West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of a crash that is blocking northbound California near Juneau right now. Apparently no serious injuries – SFD was briefly on scene.
The governor’s making an announcement tomorrow morning, and that tops tonight’s roundup:
GOVERNOR’S NEXT ANNOUNCEMENT: It’s set for 11:30 am Friday, and you can guess the subject from the guest list:
The governor will be joined by Greg Lane, executive vice president, Building Industry Association of Washington and Mark Riker, executive secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.
Gov. Inslee had said earlier this week that a resumption of residential construction was likely soon. You can watch his remarks and media Q&A via livestream here.
BUT WHAT ELSE IS AHEAD? From the state Health Department‘s daily bulletin:
Our epidemiological data suggest that COVID-19 activity peaked in Washington at the end of March. While activity declined during early April, this decline may have slowed during the past week. Data from the past week are always preliminary and difficult to interpret so we will not fully understand these data for another week. The public health system in Washington is currently responding to outbreaks of COVID-19 in long term care settings, homeless shelters, food processing plants and among agricultural workers.
The Department of Health has convened an expert group of modelers to analyze our epidemiologic data. This group predicts with a high degree of confidence that relaxation of social distancing conditions to pre-covid19 levels will result in a sharp increase in the numbers of cases after 2 weeks. The group also believes that current diagnosis counts are still too high to lessen social distancing measures within the next two weeks.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health data dashboard:
*5,569 people have tested positive, up 120 from yesterday
*384 people have died, up 5 from yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 4,809 and 320.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: More than 2 million cases. See how that breaks out, nation by nation, here.
‘KEEP IT MOVING’ = NO SITTING: A new level of restrictions spotted at Alki Beach Park:
The park may be open, but the benches are “closed,” with boards across them, as of late today. We have an inquiry out to the city to ask where else this is being done.
NEED A MASK? Local family’s making them to raise money for local nonprofits.
WHY TAKEOUT IS BETTER THAN DELIVERY … for the restaurants fighting to stay afloat.
GOT INFO? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Another major West Seattle summer event will take this summer off amid COVID-19 uncertainty. From Alki Art Fair organizers:
It is with great sadness that we must cancel the 23rd annual Alki Art Fair. This was an incredibly difficult, but, necessary decision to make to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus and to honor our responsibility to keep our community and families safe.
Although we are disappointed that we are unable to showcase art and music in our usual beautiful beach location, we are excited to announce the launch of Alki Art Fair at Home – a Virtual Art Fair throughout the month of May. Over the next few weeks we will feature some of the artists and performers who would have participated in our fair on our social media platforms, so please follow us on Facebook and Instagram
Let #AlkiArtFairatHome brighten your day by bringing art and music into your homes during this challenging time. We would urge you to support our artists in whatever way you can – purchase their art and their music, and, or, follow them on social media. They need all of our help right now.
And, finally, mark your calendars for the 24th annual Alki Art Fair – July 24-25, 2021. We very much look forward to welcoming you in-person next summer for a celebration of local art and music.
Stay safe, friends!
Attention: City of Seattle Council Members
We are urgently requesting that the Council enact a cap on delivery fees for companies such as Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats and the like. They have an advantage on delivery and are unfairly charging our local businesses 30% on their deliveries in a time of crisis. They have also been using this opportunity during the COVID-19 challenge to tell consumers that using their services are helping small businesses when the only one benefiting from these programs are these corporations. They do not have the restaurant’s interest at heart, this is merely an opportunity to further their growth and outreach to a new consumer base and increase revenues.
Many restaurants lose money on their deliveries during normal market conditions, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Board and its members are asking that you follow suit with San Francisco and now New York in limiting the fees that are able to be collected in the interest of our local businesses.
We recommend a cap of 15% to allow these businesses to continue to operate. The Chamber is concerned for our members. We must preserve some profit for restaurants so they can serve the West Seattle residents who rely on restaurants to cook their meals and allow these businesses to retain their employees.
Reducing these fees would encourage more restaurants to get off the sidelines and reopen if they knew they could pay a fair commission rate. Our goal is to Bring back much needed jobs and stability to our service industry workers.
Sadly, these companies have stood firm around not negotiating fees since the start of this crisis, all these businesses are asking for is a fair charge.
We hope that you will help make this right .
CEO, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce
San Francisco ordered a 15 percent cap two weeks ago.
Got your own mask yet? Making them is suddenly a booming business. Some are making and selling them to raise money for nonprofits – like the family members our area’s State Sen. Joe Nguyen emailed to tell us about:
My awesome mother, who is a retired seamstress, has been making masks for the community and using it to raise donations for nonprofits that serve West Seattle and beyond.
