day : 23/05/2020 10 results

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: What’s up, 2 months later

=(Photo courtesy Kevin Freitas, originally published on Twitter)

Two months ago tonight, on March 23rd, the West Seattle Bridge was closed because of collapse concerns, with only a few hours’ warning to the public. Will it ever reopen? The city has yet to announce whether it considers the bridge fixable. Here’s a quick look at some of what’s been happening in the meantime:

MAYOR ASSEMBLING COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Earlier this month, as reported here, the District 1 Community Network suggested a stakeholders’ group of some sort was needed, to be sure the community has a voice in key decisions. Multiple sources have confirmed to WSB that Mayor Durkan is doing exactly that. Who’s on it, and what it’ll be charged with, we don’t know yet; we asked the mayor’s office for comment when we got first word of this, but no answers yet.

OTHER GROUPS: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce also has a committee focused on the bridge closure, and the new community coalition West Seattle Bridge Now continues ramping up.

BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING *ON* THE BRIDGE? Monitoring instrumentation has been installed, and a three-scenario emergency-response plan spells out what happens if those instruments – or the daily inspections – show it’s on the verge of collapse. To try to avoid that, stabilization work is planned; SDOT announced the contractor for that three weeks ago.

GETTING AROUND WITHOUT THE BRIDGE: SDOT is working on neighborhood-specific traffic plans, which director Sam Zimbabwe says will be ready – at least in draft version – in early June.

WHERE TO GET UPDATES: SDOT has a catch-all page for its bridge updates and background info, here; all our 50+ bridge-related reports dating back to the closure announcement is archived here.

CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 5/23 roundup

May 23, 2020 9:22 pm
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 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle news

Here are the toplines in our daily roundup:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary data dashboard:

*7,764 people have tested positive, up 67 from yesterday

*538 people have died, up 1 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 7,440 and 520.


WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: More than 5.3 million people have tested positive. Most cases: U.S., Brazil, Russia, United Kingdom, Spain. See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

MORE COUNTIES MOVE TO PHASE 2: Seven more counties got state approval today to move to Phase 2 of the reopening plan – that’s 21 in all, with 3 others eligible to apply.

WHAT ABOUT KING COUNTY? It wouldn’t qualify any time soon under current criteria, The Seattle Times reports – but stay tuned for updates next week.

HELPING: Big response today to Admiral Church‘s first Saturday food drive – David Pelton sent a pic, with words of thanks:

I loved what Marylou Santee our food drive coordinator said today—“We live in a generous community of kind people.”

And as noted this morning, the next every-other-Sunday food drive outside Alki UCC is tomorrow.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: It’s back tomorrow, 10 am-2 pm, same configuration as the past three Sundays. Here’s the list of vendors and what they’re selling.

CELEBRATORY PARADE ON WHEELS: They’ve been happening for a variety of occasions. In Fauntleroy today, first one we’ve heard of that honored a West Seattleite receiving a national award!

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

WHALE-WATCHING: Humpback northbound off West Seattle

7:19 PM: Two tips in the past ~20 minutes report a whale northbound off west-facing West Seattle, toward Fauntleroy at last report. No report yet what species. Let us know if you see it!

7:45 PM: Humpback, says tipster Scott.

7:51 PM: Just got a call from Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail, who says it’s a juvenile humpback, moving quickly, should be off Alki Point soon.

VIDEO: Surprise celebration for Dr. Stephen Plymate’s national award

Huge surprise this afternoon for physician and researcher Stephen Plymate, MD, as he returned to his home near Lincoln Park after a walk. Family and friends surprised him with a classic coronavirus-era celebration – a drive-by parade in honor of a national award he’s just won.

Dr. Plymate, who has worked at the UW and the Puget Sound VA for about 20 years, is the 2020 recipient of the Middleton Award, granted annually to a VA scientist for “outstanding scientific contributions and achievements in the areas of biomedical and bio-behavioral research relevant to the health care of Veterans.” As his wife Dr. Lisa Plymate explains, he “is the 4th physician to be granted this award from the Puget Sound VA in the 58 years it has been given out. He’s the first, however, to have his awards ceremony, usually held in D.C. with great fanfare, thwarted by a virus.” But family and friends weren’t going to let the virus preclude a parade, which we recorded on video:

The pandemic has kept Lisa Plymate on the east coast, so, she explains, “Steve’s Tacoma daughter Corinne worked hard to organize this surprise. She contacted his lab and colleagues plus family and friends.”

Along with his work for the Veterans Administration, Stephen Plymate is also a veteran himself, a retired U.S. Army Colonel. A local veterans’ advocate, Seattle Police Lt. Steve Strand, led today’s parade, in his dress uniform:

Pre-parade, as he walked unsuspectingly up the street, Dr. Plymate was serenaded by one of his neighbors, tenor José Iñiguez from Encanto Arts – we caught a bit of that on video too:

More about Dr. Plymate’s accomplishments, from his wife: He “is professor of endocrinology in the Department of Medicine and director of Prostate Cancer Endocrinology as well as a founding member of the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research at the UW and Fred Hutchison. His work has focused on prostate cancer and its treatment for over 25 years. He has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is internationally known for his work,” which she says he continues to do about “80 hours per week” in addition to remaining “an avid skier and bicyclist.”

