day : 27/05/2020 12 results

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 5/27 roundup

The governor’s still mulling June 1, and tonight’s other virus-crisis toplines:

WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID & DIDN’T SAY: We’re still in suspense as to whether the stay-home order will be extended or will expire Sunday as scheduled. The governor’s only announcement today was a loosening of the rules for religious gatherings – in Phase 1 counties like ours, under 100 people can gather outdoors to worship, but with precautions.

Here’s our coverage of today’s briefing.

MOVING TO PHASE 2: The county that is home to the state capital, Thurston, just won approval, as did Kittitas and Walla Walla.

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

*7,931 people have tested positive, up 35 from yesterday

*549 people have died, up 5 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 7,617 and 530.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

WHAT’S A ‘CLOSE CONTACT’? From the state Health Department’s nightly digest:

Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated the definition of a COVID-19 close contact to align with new CDC guidance. The new guidance states that a close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes. Previous guidance stated 10 minutes.

“Our guidance has changed over time as we learn more about COVID-19, and will continue to do so in the future,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “This update doesn’t change our recommendations for members of the public. We continue to urge people to maintain physical distance to protect themselves and others.”

DOH will be working over the next few days to update our website and associated guidance documents.

CONGRATS, CSIHS CLASS OF 2020: Another drive-thru event in honor of seniors who won’t get to have an in-person ceremony. The Sealth staff made it as festive as possible:

The Sealth “virtual graduation” is June 17th; WSHS is June 18th. (District-wide list is here.)


ALL IN WA: This relief coalition is presenting a fundraising concert (online, of course) June 10th, and headliners include local superstar rockers Pearl Jam (which you of course know includes West Seattleites!).

GOT INFO? Email us at or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

TRAFFIC ALERT: Crane installation at 1250 Alki on Thursday

Just got word of a traffic alert for tomorrow: The Infinity Shore Club Residences construction site at 1250 Alki SW will get its crane installed, which means, according to the project team:

Alki Ave will be reduced to a single lane of alternating traffic from 5:00 AM to approximately 4:00 PM.

Police will be providing traffic control throughout the day.

That’ll be West Seattle’s second crane; the other is at the two-building 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW project.

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Battle of the Great Blue Herons

Thanks to Laurence Shaw for this series of photos from Alki during low tide earlier this week.

He says, “I was lucky enough to witness a pair of Great Blue Herons battling over a spot of lunch near the 1300 block of Alki Ave SW.”

“Happy to report that the bird who made the catch ultimately held on to its prize.”

VIDEO: Celebrating Chief Sealth International High School’s Class of 2020

(WSB photos/video)

Caps, gowns, signs, and more are now in the hands of Chief Sealth International High School seniors, after a drive-up event at the school today – a chance for staff and seniors to see each other, at a distance, for the first time since campuses closed 2 1/2 months ago:

Along with the caps and gowns, honor cords and other items were picked up, plus the Class of 2020 received cheers:

Among those there to cheer the seniors – Chief Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and Sammy the Seahawk:

And the “Lunch Ladies” were there too:

Among the surprises for seniors – special cookies:

The well-wishing extended even to four-legged volunteers:

The district is planning “virtual graduations,” and the dates/times are now online – Sealth will be at 8:30 pm June 17th.

How might ferries factor into fixing traffic without the West Seattle Bridge? WSF @ WS Transportation Coalition on Thursday

Many have wondered how Washington State Ferries might factor into the traffic picture during the West Seattle Bridge closure. Tomorrow, WSF guests at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s meeting, and you’re invited. Here’s the announcement:

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition May meeting is this Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. We will be meeting online using Zoom (please see details below).

Before Everything Changed, we had representatives from Washington State Ferries lined up to come talk about long-range plans for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. Now with the West Seattle High Bridge closure, we will also be discussing what the ferry system can do to help take pressure off West Seattle roads.

Officials from Seattle and King County will be joining us as well to talk about West Seattle mobility and bridge closure mitigation.

… We can’t wait to see you online Thursday for what should be a very interesting virtual meeting!

West Seattle Transportation Coalition is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:

Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting ID 876 0979 0501
On the web:
Via phone: +12532158782,,87609790501#

Our coverage of last month’s WSTC meeting is here.

UPDATE: Governor reduces religious-gathering restrictions, but no stay-home decision yet

2:34 PM: Gov. Inslee has just started his first media briefing of the week, announced as “an update on the state’s COVID-19 response,” with four days to go until the current expiration of We’ll add notes as it goes.

He opens by announcing that some “restrictions on religious gatherings” will be “eased,” both for Phase 1 and Phase 2 areas. He introduces religious leaders from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian organization. “For in-person services … Phase 1” will now allow “outdoor religious services” on or adjacent to the organization’s property, up to 100 people if they’re wearing face coverings (and using physical distancing). For Phase 2 areas, indoor services at 25 percent of capacity will be allowed. Choir singing won’t be allowed yet, though, because of science regarding transmissibility.

