West Seattle, Washington
We’re on Phase Watch … no announcement yet. Here are tonight’s headlines:
GOVERNOR URGES PATIENCE: This afternoon, Gov. Inslee acknowledged about a dozen counties – including ours – are waiting anxiously for word on their requests to move to the next phase. He said the reviews take time to be sure they’re getting it right, so “Safe Start” lives up to its name. No word on how MUCH time, though.
SYMPTOMS? GET TESTED! The main point of the governor’s briefing today was a new testing strategy – if you have symptoms, or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, get tested ASAP, and isolate until and unless you get a negative test result.
NEED A TEST? Tomorrow’s the next weekly drive-up/walk-up testing day at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) north lot, 10 am-3 pm.
IF THAT DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU … the city just announced it will launch two free drive-up testing sites, including the former auto-emission-testing site in SODO.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard (which has some new data categories – tests and hospitalizations):
*8,333 people with positive tests, 56 more than yesterday
*564 people have died, 2 more than yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 7,931 and 549.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
ONE MORE SET OF NUMBERS: Providence Mount St. Vincent reports that one more resident has died – 7 in all. But The Mount has hopeful news too – no new positive tests in 4+ weeks.
NEED FOOD? Reminder – you can go to Food Lifeline 2-5 pm tomorrow to get some.
GOT INFO? Email us at email@example.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
It’ll be an unusual sight at Alki Playfield (above) and Walt Hundley Playfield during four afternoons next week when a helicopter lands for an emergency drill. The Seattle Fire Department has notified people near both fields about the plan, and one resident let us know about it – we’ve subsequently obtained from SFD the letter they are circulating:
The Seattle Fire Department is partnering with Airlift NW and Seattle Parks to provide airlift transport of patients during the West Seattle Bridge closure under extreme circumstances. This is occurring in response to the anticipated traffic impacts during peak travel times, which could delay SFD’s ability to provide transport via the typical method of a medic unit for critical patients. The frequency of helicopter transports is expected to be very low (only a few times per year, if any) but is an added capability of the fire department to serve West Seattle residents. Additionally, as previously announced, the department is dedicating an extra medic unit (Medic 26) and ladder truck (Ladder 13) during the bridge closure.
To prepare for this added helicopter capability, the department is holding a drill at the Alki and Walt Hundley Playfields in early June. From 2-3 p.m. at the below dates and locations, neighbors in the area will hear and see a helicopter land at the playfield, and firefighters simulate a patient transport hand-off.
• June 8: Alki Playfield – 5817 SW Lander St.
• June 9: Walt Hundley Playfield – 6920 34th Ave. SW
• June 10: Alki Playfield – 5817 SW Lander St.
• June 11: Walt Hundley Playfield – 6920 34th Ave. SW
The site will be secured by Seattle Fire and Police personnel. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, the fire department encourages residents to not gather at the site, but instead watch the activities from the livestream on Facebook on the first day of the drill June 8, or from your doorstep.
As we reported earlier this week, the added SFD units mentioned above are now on duty. Meantime, SFD tells us they’ll have more to say about the helicopter drill plan tomorrow.
After (update) 4 peaceful demonstrations in the past five days in West Seattle, here’s an update on what’s ahead:
White Coats for Black Lives – 10 am outside Providence Mount St. Vincent (4831 35th SW), community invited:
We are inviting the broader community of West Seattle to join health care workers at Providence Mount St. Vincent Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. along 35th as we join others across the country in “White Coats 4 Black Lives” demonstrations to raise awareness of racial inequality and police brutality.
We will be kneeling on 35th in front of The Mount for ten minutes and invite anyone who is interested to join us, especially health care workers. Participants are asked to wear masks, bring signs and honor social distancing.
Sign-making – 2-6 pm, a student-organized sign-making event is planned at Walt Hundley Playfield (34th/Myrtle), for use in upcoming demonstrators. All welcome. Materials provided. Face-coverings and distancing urged.