In the past 2 weeks we’ve been able to raise over $4,500 and made nearly 1k masks.
Funds have gone to:
– White Center Food bank
– West Seattle Food bank
– El Centro De La Raza COVID relief fund
– Southeast Asian Coalition
The fine folks at Bakery Nouveau ordered masks and not only did they make a generation donation of funds they included baked goods to help keep the operations going!
Here’s the form, should folks want to get a mask and donate to a good cause.
In the photos sent by Sen. Nguyen are his mom Neo Nguyen as well as Lauryn Nguyen, a junior at West Seattle High School, and Alex Nguyen, a WSHS graduate; he says, “their mother Anna Nguyen has been organizing all of this as well.”
4:28 PM: That photo of a boarded-up bench at Alki came in just as we heard about this new “Keep It Moving” action from reader John, who had emailed Seattle Parks to ask if “Keep It Moving” also meant to keep people from resting on benches – as he and his spouse do while out walking – or to stop parents of little kids from sitting on the beach while their children played. The reply he got from a Parks staffer:
… We don’t have the staff capacity to sift out more and less appropriate activities, so we’re using the “blunt instruments” such as the Keep Moving initiative and partial closures such as at the beach where people tend to congregate and party. These measures are the best we can feasibly do at this time.
Of course parks are not only for the young and fit, but it seems relevant that persons who are older and less fit are at the highest risk from the virus. We’re doing our best, with the tools available to us, to keep people safe during this public health crisis.
John included that im a note to us, cc’d to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, reading in part:
[That is] the answer we finally got from the Parks Dept in reply to our asking if it was okay for my wife and I to rest on a park bench while taking our daily walk.
As I write this, Park Dept staff is bolting boards to park benches to render them unusable. The staffer’s answer also seems to somewhat bluntly suggest that older citizens really shouldn’t be in the parks due to their high risk status.
Young people walk and run to get fit and lose weight. Older people take their daily walk as a prerequisite to staying alive, and with proper social distancing the Parks Dept should have no objection to them doing it.
My wife and I both judged the staffer’s reply to be word salad, and we already hear enough of that on TV. We think this is ridiculous. We live at Alki and watch it all day long. There are no real problems here. The Easter closure was an excellent idea, as was reopening it on the following Monday.
I want to know the official justification for the bench banning. And are all park benches throughout the city going to be boarded up? …
We’ll be asking Parks about that.
ADDED 10:05 AM FRIDAY: Got a city response this morning:
Alki saw significant crowding on Sunday, April 19. We are implementing two additional strategies to deter crowding this coming weekend: 1. Adding additional signage. 2. Deterring congregating in picnic shelters and benches through caution tape and placing boards or signs on seating. We will leave some benches open through the park to serve those with disabilities. These efforts are in hopes that we will not have to close Alki Beach due to persistent crowding.
Our goal is that people would stay home, and when they go out to recreate that they walk in their neighborhood or use neighborhood parks. If folks do want to use Alki we would like them to keep it moving when they are there—walk, run, or bike, and try and visit the park during a less busy hour.
The response included two sheets related to social-distancing observations by Parks personnel – we’ll add those a bit later after converting them to PDF.
9:04 PM FRIDAY: As noted in comments – and seen by us at the park a few hours ago – Parks crews were REMOVING the boards tonight, and the department has just confirmed via Twitter that it’s removed them all.
Two weeks ago, we reported on the plan for prepared-food sellers based at KBM Commissary to offer free meals weekly, with a rotating menu. KBM’s Keith Mathewson just sent word of how the first round went, and what’s ahead:
Last week was the first day that the kitchen distributed meals. We produced food for 400 people and ran out. This week Ka Pow Thai and the people in the kitchen are going to produce up to 600 meals. Meals again will be family style and will be distributed this Sunday from 4 PM until 6 PM. The menu will be stirfried chicken with rice and mushrooms. Anyone who is suffering as a result of the shutdown is welcome to come by. We are asking that people remain in their car and meals will be passed through the window on a long pizza board to maintain distance.
KBM is at 5604 Delridge Way SW. Mathewson has been underwriting the project but donations are welcome if you want to help – as mentioned in our first report, there’s a crowdfunding page.
Two updates from local businesses that are both longtime WSB sponsors:
O’NEILL PLUMBING DISCOUNT: Noticing that plumbing problem more now that you’re working at home? Here’s the Morgan Junction-based plumbing company’s offer:
West Seattle’s own O’Neill Plumbing is currently offering 30% OFF for all West Seattle residents on Service Calls through the end of May.