2:45 PM: The governor turned over the mic, so to speak, first to Aneelah Afzali, the West Seattleite and local Muslim leader, who said that Muslims are yearning to return to mosques but that preserving life was the paramount goal. She’s followed by Olympia rabbi Yosef Schtroks, who makes a similar statement. After him, Lutheran Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee speaks, urging people to follow the governor’s protocols to protect each other.

2:53 PM: Before moving on to Q&A, the governor announces that more counties have moved to Phase 2, now 24 in all. “We remain hard at work determining our next steps as a state come June 1 … we’ll have more to say in the next few days.”

First Q, the current eligibility metrics seem impossible for larger counties, so might they change? And if you’re going to require face coverings for religious services, why not, say, grocery stores? He says he’ll have more to say about the latter “probably Thursday or Friday.” For the former, “we may have more to say in the future” is all he’ll say: “We look at the science on a daily basis … we’re continuing to think about the criteria going forward.”

Next Q, another two-parter: Is he standing by his Employment Security Department director given the fraud situation, and might he let larger counties make their own decisions? To the former, he has words of scorn for the criminals. “I stand against them and we’re doing everything we can to fight them.” To the latter, he notes the counties can maintain their own restrictions if they’re tougher than the state. “The difficult part for us to realize is … we’ve knocked down the fatalities … but the evidence remains clear that this could spring back quickly.” Overall, he declares, “We’re making real progress in our state.”

Then: What’ll be done for people who now are being told they can’t get their unemployment payments at all? He says the department’s doing everything it can. He says the ESD director thinks there’ll be big progress in the next two weeks or so, and “will have more to say about that tomorrow.” Also: Why does the governor have any say over religious gatherings at all? Inslee replies that in emergencies, that authority is established “in American law.”

Might some counties end up moving to Phase 3 while others remain in Phase 1? “It’s possible,” Inslee says. After that, he’s asked why our state is still “stricter” than others. “Because people are dying … we still have a meaningful infection rate in our state,” he replies. In response to another question, he says people seem to be adopting more protection – face covering, social distancing – even as they resume more activities – he says infections haven’t increased at the same rate as mobility. He repeats that they’re “still developing” plans for the counties that remain in Phase 1.

Another question is about Chelan and Douglas counties’ lawsuit. The governor repeats that he is hopeful the infection rate will allow those counties to move to Phase 2. He reminds people that this state was first and hardest hit and has made progress. As for the lawsuit itself, he says they certainly have the right to go to court but “we believe we’re on sound ground making these decisions.” … After that, might he consider graduations for loosening restrictions like will be done for religious gatherings? No – the latter are getting special treatment because of their unique constitutional protection. Then: Is the public-health emergency over? His reply boiled down to “No. … If we give up now, this disease is going to come back big time.”

In closing: “I just want to thank everyone (for their efforts) to defeat this virus,” and he says this is the “hardest phase” …adding that “today the mark of heroism is giving your neighbor some space on the sidewalk, or wearing a mask at the grocery store.” He wraps at 3:30 pm; the full video should be available soon in the same window above, and we’ll link the document about today’s religious-gatherings announcement when it’s available.

4:41 PM: Find that document here.

TRAFFIC-ALERT REMINDER: Low-bridge work Friday-Sunday nights

Reminder – work on the low bridge will close it to all users (including those on bikes or on foot) Friday night, Saturday night, and possibly Sunday night:

As first announced last week, SDOT will …

… be closing the low bridge to vehicle, bike, and pedestrian traffic while we are working at night because we will not be able to open and close the bridge in a normal manner.

As a result, roadway traffic, including freight and buses, will be detoured to the 1st Ave or the South Park bridges. The low bridge will also be closed to bicyclists and pedestrians, and emergency vehicles will have limited access across the bridge. Waterway traffic will be maintained.

These restrictions will only be in place at night while we are working during the following hours:
Friday night: 8 PM to 5 AM
Saturday night: 6 PM to 3 AM
Sunday night: 6 PM to 3 AM (if needed)

During those hours, buses will be re-routed – here’s the Metro advisory:

From Friday evening, May 29, through the end of service on Sunday, May 31, overnight only each night, Metro routes 21 Local, 50, 120 and the RapidRide C Line will be operating a modified reroute via the 1st Av S bridge due to maintenance on the lower-level Spokane St bridge.

…Routes 21 Local, 50, 120 and the RapidRide C Line will travel instead via W Marginal Way SW and the 1st Av S bridge. There are no additional stops missed during this modified reroute. Expect possible service delays. At all other times, these routes will continue using their long-term reroutes via the lower level Spokane St Bridge.

