So far, nobody found. The fire has just been declared “under control.”
10:49 PM: They’re still working on “hot spots.” As noted in comments, the marina has had two other big fires in the past decade – two boats burned in 2015, and two were lost in a 2010 fire.
11:01 PM: The low bridge has reopened, SDOT says.
11:13 PM: So far, no injuries reported.
ADDED 1:30 PM SATURDAY: We checked with SFD – no cause or damage estimate yet. We’ll publish a separate followup when that info is available. Meantime, thanks to Jim Edwards for getting this screengrab from the bridge traffic camera pointed down at the marina:
Ending the week, and the second full day of the “stay-home order,” exactly four weeks after the first King County COVID-19 case was announced, here are the day’s developments:
KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: From today’s Seattle-King County Public Health news release:
1,828 confirmed positive cases (up 251 from yesterday)
125 confirmed deaths (up 16 from yesterday)
DATA DASHBOARD’S BACK: It now shows 14,140 people have test results so far in King County. Among them, in the zip codes that are wholly or partly in West Seattle:
98106 – 141 tested, 13 positive, 0 deaths
98116 – 171 tested, 13 positive, 0 deaths
98126 – 180 tested, 17 positive, 1 death
98136 – 103 tested, 8 positive, 1 death
98146 – 133 tested, 14 positve, 0 deaths
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: 3,723 confirmed cases, 175 deaths; see other state stats here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them – nation by nation – here.
MORE TESTING: Today’s county news release also has this note:
Testing capacity for COVID-19 continues to expand throughout the community through the University of Washington lab, commercial laboratories, and large health care systems. Large health care systems and community clinics are increasingly offering testing for people who are symptomatic. Residents should call ahead to providers to confirm availability and testing appointments/processes.
NEED FOOD? The city has a new interactive map showing places/times that it’s available to those who need it, including the Seattle Public Schools lunch sites, food banks, and senior centers.
NEW ‘HYGIENE CENTER‘: On the heels of the city’s announcement of shelter expansion -including room for up to 50 people at Southwest Teen Life Center – they’re also sending portable restrooms and hand-washing stations to six city parks including Westcrest Park in southeast West Seattle.
MORE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE CUTS: West Seattle service reductions (among other places) have been announced by Washington State Ferries and by Sound Transit.
ANOTHER SLOGAN: “Keep A Lid on It, Seattle.” Here’s what that’s about.
RESTAURANTS/BEVERAGE BUSINESSES: Every day we’re getting updates for our West Seattle (and part of White Center) list – if you can get takeout this weekend and help support some of these local businesses, check it out!
MEMORABLE MARQUEE: One local restaurant – Boss Drive-In in South Delridge – has a message with which we agree wholeheartedly:
Thanks to the texter who sent that!
GOT INFO? firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
As noted here earlier today, the City Council will get a briefing Monday morning on what’s newly dubbed the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Safety Project – to address the cracking problem that led to the bridge’s sudden closure four days ago. Tonight, we have a preview, via the slide deck published on the city website:
(Or see it here in PDF.) Among the new information the slide deck reveals:
-Further details on the monitoring of cracks dating back to 2013
-One month ago, “Engineering consultant recommends reducing traffic load” so SDOT began “preparing for discussions with City leaders and community outreach”
-After an inspection on Monday morning, “Public and private sector engineers agreed that the bridge was no longer reasonably safe for ordinary travel” so the closure decision was made and announced “within hours”
No repair plan timeline or estimate, but it DOES appear they think it can be fixed. The presentation includes:
• Seek interim repairs with a goal of restoring some traffic
• Accelerate major maintenance/repair to extend bridge life by 10+ years
Also revealed: The low bridge needs some work: it’s described as the “deteriorating primary alternate
route” to the high bridge, with the recommendations:
• Continue weekly inspection and monitoring
• Complete load rating project
• Complete ped gate replacement
• Complete controls upgrade project
• Complete rehabilitation of the Pier
6 and Pier 7 lift cylinders
The slide deck also has an org chart of key members of the project team. West Seattle-residing Heather Marx, who most recently has served as “downtown mobility director” amid a construction crush, is listed as the project chief. (That wasn’t mentioned during our phone interview with her for this Wednesday night followup.) And the presentation’s last page, listing “next steps,” includes this one: “Conduct study to determine the structure’s remaining useful life (start fall 2020).”
Washington State Ferries will reduce service on some routes – including Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth – starting Sunday, and continuing for at least a month. WSF says the “Triangle Route” will reduce sailings by about a third, moving to a two-boat schedule. WSF says the temporary schedule will also suspend these early-morning sailings:.
· 1:25 a.m. Vashon to Fauntleroy
· 1:45 a.m. Southworth to Fauntleroy
· 2:20 a.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon
· 2:45 a.m. Vashon to Southworth
These service reductions and the earlier announced extension of the winter sailing schedule prepares WSF for the ongoing effects of COVID-19 disrupting service, including:
· A continued decrease in ridership due to public health recommendations
· Availability of sufficient crew personnel to meet federal requirements
In the announcement, WSF head Amy Scarton is quoted as waning, “Further suspensions and adjustments are possible depending on ridership trends.” Systemwide ridership is down 60 percent compared to a month ago – 80+ percent fewer walk-ons, almost 50 percent fewer vehicles.
4:45 PM: Thanks for all the tips about Guardian One over Arbor Heights and vicinity. They were helping SPD with a prowler report. (No other details so far.)
6:12 PM: SPD’s Twitter log indicates the call was in the 10400 block of Maplewood Place.
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