West Seattle, Washington
What the governor calls “Phase 1” of transitioning out of near-total shutdown starts tomorrow. Here’s the roundup for tonight:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Seattle-King County Public Health data dashboard:
*6,582 people have tested positive, up 118 from yesterday
*463 people have died, up 5 from yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 5,990 and 416.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
SIGNS OF SUCCESS: Public Health says there’s reason for optimism in “two recent reports that are consistent with data” the agency itself has collected/analyzed..
HOW COVID-19 IS AFFECTING SFD AND SPD: Both posted updates today – SPD says 7 of its employees have tested positive (unchanged from the last two weekly updates) and that 24 employees are in quarantine or isolation; SFD says 18 of its employees have tested positive, with 17 currently in quarantine or isolation.
BE A LIFE-SAVER: The pandemic has disrupted donations. If you can donate blood, you have multiple opportunities to do that here in West Seattle this month – Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW) is hosting a pop-up blood drive.
TEE TIMES TOMORROW: Golfing is allowed in our state again as of tomorrow. The governor said so a week ago, but it wasn’t official for the West Seattle Golf Course (and the city’s three others) until a city announcement today.
THE REOPENING PLAN HAS A NAME: The governor formalized last week’s announcements – including the stay-home extension to May 31st – with an order today, and the title “Safe Start Washington.”
ABOUT THOSE ‘STREET CLOSED’ SIGNS: Lots more went up today, mostly on Puget Ridge and in Highland Park, as part of another expansion of “Stay Healthy Streets.” (See the map here.)
They’re open to residents and deliveries, closed to through traffic. As noted in our followup, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is proposing a major expansion, with suggested West Seattle routes including all of Beach Drive SW.
NEIGHBORHOOD ART: Neighbors’ creativity keeps brightening the days. Noodle sent the photo, explaining that the local yard with a “Where the Wild Things Are” theme last month has now switched to “James and the Giant Peach”:
GOT INFO? PHOTOS? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Three reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED: Someone came home in the 9000 block of 24th SW Sunday afternoon and found signs someone was or had been inside, so they called 911. Police found a suspect asleep after apparently taking a break from ransacking to drink. SPD Blotter tells the story here.
VEHICLE PROWLED IN APARTMENT GARAGE: Nathaniel emailed to report his 4Runner was broken into in the public area of the garage at The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), “some time between the evening of 4/30 and the evening of 5/2.” A window was smashed and items were stolen from the trunk and back seat. He says others have been hit by vandalism/theft in the garage, too.
FROM THE DUMPED-AND-LIKELY-STOLEN FILE: Mike sent the photo and report:
I live above the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and I found these tennis rackets ditched beneath the trees of our northern parking lot (by the stairs at Delridge and Genesee that lead up to Pigeon Point). They’re really nice, lightweight, and tightly strung. Maybe they were stolen from someone who was playing tennis at the park across the street. Anyway, I thought I’d send a picture and maybe someone will get their rackets back.
Another school that had to cancel its annual auction has taken it online, so everybody can bid – here’s the announcement from the Pathfinder K-8 PTSA:
The Pathfinder K-8 PTSA is pleased to announce its first-ever online auction!
We are offering some great items and packages, many generously donated by local West Seattle businesses, along with art pieces made by individual classrooms. We are excited to try out this new format and pleased that it will allow the entire community to participate – no tickets required.
Due to schools being closed and ongoing restrictions on large gatherings, our auction gala was rescheduled and then cancelled entirely. The funds we planned to raise with this year’s auction are needed more than ever for next year’s PTSA budget to support our school and community. The money helps support everything from teacher classroom funds and academic support to the garden program and community events. We hope you’ll join us in generously supporting our school from the comfort of home.
MONDAY REPORT: As announced last week, more east West Seattle streets are now closed to through traffic as part of the city’s “Stay Healthy Streets” program. The first round two weeks ago included streets in High Point and a bit south; the new stretch is primarily in Puget Ridge and Highland Park. (Update – text list was inaccurate so we’ve removed it; please see the SDOT map.)
