West Seattle, Washington
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) April 11, 2020
If you’re a fan of actor LeVar Burton – you might know he’s reading stories live on Twttter/Periscope these days. Last night, the story he chose to read was “Magnificent Pigs,” by West Seattle-based writer Cat Rambo, immediate past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (among other accomplishments). She explained that the SFWA “arranged for people on this year’s Nebula Awards ballot (I am on there for a novelette, CARPE GLITTER) to send stories in for consideration for LeVar. He called yesterday morning and said he was reading my story last night, which absolutely flabbergasted me. I’m so happy my story got a chance to entertain that many people, and holy cow, having your work read by LeVar Burton is about as good as it gets.” (Click above to see/hear him read it.)
That’s the plate on Tamara‘s niece’s car. She just arrived in West Seattle – and on her first night, her car was stolen. It has a UW sticker on it. Some stolen cars are abandoned miles away, but some are dumped near where they were taken, so we publish these reports in hopes you can be on the lookout too. If you see it, call 911.
We have begun the seventh week since King County’s first COVID-19 case. Here’s our nightly roundup:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the daily Seattle-King County Public Health news release:
4,262 confirmed positive cases (up 145 from yesterday)
284 confirmed deaths (up 7 from yesterday)
One week ago, those numbers were 2,898 and 200.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: 10,224 cases and 491 deaths, up from 7,591 and 310 a week ago; other state stats are here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
PARK-CLOSURE WEEKEND: Here’s what we and readers saw today at the three West Seattle parks included in the mayor’s order closing 15 major city parks until early Monday. This evening, we noted the SPD mobile precinct at Alki:
Of course, the MP was sometimes there on clear-weather spring evenings pre-pandemic, too.
WHEN WILL RESTRICTIONS END? SKCPH’s daily update includes this explanation of what authorities are watching for:
When it appears safe, Public Health will be looking at the following indicators to help inform the timing and approach for the gradual relaxing of one or more social distancing measures:
*A steady decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations for at least two weeks;
*Healthcare system readiness, including sufficient staffing, supplies, and bed space, to be able to accommodate the increase in cases we expect to see when we loosen social distancing measures;
*Widespread availability of rapid testing and reporting of results, beyond what is currently available, so people who are infected can take quick action to slow the spread of COVID-19;
*Capacity to conduct widespread case and contact investigations to quickly identify people who are infected and their close contacts and help them isolate and quarantine;
*Availability of proven COVID-19 treatments, which are currently under evaluation.
At the same time, we are sensitive to the unintended economic and social impacts from a prolonged Stay Home order. We must advocate for and provide support to those who are experiencing hardships as a result of this necessary disease-control strategy.
More on the topic here.
SPEAKING OF EASTER … here’s our list of 24 local churches with online services.
THANK YOU, POSTAL WORKERS: Seen at a local USPS Post Office and tweeted by Bill Schrier with words of gratitude:
(Three weeks ago, we published a letter carrier’s plea for people to keep their distance.)
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
That stretch of California SW in The Junction will be open to traffic, instead of closed for the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, again tomorrow, for the fifth consecutive Sunday. When the mayor announced this past week that her recent orders would be extended to concur with the new May 4th end date of the governor’s stay-home order, the news release specifically noted that her decision included “Suspension of City-permitted events, with the exception of farmers markets which will continue to be for a potential re-opening.” The governor’s order calls farmers’ markets “essential.” But the nonprofit that runs the West Seattle Farmers’ Market and others says it will NOT be reopening tomorrow despite a short-lived belief it would be allowed to. Here’s what they told their email subscribers today:
We were sure that markets would reopen this weekend. We held off on announcing it, but if you spoke to me privately, I would have told you to make a list and gather your tote bags. However, yesterday (Friday) at 11:30 am, we received a call from the Mayor’s Office saying they could not approve the re-opening of markets this weekend. That came after receiving direct and unilateral communication from Public Health, Office of Sustainability and Environment, and the Office of Economic Development that the markets would indeed be operating this weekend. We had already told the farmers. We had already trained them on the new operating procedures and standards for each market. We were ready to give farmers their main source of income back.
We were ready to run safe and successful food access points for the City of Seattle. This is our job and our staff and vendors are really damn good at it.
Why the reported turnabout? We haven’t heard from the mayor’s office and won’t be able to ask them until Monday. Market managers told us last week they had been planning to operate the market in an “extremely modified” format.
If not for COVID-19, today would have been full of Easter egg hunts, since it’s the day before Easter. While those had to be canceled, for those who celebrate Easter, worship goes on … online. Here’s our list of West Seattle churches with Easter Sunday services (and a few tonight):
ALKI UCC: 6:30 am online sunrise service; register here. 10 am online service, via Zoom – info and link on lower right of church’s home page.
ALL SOULS SEATTLE (WSB sponsor): Daily online worship is here
ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY CHURCH: Livestreaming here at 10 am.
BETHANY COMMUNITY CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, 7 pm.
CALVARY CHAPEL: Service will be available via the church’s website.
EASTRIDGE CHURCH: Livestreaming here at 9 am and 11 am.
FAUNTLEROY UCC: Livestreaming here at 10 am.
FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH OF WEST SEATTLE: The online Easter liturgy is here.
GRACE CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 10:30 am.
HALLOWS CHURCH: Streaming at 10 am church website.
HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming bilingual Easter Vigil at 8:30 pm tonight, then Easter Sunday in English at 8:30 am, en Español at 10 am, all here.
HOLY ROSARY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming Easter Vigil tonight at 8:30 pm, Easter Sunday at 9:30 am, both here.
