West Seattle, Washington
Tomorrow marks two weeks until the scheduled expiration of the governor’s stay-home order. Will it be extended? That question remains unanswered as we begin our nightly roundup of virus-crisis news:
‘RE-OPENING’ PROTEST: Gov. Inslee‘s big statement today was a reaction to the Olympia protest demanding he re-open the state sooner rather than later. He said in part, “This isn’t about politics. It can only be about doing what is best for the health of all Washingtonians.”
RE-CLOSING: The only signs of protest here were at local parks – vandalism to some of the newest city signage, including at Lincoln Park, where someone also managed to open one gate to the south parking lot, which held dozens of cars by midday. Troy sent this photo:
When we inquired with the city, they told us they had sent crews to handle both situations, and by early evening, the lot was empty and re-closed.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health data dashboard:
*5,172 people have tested positive, up 109 from yesterday
*346 people have died, up 6 from yesterday
One week ago, those numbers were 4,426 and 292.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
SETBACK FOR TESTING: Not good news since more testing is desperately needed: The state Health Department has “recalled approximately 12,000 kits sent to local health jurisdictions, tribal nations, and state agency partners across the state,” according to a news release today. They “were procured by UW Medicine and donated to DOH from Lingen Precision Medical Products.” They don’t have immediate replacements but are expecting a “large shipment” later this week.
ICYMI AFTER LAST NIGHT’S ROUNDUP: Here’s your neighbor Eddie Vedder singing to raise money for the virus crisis.
SEEN IN UPPER MORGAN: Missing someone these days? You’re not alone. Thanks to Tamsen Spengler for the photo:
GOT A PHOTO? INFO? TIP? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice our hotline, 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Back in January, we reported on charges filed against 41-year-old David Vasquez, accused of drug dealing after a long investigation that involved undercover buys in West Seattle and eventually netted drugs, guns, and cash. As charging documents noted, police found out about Vasquez while investigating the death of a 3-month-old baby in Southeast Seattle, blamed on fentanyl she apparently ingested through her mother’s milk. No charges were filed at the time – but that has just changed.
A reader pointed us to this Seattle Times report about charges against the baby’s parents, 36-year-old Samantha De Leo and 44-year-old Christopher Keadle. We subsequently found the charging documents in King County Superior Court online files. Each was charged this past week with first-degree felony manslaughter. The charging documents say:
While Ms. DeLeo was obviously the conduit for directly exposing the baby to the drugs that killed her, Mr. Keadle was most often the person who procured the drugs for Ms. DeLeo and without question aided in creating the environment and conditions under which the baby died. Both defendants are responsible for the death of their baby.
Police say cell phone records show more than 2,000 phone contacts between the couple and the accused dealer over an eight-month period before and after the baby’s death last year. They are out on bond and scheduled for arraignment April 27th. Vasquez, meantime, was briefly out on bond for a few days in January but then rebooked for what the jail register says was a failure to appear. He has twice asked for his $250,000 bail to be reduced, and again last week, a judge said no.
On Saturday, we mentioned the state was about to open applications for newly expanded unemployment benefits, now also covering self-employed people and independent contractors. Saturday night, we noted reports the system was struggling to handle the onslaught. Today, an update from the state Employment Security Department:
Saturday night, April 18, the Employment Security Department launched a massive update of its computer systems to allow for the expansion of unemployment benefits enabled by the Federal CARES Act. Tens of thousands of people have already filed successfully, and thousands continue to do so every hour.
Due to this demand, the sign up and online application systems are experiencing performance issues. Since the beginning of the crisis we have averaged 1.2 million page views in our site. Right now, we are seeing up to 500,000 per hour. The informational areas of the website are holding steady and can address questions people may have.
Since Saturday evening, our teams have been triaging and addressing issues as they arise. We are already seeing the rate of people getting through the process go up every hour, as volumes level out and our technical adjustments take effect.
If customers are having difficulty applying or filing weekly claims, here are a few things to remember:
*You don’t have to apply on Sunday – it is not first-come-first served and there is no risk to funds running out. You can apply anytime.
*Payments are retroactive to your eligibility date. This means that, once you have successfully applied and backdated your start date, your first payment will be for all weeks for which you are eligible.
*Weekly claims can be filed Sunday through Saturday every week. They can also be filed over the automated phone system at: [corrected] 800-318-6022
*E-services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The busiest times tend to be in the morning. We recommend trying during off hours.
*If you are having difficulty filing your application, please visit our help page
We apologize for the frustration this is causing and ask for Washingtonians’ patience as we roll out these programs. We know people don’t want to have to wait further to get these benefits and are doing everything we can to improve the performance and access.