They know that with layoffs, bridge closures, and everyone staying at home, times are tougher these days. For more than 103 years, O’Neill Plumbing has been calling West Seattle home and they will continue to be here for their neighbors. And with the bridge closed, they most likely can be there faster than anyone else. They appreciate your support and they look forward to seeing you out and about soon. Stay safe, West Seattle. and save 30% by calling O’Neill Plumbing @ 206-932-5283.
PCC ONLINE COOKING CLASSES: From PCC Community Markets:
As spending more time at home becomes a new normal, a lot of us are looking for fun, lighthearted (virtual!) events to take our minds off things. PCC Community Markets is here to help.
The co-op will be holding online cooking demonstrations through Zoom for just $25. With demos like ‘One-Hour Bagels’ and ‘Thai Flavors at Home’, students will have the opportunity take a peek inside PCC instructors’ home kitchens as they share personal stories and tips while they demonstrate flavorful dishes that can be created after class.
Recipes will be shared in advance, so students have the opportunity to gather ingredients and prepare questions for the instructor. A recorded version will be available afterwards to reference at any time!
Upcoming classes include pizza and bagels as well as international cuisines.
Two Metro notes:
NEW RIDERSHIP LIMITS: In the comment discussion following our coverage of last night’s West Seattle Bridge town-hall meeting, readers pointed out citywide-media reports about new temporary limits on Metro buses. Sorry we missed this – turns out it was announced in this Metro blog post last night, including this graphic:
If you are currently riding Metro, read the post for all the details. Meantime – this part of the restrictions has drawn some concerns: “The optimal number of passengers in the ADA priority seating area is one, which will be counted as part of the total number. However, if the ADA seating area is empty, a customer needing that space will be allowed to board.” Metro also says, “Customers with disabilities whose essential travel needs are not being met during Reduced Schedule can also use Metro’s Access Paratransit service—even if the customer is not a certified user and would not normally be eligible. Contact the Access Transportation Call Center at 206-205-5000 for assistance.” The post includes reminders that Metro is currently running on a (very) reduced schedule; you can check the canceled-trips list here.
WSTC TONIGHT: Got a question about that or about Metro’s role in getting people on and off the peninsula now that the West Seattle Bridge is closed? Participate in tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm online, with Metro and SDOT reps – access info is in the preview we published Wednesday.
Two months into the COVID-19 outbreak in our region, health-care workers’ need for PPE (personal protective equipment) remains great. The Seattle Mask Brigade – a volunteer effort – asked us to remind you how you can help with what they’re doing = “collecting donated masks from around the greater Seattle area and delivering them to hospitals and nursing homes that are running out”:
Most donations are just a few masks (less than 20) that people have lying around in their emergency kit, but they all add up! So far we have coordinated deliveries of over 25,000 donated masks to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, shelters, food banks, and more. We usually distribute masks within a day of receiving them.
Our small group has helped folks in over a dozen cities around the country launch their own mask brigades, from Los Angeles to New York to Louisville.
Our website is seattlemaskbrigade.org. There’s a form on our website where people can sign up to donate N95 masks, surgical masks, homemade cloth masks, and nitrile gloves (we will accept opened/unsealed boxes of masks). Our volunteers pick them up from donors’ porches within a day or two. We also have a form where health-care workers can request masks.
The need for masks is critical. Even with PPE arriving from the government, we are still receiving urgent requests and we need more donations to be able fulfill them. In the past week donations have been decreasing, but requests for masks have not. Recently we’ve received a lot of requests for homemade cloth masks that can be reused.
Questions? Email email@example.com
5:44 AM: 31st morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. Tonight, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition discusses the closure with SDOT and Metro.
For general traffic, the main route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) – that’s also the main way to get to I-5, exiting at Michigan.
The other option is the South Park Bridge (map), which drops you onto East Marginal Way one mile south of the north end of the 1st Ave. South Bridge.
Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if a bridge is opening for marine traffic.
ROAD WORK ALERTS: Striping/marker work continues in the 35th/Avalon/Alaska project zone. … SDOT has released details of the weekend work planned at the 5-way intersection (Chelan/Spokane/Delridge/West Marginal) and on the north end of Delridge Way.
Metro’s third round of service cuts has a further-reduced schedule in effect – details here. The Water Taxi continues its reduced (and shuttle-less) schedule.
Let us know what you’re seeing – comment, or text (not if you’re at the wheel!) 206-293-6302.