West Seattle, Washington
While you’re out walking, be on the lookout for Chris‘s stolen bike:
My bike was stolen off the back of my car sometime last night. As it was locked with a cable lock onto my bike rack, the thieves cut the bike rack off and made away with the rack with the bike stuck on it. It is a woman’s bike, pale metallic blue with the model named Mia on it. It was stolen from the front of my house on 34th Avenue SW by Willow St . Due to health conditions, this was my main source of exercise.
It looks like this stock photo – plus fenders and a carrier. The theft has been reported to police.
King County’s numbers report is back after a day away, and that tops tonight’s roundup:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From today’s Seattle-King County Public Health news release:
2,496 confirmed positive cases (up 166 from Monday)
164 confirmed deaths (up 14 from Monday)
23 people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities
To compare – one week ago, the numbers were 1,359 King County cases, and 100 deaths.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Still no new updates on the state Department of Health page, but they’re working on a fix, the governor said today.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them – nation by nation – here.
NO EXTENSION DECISION YET: The governor had another media briefing today (here’s our coverage, with video) and said he’s “likely” to extend the “stay-home” order but not ready to make an announcement yet. (The current expiration date is Aprll 6th, next Monday.)
BE A MAKER: The governor also exhorted our state’s manufacturers to pivot to making things that the pandemic fight requires – PPE, test sample vials, etc. (At least one here in our area has already stepped up to help out – we’re working on that story for tomorrow.)
SHOULD YOU WEAR A MASK? You’ve probably heard that the federal government is mulling new guidance on this topic. SKCPH addressed the topic in today’s news release, saying, “Staying apart from other people is our best protection against COVID-19, but non-medical masks can be a supplement.”
GOT SPARE SANITIZER? Here’s a local collection drive.
GOT SOMETHING TO OFFER OR REQUEST? Remember that West Seattle Support is up and running now at westseattlecovid.recovers.org – co-coordinator Phil Tavel just spoke at tonight’s (online) District 1 Community Network meeting (full meeting report later) and said they’re continuing to ramp up, with dozens of volunteers ready to help, too.
GOT INFO? firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
After a week-plus of roaming to the south, The West Seattle Turkey is back in the area where it has spent much of the past near-year – Admiral. It was back at Rose De Dan‘s home today – she sent the photo above (and has shared sightings before). From the West Seattle High School area, Rob Braby sent this video:
And Mayra caught The Turkey climbing near 39th/Admiral:
During its recent meanderings, The Turkey was seen as far south os south Gatewood, and was even spotted crossing busy streets in The Junction. Thanks for the sightings!
Today is the once-every-decade U.S. Census day – so local leaders have sent this reminder for everyone to participate:
Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Council President Lorena González, and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda today urged Seattle residents to complete their 2020 Census form and help Seattle access much-needed federal resources. As of March 31, 2020, 42 percent of Seattle residents had completed their Census form, as compared to a nationwide completion rate of 34.7 percent.
From March 12-20, households received the first of several invitations to participate in the 2020 Census. This invitation included a unique ID code that can be used to complete the Census online. Seattle residents can go online today, with or without that code, and fill out their Census form at www.my2020census.gov. The Census form can be completed online, by phone, or by mail. A citizenship question is not included on the 2020 Census form.
Last week, Mayor Durkan sent a letter to the United States Census Bureau requesting that the Bureau extend the 2020 Census deadline from August 14, 2020 to September 30, 2020. The letter to the Census Bureau was co-led by Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, and Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose. In total, 40 bipartisan mayors from across the country signed onto the letter calling on the Census Bureau to extend the Census deadline. The Census Bureau has not yet responded to the mayors’ letter.
You can read the rest of their news release here.
West Seattle’s only movie theater – the historic Admiral Theater – remains closed, but you can support its parent company Far Away Entertainment – a local group of small moviehouses – by watching a movie at home. The announcement:
Magnolia Pictures is offering THE WHISTLERS, ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND, and SLAY THE DRAGON as part of a virtual cinema program designed specifically to support our movie theaters.