Demonstration – 4 pm, Hate-Free Delridge will again gather at 16th/Holden. This time they’re inviting anyone interested in participating:
Our Wednesday Hate-Free Delridge protest was a joyful horn-honking caucophony of a success. Come join us again –bring your bodies and voices and signs to a peaceful demonstration.
This Friday (June 5)
4 to 6 pm
At 16th Ave. SW and SW Holden St.
(Because of the bridge closure, most of the traffic comes through this intersection.)
Hate-Free Delridge will insist on at least 6-foot social distancing and masks.
The institutionalized hunting and killing of Black and Brown men and women must stop. Hate Free Delridge wants to help accelerate institutional change. We will have some banners and signs. We encourage you to bring your own.
Demonstration – 4 pm, 8th/Roxbury – organizers say, “Please bring signs, masks, water, gloves, and your voice!”
(added) Demonstration – 5 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden)
(added) Peace Peloton bicycle ride – gather at Alki at noon “to ride and show our support for equality and justice. We will be observing social distancing guidelines during this event. The ride is approximately 10-15 miles (depending on weather) starting from Alki Beach Park and culminating at the Northwest African American Museum.” See flyer here.
(added) Demonstration/March – ~12:30 pm, gather at Beveridge Place Pub in Morgan Junction (6413 California SW) to walk to join in the 2 pm Junction protest
Demonstration/March – ~12:30 pm, gather at California/College in The Admiral District, walking south to join with the 2 pm Junction protest
Demonstration – 2 pm, student-organized, all welcome, at California/Alaska in The Junction.
Anything to add? Please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
ADDED 12:50 PM FRIDAY: We’ve also received word of a student-organized/led demonstration at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW) at noon Monday (June 8th).
We’ve reported previously on COVID-19 cases and deaths at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle. Today we have an update from The Mount’s Molly Swain:
We are grateful to share that it has been more than 4 weeks since we have had a positive case test result of COVID-19 here at The Mount. As of Monday, June 1st, we do not have any positive COVID-19 cases among residents or patients.
We are very sad to share, however, that one additional resident has passed away, for a total of 7.
There are still 8 caregivers who are positive and are recovering at home.
The Mount (4831 35th SW) is West Seattle’s largest long-term-care/assisted-living facility, with other programs on site including the Intergenerational Learning Center.
3:04 PM: In Olympia, Gov. Inslee is presenting a briefing, expected to be mostly about COVID-19 testing. We’re carrying it live since King County’s “modified Phase 1” state=approval request is pending – approval this quickly is not likely, but anything’s possible. Notes as this goes.
State Health Secretary John Wiesman is with the governor. Inslee says, “Our testing capacity has grown – we have now done more than 350,000 tests in our state.” He says he’s announcing “a significant broadening of our testing strategy” – the message is now, “If you think you’re sick, get tested.” That’s a big change from the early going, when some people with possible symptoms couldn’t get tested at all. He’s also urging people to get tested if a household member is suspected of having COVID-19, or had come into contact with someone who has it. Then – “stay home until you have a negative test.” He says science now shows much transmission happens before someone has symptoms. And he urges health-care providers to help patients get those tests.
3:15 PM: Secretary Wiesman elaborates – ideally, you’ll get tested within 24 hours of developing symptoms. The state insurance commissioner’s order waiving co-pays for COVID-19 tests will be extended at least through July 3rd.
The governor moves on to talk about ongoing county applications to move ahead in reopening phases, but hasn’t mentioned King County, except to say that “some modified Phase 1 applications are now in review.” He does urge everyone to “not lose intense focus” on the virus itself – wear your face covering, keep distancing, keep washing your hands, etc.
3:31 PM: In Q&A, it’s noted that some states have urged anybody who participates in the ongoing large protests to get tested, but ours is not. Wiesman acknowledged that but said they ARE urging high-risk people to stay home, and all others to take precautions – wear your face covering, take hand sanitizer, etc.