SDOT says the closure is for “necessary maintenance work on the low bridge’s controls and communications systems that are used to operate the bridge.”

UPDATE: Watch the launch with Alice – but not today

1:14 PM: West Seattle-based educator Alice Enevoldsen has a webcast going right now for the “first launch of crew to orbit in a commercial spacecraft,” scheduled just after 1:30 pm – here’s more info, including how to join via Zoom!

1:21 PM: And … the launch has been scrubbed for today. But if you’re interested, register for Alice’s webcast anyway, as she’ll do it whenever Crew Dragon launches.

Rad Power Bikes: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we welcome Rad Power Bikes as a new WSB sponsor. New sponsors get to tell you about their businesses; here’s what Rad Power Bikes would like you to know:

Mike Radenbaugh built his first electric bike in his parents’ garage in 2007 as a way to get to and from high school. For years, Mike worked solo, converting his friends’ traditional bikes into electric bikes and customizing each to fit their riding style. He joined forces with childhood friend and college roommate Ty Collins, and in 2015 they relaunched Rad Power Bikes as a direct-to-consumer company with their flagship model — the legendary RadRover electric fat-tire bike.

What started as a passion project is now the largest e-bike brand in North America, with more than 100,000 owners of all ages riding Rad across 30 countries.

Electric bikes give you all the fun, freedom, and flexibility of traditional bikes with just a little extra oompf when and where you need it. Whether that means crushing hills with pedal assist from the electric motor or freeing yourself from your car commute a day or two a week, e-bikes make getting there easier.

You’ll never have to pick out the right neon-colored spandex for weekend rides, or hang out in a bike shop pretending to know what you’re talking about, or even show up drenched in sweat when you bike to work.

It’s an e-bike revolution — one that makes it easier than ever to ditch your car.

At Rad Power Bikes, we envision a world where transportation is energy-efficient, enjoyable, and accessible to all. Ride with us and you get an unrivaled customer experience with radical electric bikes that are built for everything and priced for everyone.

With flexible financing options, you can start riding for as little as $39 a month — less than a cup of coffee a day (or a twelver a week ;).

Our judgment-free product-support team is available 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have. Seriously. They’ve heard it all.

Most of all, our e-bikes make getting around fun and environmentally friendly. When every trip’s an adventure, you may even start to look forward to your commute.

You can contact Rad Power Bikes through their website.

We thank Rad Power Bikes for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

VIDEO: Supporting the arts with a sidewalk surprise

That’s soprano Ellaina Lewis, performing a surprise show in a West Seattle neighborhood this past weekend. L’Nayim Austin explains:

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary this weekend. Since we are social distancing, we couldn’t celebrate in the usual way (dinner and show). So, as a surprise for my husband, I commissioned a West Seattle friend and opera singer, Ellaina Lewis, to perform a short opera outside our home (following social distancing recommendations).

It was a lovely performance enjoyed by my husband, and everyone else in the neighborhood. The weather cooperated, and Ellaina’s beautiful soprano voice was magical. Two neighbors took videos.

Perhaps next time one of your readers needs a bit of celebration, they might consider hiring a local artist for an outdoor serenade. A little art during these times goes a long way to raise the soul.

(In the other clip, she sings an Elvis Presley classic.) P.S. Happy anniversary to L’Nayim and husband!


May 27, 2020 9:58 am
|    Comments Off on ONLINE TONIGHT: SDOT @ HPAC
 |   Delridge | Highland Park | Neighborhoods | Transportation | West Seattle news

If you live and/or work in Highland Park, Riverview, or South Delridge, your community council HPAC invites you to the monthly meeting online tonight at 7 pm, featuring guests from SDOT. The main topic: The newly unveiled details of the Highland Park Way/Holden Safety Project. A brief West Seattle Bridge update is planned too. See the agenda, and how to access the meeting via Zoom or phone, by going here.

ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, TRAFFIC: Wednesday notes, 10th week of West Seattle Bridge closure

5:58 AM: Good morning – the 65th morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. We start again with a road-work reminder – SW Roxbury repaving between 16th and 18th continues today. Here’s our preview; here’s the westbound detour map:

And here’s the nearest traffic camera:

On with our other featured cameras for the 5-way intersection at West Marginal/Delridge/Spokane/Chelan, and the restricted-access low bridge (note: SDOT cameras have been having intermittent outages):

The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) – here’s that camera:

The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map) – this camera shows the SP-side approach:

Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.


Metro – Reduced schedule; reduced capacity; check here for next departure

Water TaxiReduced schedule continues

Sound Transit reminder – Link light rail and Sounder trains will start charging fares again June 1st (next Monday)

During the stay-home order, we’re not live-monitoring morning traffic, but we’ll update with word of incidents, so please let us know what you’re seeing – comment or text (but not if you’re drivingl!) 206-293-6302.