Lisa Plymate adds, “Steve’s 12-year-old granddaughter Liora compiled a montage of congratulatory videos sent by family members and colleagues from around the world. This is also a surprise he will be able to watch after the parade. The entire Plymate clan thanks all the scientists, friends, and neighbors who have helped us put this together in his honor. And they’re grateful for this bit of excitement during our stay-at-home era!”

ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: Tours suspended indefinitely

May 23, 2020 3:12 pm
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 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(2015 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)

Usually, Memorial Day weekend would mark the start of tour season at historic Alki Point Lighthouse. Not this year. Just received from Debra Alderman of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary:

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has not been given permission to offer public access and tours at the Alki Point Lighthouse during summer 2020 until further notice. Check or the lighthouse’s Facebook page for updates, Questions can be sent via email:

Meantime, you can learn about the lighthouse’s history here.

YOU CAN HELP: Donation drives at Admiral Church today, Alki UCC tomorrow

May 23, 2020 1:03 pm
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 |   Coronavirus | How to help | West Seattle news

If you can donate food (and/or other staples), you have two opportunities this weekend:

OUTSIDE ADMIRAL CHURCH: Just under way, the first of six food-donation drives outside Admiral UCC Church (4320 SW Hill), 1-4 pm. As previewed here, they’re collecting “non-perishable and canned food, pet food and cat litter, baking supplies, seasonings and herbs, and bagged fresh produce or home-grown organic vegetables.”

OUTSIDE ALKI UCC: Happening tomorrow at 6115 SW Hinds:

Thanks to our community’s continuing generosity, Alki United Church of Christ is once again accepting donations outside our building for an In-Person, Socially-Distanced Food Drive at 6115 SW Hinds this Sunday, May 24 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Contributions of non-perishable food and other items are distributed via the White Center Food Bank; top requests include Canned Meat/Soup/Fruit (pop‐top cans preferred), Rice, Noodles, Peanut Butter, Oats, Toilet Paper, Diapers, Similac Formula, Cleaning Supplies, Hand Sanitizer, and Baby Wipes.

The drive benefits our vulnerable neighbors in need, those who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The food drives continue every other Sunday until further notice.

HISTORY: Southwest Seattle Historical Society workshop will help you with yours

May 23, 2020 11:49 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle online

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society wants to help you with YOUR history. Next Thursday, you’re invited to learn about how to ensure your family photos aren’t lost to time:

Join us on May 28th for a live workshop on digitizing your family photos. Have you wanted to scan your photos but don’t know where to start? Ever wondered about the best format to save pictures in? Or how to organize your photo files? Collections Manager Rachel Regelein will walk you through the steps from selecting and scanning images to the aftercare needed to manage and preserve your family photos for future generations! There will be a chance for you to get your digital preservation questions answered and access a downloadable reference guide for you to get started digitizing your photos. Register here.

The workshop will be at 5 pm, and as you’ll see when you click through to the registration page, the cost is a “pay what you can” donation to SWSHS.

NEED FOOD? Donated meals available today at KBM Seattle

Again this week, KBM Seattle and some of its chefs are making free meals available to anyone in need. Keith Mathewson sent the update for this afternoon/evening:

This week’s donation is headed up by The Roll Pod Indian Food Trucks and Bellevue restaurant. The menu is curried chicken with vegetables and spiced rice. Meals will be handed out between 4 pm and 6 pm Saturday.

By (tonight) the members of the kitchen will have made and donated over 4,500 meals. It appears that the number of people coming for meals is dropping from a high of 1200 meals per donation to between 500 to 600; however, the people who do come appear to be in greater need. The line now begins about one hour before we open. I am assuming that some people have been able to return to work but for the ones who haven’t, things are getting worse. We intend to continue for as long as I can finance the program; our costs are about $1.50 to $2/person. If you are not impacted and wish to help, I would like to encourage you to consider donating to the fund, no matter the amount.

Anyone who is impacted is welcome to come; no questions will be asked.

KBM is at 5604 Delridge Way SW. And a reminder, some of the KBM-based businesses are also selling from a streetfront window, listed on our ongoing West Seattle list.

GROCERY SHOPPING: West Seattle notes

We start the weekend with our 10th Saturday-morning update on West Seattle’s standalone grocery stores:

QFC ADDS HOURS AGAIN: For a second week, QFC stores (including the 2 in West Seattle) are expanding their hours – now open 7 am-11 pm, with an hour for senior/elevate-risk shoppers 7 am-8 am weekdays.

MET MARKET ADDS HOURS: Also expanding hours, Metropolitan Market in Admiral, now open 8 am-11 pm with a daily 7-8 am hour for senior/elevated-risk shoppers.

THRIFTWAY PICKUP UPDATE: Monday, no curbside pickup service at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) because of the Memorial Day holiday. Otherwise, it’s available every weekday.

That’s the info we’ve found this time; we’ve updated the hours on our original list. What are you seeing at local stores?


Friday ended on the gray side. So we’ll start the holiday weekend with some views shared by your West Seattle neighbors earlier in the week:

Some beautiful sunsets – above is Theresa Arbow O’Connor‘s photo from Thursday night; below, Lynn Hall‘s photo from Monday night:

Tuesday night, Nicole Neufeld recorded this timelapse:

And three views with vessels:

Above, John Hinkey photographed a barge in a sunbreak Tuesday night; below, David Hutchinson noted an outbound cargo ship with the Olympic Mountains as a post-sunset backdrop Friday night:

And Dan Keller caught the fireboat’s show off Alki on Wednesday:

Thanks again to everyone!