A reporter from Snohomish County noted that its modified-Phase-1 application was sent in Monday and no decision yet. The secretary says “a team of 9” is reviewing applications right now and has about a dozen, including some counties seeking to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. “We know people are anxious to get their answers; we’re moving as quickly as we can, and we want to be thorough,” Wiesman said. The governor, asked something similar later, said, “The reason these can’t happen in nanoseconds is that we’re not a rubber stamp” and want to be sure the pandemic doesn’t make a comeback. “I don’t want to diminish the importance of doing this right.”
The briefing wraps up at 3:57 pm. The video window above should display the archived recording soon.
P.S. The mayor has a briefing at 5:15 pm about new testing availability, in a partnership with UW Medicine (which is doing weekly testing on Fridays here in West Seattle).
Just in from Washington State Ferries:
Until further notice, all state ferries will operate on their current reduced schedules with the option for phased service changes based on the COVID-19 recovery and several other factors.
Any changes in service to Washington State Ferries’ current COVID Response Service Plan will be based on four metrics, all of which will be considered before any modifications are made on any route:
· Ridership – Recent system-wide numbers remain down more than 60% compared to this time last year.
· Crew availability – More than 150 crewmembers are either people who are at higher risk for severe illness or unavailable due to the pandemic.
· Vessel availability – There is a lack of boats available for service due to the maintenance shutdown earlier this year, combined with a continued reduction of U.S. Coast Guard inspection capacity.
· Funding – Washington State Department of Transportation is currently losing millions in revenue from the gas tax, state ferry farebox recovery, etc.
“Given the constraints associated with our four pillars of service, we unfortunately cannot increase our number of sailings based on ridership alone,” said Amy Scarton, head of WSF. “As we enter what is normally our peak season, our priority as always is to provide service based on the safety of our passengers and crews.”
Two reader reports this afternoon. First, from H:
At 5:27 am today, 6/4/2020 while waiting at the bus stop for the C line going Downtown, at the Morgan junction /California and Fauntleroy, a man in his mid to late 30’s, wearing a bright white jacket, fairly dark skin, was attempting to lure me into his car. The man was driving a Toyota Prius in dark metallic Gray.
This man pulled over by entrance of the Cal-Mor Circle apartments, and from there he started asking how I was doing, what my name was, and if I needed a ride. I said I didn’t need a ride, and he immediately followed up with “when is your bus coming?” I told him he needed to go right now. Fortunately, my bus was in fact coming, and he started driving away slowly, N bound on California Ave.
I got on the bus and I noticed he had turned around, and was now slowly driving south on California Ave. looking for me, perhaps thinking I was still waiting at the stop. I was able to snap a few pictures of the car, but wasn’t able to get the plate because I was very nervous. I’ve attached the picture from when I got on the bus.
The SPD incident # is 2020-181096.
MISSING BICYCLE: Likely stolen. From Nicole: “”Our bike went missing from our street last night (Wednesday night). It is a Diamondback Line 24″ in blue, which is a larger size kids’ mountain bike. The bike went missing in south Arbor Heights, near the Arroyos. If anyone has seen this bike or has information about it, please comment on this post. Much appreciated!”
Thanks to Nicole from the Chief Sealth International High School PTSA for word on this:
On Thursday, June 4th from 8:00- 9:00 pm, Elijah Allen-White ( Sealth Student) will be the featured student DJ for the KNKX 88.5 FM jazz24.org Evening Jazz Show with jazz host Abe Beeson. Tune in and listen or if you miss the show you can hear it online at jazz24.org.
Today we welcome Trivas Family Medicine as a new WSB sponsor. New sponsors get the chance to tell you about what they offer – here’s what Trivas would like you to know:
Trivas Family Medicinee is a primary care clinic in West Seattle run by Courtney Johnson, MD. Trivas is a Direct Primary Care clinic, which is a membership-based style of care. People become members by paying a simple, affordable, monthly membership fee (similar to how you use Netflix), and then you can access your health care whenever you want or need it! Services include care of all ages, care of acute symptoms or chronic illnesses, physicals and well-child checks, primary-care office procedures, and may include Coronavirus testing.