The community hub Youngstown Cultural Arts Center is closed because of the coronavirus crisis but its parent organization DNDA has found a way to keep you connected – via the online hub they’re calling HeartSpace. There you’ll find both free and fee activities – the former includes weekly nature walks, the latter includes classes by instructors including the ever-popular Dance Powered with Jennifer Cepeda. Scroll through the HeartSpace calendar at top right of this page and decide what to check out!
Updates from two West Seattle retailers, as Mother’s Day approaches – first, longtime WSB sponsor Wyatt’s Jewelers (Westwood Village):
We will be offering limited appointment, curbside pickup, and dropoff repair services, so if you find some time to go through your jewelry box, and look for all those treasured items that you haven’t had time to have fixed, pack them on up, bring them on in. 19% discount on repairs!
It’s also that time of year for a little spring cleaning. When you drop off your repairs, pick up a spring care and cleaning kit. Offered at $19.95 and includes a polishing cloth, a 10x magnifier, and a jar of cleaner.
Curbside Drop Off – Appointments Only – Call or Text 425-419-8016
Also, we are currently working on updating our inventory for online purchasing. Check online regularly to see what’s new.
And from Fleurt in The Junction:
Fleurt, your local solution for retail therapy. Delivered! We are offering personalized shopping by way of FaceTime calls. Here’s how it works.
DM via Instagram what you might be looking for. Tell us your name, number and best time to call you. We will FaceTime you at that time and do a walk through of the shop and you can pick out anything you like.
That same day we will package your goodies up and either deliver in West Seattle, or USPS anywhere! This is a free service. No delivery or shipping charges. We do ask for a $35+ purchase.
It’s especially great if you are looking for a particular type of plant, have a birthday, anniversary, get well gift for someone. And let’s not forget Mothers Day just around the corner.
Our shop is full of plants and new spring/summer goods.
DM today. You can also call the shop at 206.937.1103. We miss and love you all and can’t wait to connect.
Keonii and Sam
Shop local – with the bridge situation, local businesses are more vital than ever!
12:22 PM: Those are just a few of the sea lions hanging out off Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook (4503 Beach Drive SW) this midday, some “sailing” while taking a break from an all-you-can-eat brunch. Birds too:
Consensus so far seems to be that they are feeding on spawning herring.
That would seem to be borne out by the water color difference you can see in this reader-contributed video from Terence:
P.S. Thanks for all the tips on this!
ADDED 4:32 PM: Kersti Muul sends this photo of herring eggs on the shore:
And from Erica Sokoloff, two more Beach Drive sights – first, a tern (those are the birds with the prehistoric-sounding screech); second, a sea lion nosing out of the water:
ADDED LATE SUNDAY: Aerial view from “Diver Laura” James:
We asked Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s David Hutchinson about the phenomenon:
The Hotline has had a number of calls recently about sea lions offshore, with people expressing concern that they were entangled or injured. We encourage people to call and report these sightings to the Seal Sitters Hotline (206-905-7325) so we can keep track of this activity and just in case a sea lion is actually in distress. A couple weeks ago, our contact at WDFW reported there were herring spawn events in the area (Purdy, Indianola, Case Inlet) which are likely attracting those large numbers of sea lions. Most of these animals will be heading out of our area within the next month.
Another major summer event is off until next year. Just received from Keith Hughes, who chairs the West Seattle Grand Parade Committee for the Rotary Club of West Seattle:
It is with great sadness that I have to announce that the 2020 West Seattle Grand Parade has been cancelled.
The Parade has been held in July for 87 years, and is the longest running Community Parade in Seattle. The Parade Committee believes that in these difficult times, public safety is the greater concern. We are all committed to being back in 2021.
Here are the Sunday happenings, beginning with our weekly list of where/how to find West Seattle churches’ online services:
ALKI UCC: 10 am online service, via Zoom – info and link on church’s home page.
ALL SOULS SEATTLE (WSB sponsor): Online worship will be posted 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, as well as sermon audio.
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 liturgy is here.
GRACE CHURCH: Livestreaming here, 10:30 am.
HALLOWS CHURCH: Streaming at 10 am via the church’s YouTube channel.
HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming in English at 8:30 am, en Español at 10 am, all here.
HOLY ROSARY CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming at 9:30 am here.
HOPE LUTHERAN: Today’s worship service and children’s video are viewable here.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE CATHOLIC CHURCH: Livestreaming at 10 am, both here.
PEACE LUTHERAN: Livestreaming at 10:30 am on YouTube.
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 is 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!
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Open 11 am-4 pm – need a tool to fix or improve something? (4408 Delridge Way SW)
FREE TO-GO DINNERS: High Point Community Dinner Church will serve to-go meals at 5 pm, outside, near High Point Community Center. (6920 34th SW)
NO FARMERS’ MARKET: Though the city gave approval for two other markets to open “modified” versions this weekend, West Seattle remains closed.