HOPE LUTHERAN: The service will be viewable here at 8 am.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming Easter Vigil at 8:30 pm tonight, Easter Sunday at 10 am, both here.
PEACE LUTHERAN: Livestreaming at 10:30 am here.
TIBBETTS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (WSB sponsor): The video service will be viewable here.
TRINITY CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 10 am.
WEST SEATTLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: The video service will be viewable here.
WEST SEATTLE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE: Livestreaming here, 11 am.
WEST SIDE PRESBYTERIAN Livestreaming at 10 am here.
WESTSIDE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION: Livestreaming via Zoom, 10:30 am.
WESTWOOD CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY: Online worship at 11 am; info here.
Any other churches to add? Please email us – email@example.com – thank you!
Three notes this afternoon:
STOLEN BICYCLE: From Sophia:
Unfortunately i’m writing this hoping anyone can help find my stolen bike ? I took it out around 8 and around 10 it was gone. I live in a gated complex [near California/Brandon], so i’m still unsure how this happened … the police report is 20-121584 and it’s a women’s Giant.
FOUND BICYCLE: Dominic reports, “Missing a new green women’s cruiser bicycle? It was throw over a fence in a residence in the 90xx block of 17th Ave SW at 4:35 pm (Friday) afternoon.”
DUMPED: Aaron reports, “I woke this morning to find a seemingly brand-new cooler and tent that appears to have been thrown down the hill from Marine View Dr. – we are near 100th. We are going to try to locate the owner for the next day or so. Seattle police were down our street at about 1030 last night and it must be related because we are on a dead end. We already reported to the non emergency line.”
12:46 PM: We’re out checking on the parks that the mayor ordered closed through early Monday. Updates as we go:
First stop, West Seattle Stadium – the driveway is blocked off right at the 35th entrance. Next, heading toward Alki; this portable sign is by Don Armeni’s north/west entrance:
It’s a closure reminder; we saw it being set up (but not activated) Friday evening. Westward…
1:10 PM: Just drove the entire stretch of Alki, including south of Alki Point. People are out walking, running, and biking, but only a handful are off the trail and actually on the sand or promenade. Did not see any marked SPD or Parks vehicles, nor additional sugnage.
1:22 PM: Moments after that update, we saw the SPD Mobile Precinct headed toward southbound Beach Drive. We’re heading toward Lincoln Park next.
1:58 PM: Most of Lincoln Park, of course, is not visible from the road, so all we can report is what we could see by driving past – one person in view on a trail by the north lot, two people walking in across the south lot. As evening approaches, we will take another look at Alki.
4:43 PM: See comments below for what others are seeing at the parks.
5:10 PM: Alki photographer David Hutchinson took these photos around 3 pm:
He explains the photo immediately above: “One of a number of people with Seattle Parks & Recreation yellow vests who have been patrolling the Alki Beach area and at Don Armeni earlier.”
For the fourth consecutive Saturday morning of the coronavirus crisis, we have grocery-store notes. We’re continuing to update our ongoing list of local stores’ hours, etc. This week’s highlights:
EASTER CHANGES: If your regular shopping trip is on Sunday, be aware that the Easter holiday tomorrow brings some changes. Trader Joe’s will be closed. Both QFC stores will be open 8 am-5 pm. All three Safeway stores will be open 6 am-7 pm.
SPECIAL SHOPPING HOURS: QFC is now open 7-8 am Mondays-Fridays for seniors and other at-risk people, one day more than previously.
WATCH THE FLOOR: More stores are marking spots on the floor to ensure you are safely spaced from the next person in line. One-way aisles are also starting to catch on.
COVER YOUR FACE: With the recent recommendation to wear a mask, especially in a setting like a grocery store where you might wind up less than six feet from someone no matter how hard you try, we noticed a dramatic increase in usage when we went shopping this past week – both in shoppers and staff.
What are YOU seeing at YOUR store?
(UPDATED 2:07 PM>)
(Video by Ryan O’Keven)
3:27 AM: Major Seattle Fire callout in the 2300 block of 48th SW [map] – a
house site under construction is reported to be on fire, described as “fully involved.”
3:34 AM: They’ve just called for a second alarm.
(Video by William Skibitzke)
3:45 AM: This is reported to be a multi-unit building under construction.
3:54 AM: The fire is under control.
Our crew has just arrived and says it’s clearly “a total loss.”
4:04 AM: The address is 2329 48th SW, not 2325 as logged by SFD. We wrote about this project two years ago. It was planned as two rowhouse-style townhouse buildings, one five units, one two units – the larger one is what burned. Meantime, there’s concern about power lines in the area coming down, so City Light is being called in.
4:15 AM: SFD reports that “residents in nearby homes were safely evacuated with no injuries reported.”
4:45 AM: Some crews are being dismissed. We don’t have official word yet on how this affected the buildings on both sides (here’s the two-unit building next door:)
But firefighters have had to put out hot spots including a tree stump “across the gully” from the fire site. (And a few minutes later, “a pile of construction materials … is burning.”)
5:09 AM: Going on 2 hours now from the original dispatch. Thanks again to the person who called to tip us, and thanks to everyone who sent photos/video. About half the crews have been dismissed. No indication of the fire’s cause yet; we’ll have updates later today.
2:07 PM: Just went by for a daylight look. We also checked with SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo, who tells us 75 firefighters battled the fire. “The building is a total loss and the neighboring homes sustained minor damage. Several residents from the neighboring homes were evacuated as a safety precaution and no injuries were reported. Our crews are still on scene to monitor for hot spots. The incident is under investigation. “