Members enjoy open access to their personal physician by office visit, video, phone, or text. Same-day and next-day visits are almost always accommodated (and always with the same doctor!). All visits are scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes so you have plenty of time to have your questions answered. If medications, labs, imaging, or specialty care are recommended, then we preferentially refer to lower cost or wholesale options.
Trivas Family Medicine is a great option for people who have health concerns during the Coronavirus crisis! If you have lost your health insurance, didn’t have it to start with, or have a high-deductible plan, Trivas offers excellent care at an affordable price! If you have insurance, but your doctor is on the other side of an impassable bridge, consider getting amazing care locally!
Due to the personalized nature of this style of practice, we limit the inflow of new patients. High volume medicine is not our style. We are, however, eager to help those whose ability to address health concerns has been compromised by this public health crisis, economic downturn, and diminished access to downtown clinics.
You can find more details, signup information for Trivas Family Medicine, and how Direct Primary Care works, on our website at trivasfamilymedicine.com. Or send an email or call if you have questions!
We thank Trivas Family Medicine 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.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The coronavirus-crisis money crunch could force Sound Transit to delay and/or cut some of its upcoming projects – and everything’s on the table, including the plan to bring light rail to West Seattle in 2030.
Potential scenarios for funding gaps, and potential ways to address them, were presented to the ST Board at a Wednesday afternoon workshop. We watched it online. Here’s the slide deck (also, here in PDF):
Chief Financial Officer Tracy Butler started with the grim numbers. When you look at them, keep in mind that sales tax provides a big chunk of ST’s funding. And since sales are way down, sales tax is too. Projecting out to the end of ST3 in 2041, they could be down $8 billion in a “moderate” recession, $12 billion in a “severe” one.
They can’t just borrow their way out of it, because they project costs would start exceeding theirc combined debt limit around 2028. So that’s when their current plan starts becoming “unaffordable.”
One way to tackle that might be to increase their debt limit – which would require supermajority voter approval. Also, they could try to raise revenue to increasing rental-car taxes and fares (both dicey propositions right now since the virus has squashed travel and transit use).
Or – they could cut costs by scaling down, stretching out, or delaying projects. “The choice doesn’t need to be IF you’re going to do a given project, but WHEN,” said Don Billen, ST’s executive director of planning.
ST has 10 projects in the pipeline for 2025-2041 completion, including the West Seattle branch in 2030. No specific projects were proposed for changes or delays in this discussion, but it was suggested that, for example, any given project could be stretched out or even built in segments, as has happened in South King County.
Where the West Seattle extension starts to look a bit endangered is in the potential criteria for suggesting changes, such as whether the project advances the system “spine” (no), whether it must “be completed for other projects to happen” (no), and whether “communities the project serves have other transit options” (yes).
No specific projects were discussed at the workshop, and no decisions were made. Next step is a discussion of the decision-making criteria at the board’s next Executive Committee meeting (originally planned for today but postponed until sometime next week), followed by a broader discussion at the full board meeting June 23, and decisions sometime this summer.
In the meantime, the West Seattle light-rail line – one of the projects in the 2016 ST3 ballot measure – remains in the environmental-study phase, with the next milestone currently scheduled to be the draft Environmental Impact Statement’s release early next year. ST spokesperson David Jackson tells WSB, “Work continues on the West Seattle-Ballard project, but plans and timelines of all projects not currently under contract or in construction are subject to change as part of our realignment process.”
As announced by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:
On June 4th, the Historical Society is hosting a virtual birthday party for kids and kids-at-heart celebrating early Seattlite Louisa Boren. Known as the Sweetbriar bride, Louisa would have been 193 years old this June. Join us to learn about Louisa’s life and we will show you how to make some fun projects with roses! Register at: loghousemuseum.org/events/june-4-louisa-boren-virtual-birthday-party
6:07 AM: Good morning – the 73rd morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. If you’re headed out – here are the cameras for the 5-way intersection at West Marginal/Delridge/Spokane/Chelan, and the restricted-access low bridge:
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.
Water Taxi – Reduced schedule continues
Trouble on the roads/paths? Let us know what you’re seeing – comment or text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.