The SHS-designated streets are closed to all but local motor-vehicle traffic – defined as residents and deliveries – and open to bicycling, walking, running, etc., 24/7, TFN.
The city has said it’s continuing to evaluate potential expansions. This afternoon, the advocacy group Seattle Neighborhood Greenways proposed what it called a “crowdsourced, 130-mile, network of Stay Healthy Streets,” including some potential West Seattle additions such as the entirety of Beach Drive SW. See the SNG proposal mapped here. The group also has an FAQ document here.
TUESDAY NOTE: If you didn’t catch the difference between the green and blue lines on the map, as Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections (part of the SNG coalition) points out, much of Beach Drive is proposed for parking-lane conversion, not the full width.
Amid the upheaval of this spring, schools are continuing to plan for fall, and some are scheduling online open houses. That includes Summit Atlas, West Seattle’s only charter school. The announcement:
While our physical doors may be closed, our virtual doors are WIDE OPEN!
In light of our current health climate, we are having to reschedule our Open House, as well as Shadow Day. However, we are still available to connect, and our principals, teachers and current families want to meet you all!
Use the VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE RSVP FORM to sign up for one of our upcoming Virtual Open House events.
· CHAT WITH THE HIGH SCHOOL DIRECTOR – 05/05/2020, 2 & 8 PM.
· LEARN HOW WE LEARN -05/07/2020, 2 & 8 PM.
· CHAT WITH THE MIDDLE SCHOOL DIRECTOR – 05/12/2020, 2&8 PM.
· MENTORING AND COLLEGE PREP – 05/14/2020, 2 & 8 PM.
· CONNECT WITH A STUDENT – 05/19/2020, 2 & 8 PM.
Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is still open.
Summit Atlas is in north Arbor Heights, at 35th/Roxbury.
The latest order by Mayor Durkan will allow West Seattle and the city’s 3 other municipal golf courses to reopen tomorrow, the date Gov. Inslee chose for allowing the sport to resume. As we reported at the time, his order didn’t automatically give local courses the green light – city and county authorities are allowed to keep tighter restrictions – but one WSB commenter said last week they had already booked a tee time. Noted in the city’s announcement:
Courses will follow new operational guidelines and strict physical distancing practices which include: signage to indicate social distancing guidelines, minimized face-to-face interactions, removing high touch surfaces, increasing sanitization practices, converting sit-down food and beverage service to take-out only, eliminating equipment rentals, closing mini golf and using golf ambassadors to enforce social distancing. Seattle Parks and Recreation is also developing a pilot to provide hours when the public can run, bike, or walk within the golf courses.
The rest of the order extends other existing Seattle Parks closures through May 31st, the new expiration date for the governor’s stay-home order.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
While the city’s been working toward stabilizing the West Seattle Bridge and determining whether it can be repaired, they’ve also been working on an emergency-response plan in case the bridge was deemed at imminent or near-imminent risk of collapse – which currently, they stress, it is NOT.
Most of this has been taking place out of the public eye, with the city working with “stakeholders” who have operations close to the bridge, such as the Port of Seattle. This came up during last week’s inaugural meeting of the community coalition West Seattle Bridge Now (WSB coverage here), when a port rep noted that this emergency plan was front and center right now. We’ve been pursuing more information from SDOT, and today they are announcing key points of the plan.
SDOT stresses that the bridge is “stable” and that the cracks’ growth has “slowed” since the bridge was closed to traffic March 23rd. But “out of an abundance of caution” they’ve devised this plan for how they would get the word out, and what people would need to do, if bridge failure seemed likely before stabilization work is complete.
What they’re releasing today is what SDOT communications director Michael Harold explained to us in an interview this morning is the “essence” of the emergency plan; the plan itself will be released “soon.” Today’s announcement first notes:
We’ve established an interagency task force to coordinate a unified emergency response if conditions of the high bridge reach critical thresholds.