Through Thursday, April 2, 100% of net proceeds from tickets sold will go back to our theaters, and beginning Friday, April 3. Far Away Entertainment will receive a typical studio 50/50 proceed split.
Tickets will range from $6.99 to $12.00.
If you’re new – the Admiral is an almost-80-year-old moviehouse that’s still standing only thanks to some dedicated community members, including its ownership and management. Three years ago, it had a “grand reopening” celebration after renovations that turned it into a first-run fourplex.
During past traffic crunches, like Alaskan Way Viaduct closures and the Viaduct-to-Tunnel transition, the West Seattle Water Taxi has seen a surge in ridership. The high-rise West Seattle Bridge closure comes at a time when the COVID=19 “stay-home order” has already dramatically reduced ridership, but we were still curious how it’s affected WT usage, so we asked King County.
Spokesperson Torie Rynning provided the newest numbers (PDF). Ridership was actually lower last week than the week before – 167 morning riders total for 3/23-3/27, 196 pm riders, compared to 173/337 for 3/16-3/20. We don’t have the exact numbers for the same period last year but in a Monday post on the Water Taxi blog, Rynning wrote that ridership is overall down 90 percent. That post also addresses the question of whether WT service will be increased because of the bridge closure: For now, it’s clearly not needed, but, “We’ve already assembled a task force that is developing various plans to ramp back up and to add service when ridership demand increases.” In the meantime, the WSWT remains on its five-day-a-week, AM/PM-commute-times-only schedule TFN (in normal times, it would be on the 7-day-a-week spring/summer schedule by now).
2:11 PM: Just underway – Governor Inslee has gathered media by phone and videoconference “to provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 response.” The pre-event advisory adds, “The governor plans to focus on the need for manufacturers to step up and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies in the fight against the spread of the virus.” We’re carrying it live so you can hear for yourself what he has to say; we’ll also publish as-it-happens notes, and we’ll leave the video window up since TVW usually makes the archived version available shortly after the event ends.
He reminds everyone that whatever the difficulties we’re all going through, we need to keep in our hearts the 200+ people who have died. He says now that it’s April, this could be the “decisive month.” He moves into the expression of appreciation for those working to make PPE available. He introduces business reps who have been working on this effort. The state has distributed more than a million pieces of PPE already, from “three supply lines.” But along with protection equipment, items for testing – like vials – are needed too, “What we have done so far is not enough.” Orders out to the feds aren’t being fulfilled quickly enough, so “We need to seize our own destiny,” as the state did in World War II. So he’s asking “all businesspeople, all skilled workers, all leaders” to ask themselves if they could “change what they’re making now” and instead make what’s needed. “This is a moment that counts.” If you can, go to coronavirus.wa.gov and sign up to help.
After a couple testimonials from business reps, the governor says even making part of a needed piece of equipment is important. He then moves on to another topic: He’s given “guidance” to mortgage companies to find ways to help mortgageholders. He also notes that 130 National Guard members are mobilizing to help food banks across the state, in many cases replacing volunteers who need to stay home because they’re in at-risk groups. He also says he’s concerned about reports of hate crimes – “all humanity ought to be respected in this fight.” Then he acknowledges encouraging reports about how social distancing is working in our state, even better than in some others. But he says we can’t let up now – so it will be likely the stay-home order will be extended, though he says he’s not ready to make that announcement now – more likely in the next few days.
And he reminds everyone to fill out their Census form “so we get treated fairly” with an accurate count of how many people are in the state.
