day : 06/06/2020 10 results

CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 6/6 roundup

Very late roundup tonight after a busy day:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard (note: updated at 2:25 am Sunday):

*8,422 people have tested positive, up 26 from a day earlier

*566 people have died, unchanged from the previous day

One week ago, those totals were 8,074 and 556.


WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: More than 6.8 million people have tested positive. Most cases: U.S., Brazil, Russia, United Kingdom, India. (Last weekend Spain was #5.) See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

IF YOU’VE BEEN TO A BIG PROTEST … the mayor urges you to get tested for COVID-19 and says you can do that at two newly established testing sites – including the one in South Seattle – even if you don’t have symptoms.

FARMERS’ MARKET TOMORROW: Second week back in the vendors-down-the-middle format. Here’s this week’s vendor list. Wear your face covering!

FOOD DRIVE TOMORROW: If you can donate…

Thanks to our community’s generosity, Alki United Church of Christ (Alki UCC) will once again be accepting donations outside our building for an In-Person, Socially-Distanced Food Drive at 6115 SW Hinds this Sunday, June 7 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Contributions of non-perishable food and other items will be 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.

REOPENINGS CONTINUE: More biznotes on Sunday as “modified Phase 1” continues to enable some businesses to reopen, if they choose.

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

PHOTOS/VIDEO: West Seattle Junction fills with sea of protesters affirming ‘Black Lives Matter!’

Story by Tracy Record
Photos/video by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

One of the students who organized this afternoon’s massive protest in the West Seattle Junction told the crowd they weren’t sure anyone would show up.

Someone did. Four digits worth of someones.

(Aerial photo courtesy Paul Weatherman)
And they showed up early. Groups marched from Admiral and Morgan Junction, and by the time they arrived, a crowd was already filling Walk-All-Ways at California/Alaska, chanting and cheering. A cheer went up as the Admiral marchers arrived, hundreds strong:

Though there were speakers and even live music – with the roof of Easy Street Records proprietor Matt Vaughan‘s iconic black van turned into a stage – some of the most powerful moments were in the early going, as the crowd chanted – and filled the street with their prone bodies.

The most powerful speaker was the youngest – Louisa Boren STEM K-8 student Erica – with an impassioned poetry reading:

Earlier, the first speaker was entrepreneur Donald Watts, who spoke of family members – including his dad, Seattle SuperSonics legend Slick Watts, and his grandma in Mississippi, who he said would not believe today’s amazing turnout, so he took a photo to show her. He said it’s time for change, and he vowed that he would too, saying he had failed to speak out in the past when he was a target of racism, but would never let it go unchallenged again. “Figure out where your role is, to make a difference, put it in your heart, put it in action.”

Rain fell as Watts spoke; then the sun returned as he concluded, and the weather remained favorable for the rest of the event. Other speakers included Chris Porter, a longtime local activist and health-care professional. His theme: “Enough is enough,” as he called out a list of inequities.

He said he wants a world where “when my son leaves the house, I don’t have to hold my breath.” But, to remind everyone of what happened as George Floyd died in Minneapolis less than 2 weeks ago, he asked protesters to be silent and try holding their breath for 2 minutes – just a quarter of the time Mr. Floyd spent held down by a police officer. After half a minute or so, from scattered pockets of the crowd, people called out: “I can’t breathe … I can’t breathe.”

Another speaker drew some chants of dissent from around the crowd – King County Executive Dow Constantine, the only elected official to take the mic:

He spoke of reform, and led a round of “Say Their Names,” but voices could be heard yelling “No Youth Jail” – Constantine has been long criticized by activists opposed to the county’s new $200+ million juvenile-justice facility, which includes detention.

Another rebuke to the system: A short time later, as Ayron Jones played the Star-Spangled Banner on his guitar, the thousand-plus protesters dropped to their knees:

Before long, after more than two hours had elapsed since the early start, the protest ended – still peaceful, no confrontations (police were present at the perimeters, mostly to keep traffic away from the people-filled streets), as had been the case with the half-dozen smaller West Seattle demonstrations we have covered this past week.

So – what now?

Everyone will have to answer that in their own way, to back up their words with deeds. As for protests – so far we’ve heard of one more in West Seattle, a student-organized protest at WSHS at noon Monday.

P.S. Words of thanks from today’s organizers are here.

(This was our third and final report on today’s event. Earlier, we published as-it-happened notes and a look at some of the signs.)

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Food truck break-in

Thanks for the tips/photos. The El Camion food truck has been missing from its longtime spot in Fauntleroy for two nights, with this sign left in its place:

We’ll working to follow up both with the truck operators and police.

JUNCTION PROTEST: Report #2 – the signs

So many sentiments – from demands, declarations, and denunciations, to lamentations and affirmations – filled the hundreds of handmade signs waved at today’s huge protest in The Junction. Here’s a sample.

The next four photos were sent by Holli Margell:

The next two were sent by Vy Duong and Evan Hilgenberg:

Our detailed report on the full event, with video, is still in the works.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Two crashes on 35th SW

That’s one of two crashes this past half-hour on 35th SW – no major injuries reported in either. This one’s at 35th/Thistle, with a driver going up onto the sidewalk and damaging the pole on the northwest corner. A few blocks north, a 3-car collision at 35th/Holden was being addressed by police on the west (southbound) side of the street.