The task force includes the City of Seattle, King County, Washington State, Port of Seattle, Northwest Seaport Alliance, United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
If we must activate the task force’s unified emergency response, a unified command will be led by the Seattle Fire Department (SFD), the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the Seattle Police Department (SPD), and USCG.
These and other agencies will work together to prioritize public safety and provide clear communication. SDOT will manage traffic operations to assist emergency response and provide consistent updates to the public. SFD will manage evacuation and, if necessary, rescue of people near the bridge. SPD will manage traffic control and assist with evacuation. USCG will manage maritime coordination and communication. Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle City Light will manage utilities to reduce impact on customers.
SDOT stresses that the “only section of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge that currently has cracks is the highest span directly over the Duwamish River between West Seattle and Harbor Island. … The rest of the bridge is relatively stable and doesn’t currently show signs of distress.”
But just in case, the emergency plan addresses three potential scenarios:
1) Immediate evacuation to be used if the daily in-person inspections indicates enough of a change to warrant the immediate evacuation of a small number of properties, though we could
have hours or days before actual bridge failure.
2) One to five days notice to be used if the new remote monitoring instrumentation, which will be fully functioning in mid May, indicates enough of a change to warrant execution of evacuation plans within one to five days. If failure is anticipated, but not immediate, SFD and SPD will clearly communicate, via direct site visits and other platforms, when evacuation must occur.
3) Controlled demolition to be used if the change in the condition of the high bridge indicates the need for execution of an evacuation plan followed by a controlled demolition.
The #1 response would involve evacuations in what’s considered “the Fall Zone.”
In what Harold calls a “very conservative estimate,” this area was identified via “modeling potential cracking scenarios” plus adding a buffer zone – it’s an area “225’ north and south of the bridge, 225’ west of Pier 15, and 225’ east of Pier 18, and includes the Spokane Street Low Bridge, parts of Harbor Island, the Duwamish Waterway, and areas on and around West Marginal Way.” (This is the type of information that the “critical failure modeling” mentioned in Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s update last Friday is addressing – not an estimate of when a failure could happen, but of how it might happen, IF it happened.)
Even if they don’t have to evacuate, some on Harbor Island could see travel affected, so: “It is recommended that people on Harbor Island who are non-essential leave the island using the eastern approaches if they receive any notification that the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge is at risk. Those staying should know that emergency response could potentially block vehicle access to the island.” (added 2:07 pm – traffic map)
The Fall Zone does NOT include any residential areas, not even Pigeon Point adjacent to the bridge, SDOT says. But SFD and SPD would close access to nearby roads.
A mailer is being sent later this week to all addresses within a quarter-mile of the “fall zone,” Harold says. But in the meantime, even if you’re NOT that close, everyone in West Seattle is urged to sign up for Alert Seattle – an opt-in service through which emergency messages are sent and one way through which the city will send any bridge-related emergency notification.
Today’s announcement also says any bridge-related emergency alert will also be sent through “Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) text messages … an alert system that sends text messages to all cell phones within a particular area. This is the same service that sends Amber Alerts. WEA will send text message alerts to all cell phones in the impacted area at the time of alert.” The Coast Guard also would send “an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast over VHF Channel 16 to warn mariners to avoid the Duwamish Waterway,
and they will use the USCG Alert Warning System to warn commercial operators and terminals on Harbor Island and the Duwamish Waterway.” Along with all those alerts, SDOT would also notify the media and publish warnings via its social-media channels.
But, Harold stresses yet again, they do NOT believe there is a risk of the bridge collapsing any time soon – they nonetheless have to be prepared. They’ve been installing instrumentation to enable real-time monitoring of the bridge status – in addition to continuing “near daily” inspections. We’ve asked how exactly that monitoring is being monitored, so to speak; Harold says they’ll be releasing those details this week too.
Questions? He says SDOT is ready to answer them via email or phone any time, 684-Road@seattle.gov or
206.684.ROAD (206-684-7623). Meantime, you also can find released-so-far info via the bridge-project website, where documents and information links are already archived.
from Susan: “Truck stolen last night in West Seattle. Please watch for gray, 4-door Toyota Tacoma pickup with canopy. License #C59359S WA. Call 911 if you see it.”