2:31 PM: On to media Q&A. Asked whether his potential extension of the stay-home order would be for a full month, the governor said he hasn’t decided yet, lists the various factors he’s been monitoring, and says “we’re going to make the right decision … soon” because “victory … is the (only) option.” Other questions include potential additional duties for the National Guard – would they be used in enforcement? Highly unlikely, the gov says, especially given that they’ve announced other means of enforcement, such as the reporting/warning system now set up via the state.”The Guard is there to help us mostly with logistics … with some of the construction, delivery of food … life and safety issues.” Another question: Does our state have a ventilator shortage? If people obey the stay-home order, probably not, Inslee replies. … He’s also asked about the backlog in unemployment filings, and says he understands the frustration – “We’ve been hit by an avalanche of unprecedented claims” and the state is hiring 200 people to help process them “as fast as possible.”
2:58 PM: The governor wraps up. As noted above, TVW should have the archived version of the video turned around soon.
The photos and explanation are from Hal:
A neighbor left a nice note in my mailbox. I don’t know who left it but it was very nice. I drew a heart on a separate piece of paper and taped them both to my house’s front window, I thought maybe the person who wrote it might see that it was appreciated.
Thanks to the friend who suggested Hal share it with us, so we could share it with you!
This came out last night but we didn’t see it in time for the nightly roundup. Now that we’re ending the first week of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, Gov. Inslee‘s office continues to issue clarifications on what’s essential and what’s not. The original proclamation is here; the original list of essential businesses is here. The new guidance (see it here) starts with a reiteration that “Automotive repair facilities are deemed essential.” (WSB sponsors West Seattle Autoworks and Swedish Automotive both have no-contact methods of getting your car taken care of.) The guidance touches on a variety of other areas including “outdoor maintenance” – “Outdoor maintenance, including vegetation, is deemed essential only when necessary to prevent spoliation, avoid imminent damage, or address emergency repairs.” And there’s a mention of recreation, including, “Golf is not deemed essential.” (City golf courses including West Seattle are closed anyway.) As for enforcement – that’s explained here.
P.S. The governor has just scheduled a media briefing for 2 pm today. You can watch live here.
If you overloaded on hand sanitizer and have an unopened bottle to share, that donation bin is set up just inside the door at Easy Street Café (California/Alaska) in The Junction. As explained via Instagram, it’s for neonatal intensive care nurses. 8-ounce bottles of gel (not spray) preferred, not expired; the bin is accessible 7 am-noon daily through Sunday. (Easy Street remains open for takeout – as shown on our ongoing West Seattle list – and proprietor Matt Vaughan and son Archie have been delivering online-ordered music, too.)
The pandemic brought the usual schedule of monthly community meetings to a stop … but this month, some will regroup online, starting tonight with the District 1 Community Network. At 7 pm via Zoom, its agenda includes hearing from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and discussing potential new initiatives for the group. Here’s how to watch/listen – this Zoom link, or join by phone:
Phone number: 669-900-6833
Meeting ID: 402-802-2236
Then enter # to join meeting as general caller
(Remember that meeting etiquette is to stay muted.)
5:40 AM: The high-rise West Seattle Bridge remains closed.
The low bridge is reserved for transit, freight, emergency response, and Harbor Island access – the city hopes you’ll honor that without the threat of police enforcement.
The main alternative across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) – that’s also the main route to I-5.
You also can cross on the South Park Bridge (map).
Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if a bridge is opening for marine traffic.
Let us know what you’re seeing on your alternate commute – comment, or text (not while at the wheel!) 206-293-6302.
No, not The Turkey this time ….
SAFE CROSSING: Eric Shalit took the photo, and explains:
While out on bicycle earlier (Tuesday), I encountered a Seattle police officer rescuing a family of geese that attempted to cross Spokane Street under the West Seattle Bridge. In the attached photo, he has successfully herded all but one out of the road and is trying to shoo the last baby to rejoin its family in a safe place.
WILDLIFE HOURS? Ellie Vann spotted this owl in the Roxbury Safeway lot, perhaps waiting for its turn at the store:
Thanks for the photos! Always appreciated – email@example.com or text 206-293-6302