UPDATE: Huge protest in The Junction, report #1

12:58 PM: As previewed earlier, two groups of marchers are headed along California SW to join the 2 pm protest in The Junction – one from Morgan (more than 100 in our estimation) and one from Admiral.

More coverage to come.

1:20 PM: Already hundreds here at Walk All Ways. Follow the WSB Twitter account for updates. California/Alaska is blocked with protesters kneeling and lying down.

1:30 PM: After the arrival of Admiral marchers, the streets are full. (Added – aerial view from Paul Weatherman:)

1:54 PM: It’s raining. The crowd is listening to Donald Watts speak:

2:11 PM: Chris Porter speaks now. He leads the crowd in an attempt to hold their breath for 2 minutes. “Enough is enough” is his theme.

2:44 PM: The streets are still full. Students have spoken. So has King County Executive Dow Constantine, saying he’s never seen anything like this.

2:51 PM: Speakers are done; now musician Ayron Jones is performing.

The crowd has shrunk a bit around the edges but is still filling the heart of The Junction. Totally peaceful, by the way. (Added, another side note: The “stage” is Easy Street proprietor Matt Vaughan‘s iconic van.)

3:01 PM: The crowd knelt as Jones played the anthem:

3:22 PM: Finally able to add a few visuals here, pending full coverage later. Protest just wrapping up. It’ll take a while for the street to clear,though. One final view – as we arrived, Desmond Hansen was painting this by Jefferson Square:

3:44 PM: Traffic cam at California/Alaska shows most have cleared:

MUCH more to come in report #2 – this was just a bare-bones series of notes.

VIDEO/PHOTOS: ‘Peace Peloton’ ride from Alki

12:56 PM: Thanks to Lynn Hall for the view from above – those are some of the Peace Peloton riders who left Alki a short time ago. More coverage later.

ADDED 6:15 PM: A few more photos:

Organizer Reginald “Doc” Wilson led the 15-mile ride to the Northwest African American Museum, “in protest of the injustices endured by black, brown, disenfranchised, and underrepresented populations in our city”:

He says he’ll organize other rides this summer. Hundreds showed up today to join this one:

We recorded video as they headed out and will add that when it’s ready. (Added -here it is:)

CELEBRATION: Rev. Sia Puloka’s former co-workers honor ‘ambassador of loving kindness’ with a parade

You might know Rev. Sia Puloka for her work at Seaview United Methodist Church. But she just retired from a 20+-year secular career – and co-workers had a car parade past her church today in her honor.

Sia Puloka worked for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, in front desk reception, where she was described as the office’s “ambassador of loving kindness.”

Chief deputy prosecutor Daniel Clark described her work in a farewell memo: “Sia’s service to the PAO has been extraordinary. She was hired in the Civil Division in 1996 and transferred to the front desk reception in the Criminal Division in 2006. Many people have done that job – with competence and grace. It is not easy. So many challenging people show up and the volume of work can be overwhelming. Sia took that front-line role and transformed it. She gave comfort to those who visited, strength and caring to her colleagues, and in every way made our office a more compassionate, loving place. And, after work she walked across the street and offered counseling and healing to the inmates in the King County Jail.”

About 30 cars were part of today’s parade past the church (46th/Graham). One of the gifts for her: A file box full of chocolate kisses, as co-workers expressed regret they weren’t able to offer real kisses and hugs in farewell.

She told her former co-workers that the office was like a family to her.

The memo announcing her retirement said that feeling was mutual: “Sia asked about your family members, held both of your hands to wish you well, and gave a hearty ‘RIGHT ON!’ to people passing by.” She got one of those in return today:

Also presented: Flowers and cards. Church members and relatives served her coffee and donuts, too. The farewell memo concluded, “She is a beautiful soul and presence that is going to be deeply missed.”

P.S. One more tribute to Rev. Puloka – an online donation drive to Food Lifeline, in her honor. Anybody can donate – go here.

West Seattle Transportation Coalition sails into discussion of ferries, Water Taxi role in bridge crisis

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

What role might boats play in the West Seattle Bridge crisis?

That was the major theme as the West Seattle Transportation Coalition met by teleconference and phone last week, with guests speaking on behalf of the two waterborne transportation systems that already serve West Seattle.

You can watch the archived video of the meeting here; below, our report:

WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES: Government-relations director John Vezina and communicator Hadley Rodero were the guests. They addressed some points that have come up repeatedly in West Seattle Bridge-related discussion:

*Does/did traffic from ferries help clog the bridge? This slide addressed that:

Read More

HAPPENING TODAY: Bike ride, marches, protest as West Seattle fights for justice, against racism

In the past week, we’ve covered seven peaceful protests in West Seattle, as people here join the call for a more just, equitable country, Today, there are more:

BICYCLE RIDE: Leaving from Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki) at noon:

Rain or shine; more info here.

JUNCTION PROTEST, AND 2 WAYS TO MARCH TO IT: One group is gathering by Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW) at 12:30 pm to walk/march to the 2 pm protest, and another group is gathering at Anytime Fitness (California & College) at 12:30 pm to do the same thing. Or, you can go directly to California/Alaska to participate at 2 pm. The Junction protest is organized by local students:

All organizers remind those who choose to participate – wear your face covering and bring your hand sanitizer! Any other events today or beyond (our ongoing list also has a Monday protest), please let us know!