The COVID-19 response interrupted plans for West Seattle mobile blood drives, and compounding that with the bridge shutdown, it’s been challenging for local would-be donors to be able to help. Now, there’s a way! Combat Arts Academy (5050 Delridge Way SW) is hosting “pop-up blood drives” starting today. CAA’s Sonia Sillan sent this word from Bloodworks Northwest:
Combat Arts Academy Gym in West Seattle will be hosting a new Pop-Up Donor Center, providing donors a convenient, local location to donate blood during statewide stay-at-home orders. The governors of both Washington and Oregon recognize the crucial role that Bloodworks donors fill in sustaining community health, so leaving home to donate blood is a crucial and safe activity exempt from both states’ stay-at-home orders. Local, state, and national leaders are unanimous – donating blood remains a critical and safe activity for community health.
Thankfully, the number of new coronavirus cases in our region has been declining recently, which means that soon, hospitals will once again be able to begin performing elective surgeries which were cancelled or delayed during the first weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak in a successful effort to stabilize the blood supply. The resumption of these surgeries will increase the demand on our blood supply – in addition to the cancer, trauma, transplant, and critical surgery patients we always support – and to meet that challenge, we need all our donors to step up. So pre-book your next donation to make sure patients get the fighting chance they deserve.
All donations at this Pop-Up Donor Center and our other Donor Centers are by appointment only to provide the safest donation environment and adhere to all social distancing guidelines. Additionally, no walk-ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted onsite. Your one-hour donation appointment is a safe and essential action to support local hospitals.
Various dates and times are available; you can make an appointment by going here. (Thanks to the readers who tipped us about this just before we heard from Sonia at CAA!)
Family and friends are remembering Margaret Ball, and sharing this remembrance with her community:
Margaret Ball passed away Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the age of 88. She was home and surrounded by her devoted husband of 62 years and their five daughters.
Margaret was born August 31, 1931, to Winifred and Patrick Carroll in a small village in Wales named Ystradgynlais. As a young girl, Margaret was raised in London, England, along with her four sisters and one brother. Her family survived the Blitz in London during WWII by spending many nights in bomb shelters underground.
After the war, Margaret continued her education and graduated from St. Mary’s of the Angels. As a young woman, Margaret began working in the Royal Theater in London as well as Marks and Spencer department store. Margaret’s dream was to come to America. She arrived in New York City on the Queen Mary in Decembeer of 1955 and continued to her final destination. Port Orchard, where she had a pen pal.
Shortly after arriving in Port Orchard, Margaret met the love of her life, Dick Ball. Dick and Margaret would marry and go on to have five daughters and make their home on Gatewood Hill in West Seattle. Margaret worked at Rainier Bank in the West Seattle Junction, where she made many friends in the Junction community. One of her proudest accomplishments was becoming a US citizen in May of 1970.
Margaret loved her family most and enjoyed many camping trips down the Oregon Coast and ALL the family get-togethers, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. and a GOOD CUP of TEA!! Margaret is survived by her beloved husband Dick and their five daughters, Barbara, Lydia (Bruce), Carroll, Mary, Rose; thirteen grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by all.
Margaret will be laid to rest at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Please sign Margarets online Guest Book at www.Legacy.com
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
5:53 AM: 42nd morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. Here are the cameras for the restricted-access low bridge (where SPD enforcement continues) and the 5-way intersection west of it:
For general traffic, the main route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map). To get to I-5, exit onto Michigan at the bridge’s north end. Here are cameras for the bridge and Michigan east of it:
You can also cross the Duwamish River via the South Park Bridge (map), which puts you on East Marginal Way. Here’s the South Park camera:
Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if a bridge is opening for marine traffic.
Water Taxi – Reduced schedule continues
Let us know what you’re seeing – comment or text (not if you’re at the wheel!) 206-293-6302.