West Seattle, Washington
From Hope Lutheran School:
At Hope Lutheran School, the months of May and June are all about wrapping up the year strong and celebrating our twenty 8th graders who will be moving on to high school. This year is no exception, albeit we are all at home. Knowing that graduates everywhere were disappointed not to be enjoying some of the normal festivities of graduation, we had to get creative in order to show our happiness for them while they are at home.
Social media has been a great way to highlight each of our graduates in what we called our “8th Grade Spotlight.” Sally Heit, Admissions Director, posted a Facebook Live post every day where she spoke about each graduate and posted a picture of them.
Lawn signs were a huge hit for every school, Hope included. Each graduate received one to post outside their front door. One tradition that remained the same this year was the mysterious flock of flamingos that showed up right before graduation to send off the graduates, each with their own graduation hat.
A HUGE Thanks to West Seattle resident Ruth Gardner and her company WestSide Flockers for always getting the flock together in front of the school. Graduates have been coming by to get their picture taken by their flamingo, and passersby have enjoyed the pink display.
Today (June 11th) was the official graduation day, and the Graduation bus carried Hope principal Kristen Okabayashi, Admissions Director Sally Heit, and middle school teachers Sara Kunkel, Tim Allen, and Lisa Mey delivered to each student their diploma and goodie bag.
And, this evening families viewed the special graduation video created by the Hope staff especially for the graduates, complete with a program.
Congratulations, Hope Lutheran Class of 2020!
Three months ago today, it was the last regular day of school for most kids in our area. Fast-forwarding to tonight – here’s the nightly roundup:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:
*8,584 people have tested positive, up 25 from yesterday
*571 people have died, up 1 from yesterday
*1,512 people have been hospitalized, up 7 from yesterday
*112,753 people have been tested, up 1,462 from yesterday
One week ago, the positive-test/deaths totals were 8,333 and 564.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
REMINDER – LOCAL TESTING TOMORROW: Tomorrow’s the next weekly drive-up/walk-up testing day at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) north lot (6000 16th SW), 10 am-3 pm.
BACK TO SCHOOL THIS FALL? Three months after closing campuses, Seattle Public Schools is expected to announce its plan a week from tomorrow. Meantime, new state guidance was announced today:
Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a proclamation outlining the state’s plan to possibly re-open schools in the fall for the 2020-2021 school year. The plan follows the state’s Safe Start phased approach to reopening on a county-by-county basis.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal addressed the media today to unveil the Reopening Washington Schools 2020 Planning Guide authorized under the proclamation.
BUS/WATER TAXI COMEBACK: Metro announced today that service levels will be increased on Monday, June 22 – both buses and the Water Taxi.
NATIONAL GUARD MILESTONE: We’ve shown you National Guard members assisting at local food banks, like these soldiers in White Center:
The state announced a milestone today:
Since being activated to support the COVID-19 response, Washington National Guard soldiers and airmen have packaged more than 25 million pounds of food to support local food banks. This past week alone, more than 650 Guard personnel helped box more than 2.6 million pounds of food and assemble more than 68,000 meals.In addition, this week WSDA’s Food Assistance program distributed 1.5 million pounds of food and served more than 171,000 clients.
PHOTOS? TIPS? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302 – thank you!
If you travel along the north half of Delridge Way SW, you’ve probably seen the protective enclosures put up around street trees. Crews on the project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line have also started trimming some trees, and that’s part of what’s in the first update shared by SDOT since work started this past Monday:
We have started tree trimming work this week that will carry into next week on Delridge Way SW in West Seattle. We are also beginning to install drain socks, potholing, and some light saw cutting.
Please note that the trees that are being trimmed are street trees in the right-of-way. We will also be conducting some tree trimming later this summer.
As part of this project, we will upgrade sidewalks and curb ramps, replace panels, and mobilize large equipment in the street. To prepare for this work, overgrown vegetation on private property (tree limbs, shrubs, etc.) that extend into the public right-of-way will need to be trimmed. Please trim trees and plants that hang over the sidewalk as well as tree limbs that hang 14 feet or lower over the street. If plants are not trimmed, we will begin trimming them as we prepare for sidewalk and curb ramp work later this summer.
Work by zone:
Zone A (West Seattle Bridge to SW Findlay St)
SW Alaska, SW Dakota, and SW Genesee streets
We will be conducting utility and storm work. Please expect traffic to be shifted to the east side of Delridge Way SW.
Zone B (SW Findlay St to north of SW Orchard St)
SW Findlay St to SW Juneau St
We will be installing utility pipes. Please expect and traffic to be shifted to the east side of Delridge Way SW.
Zone C (North of SW Orchard St to White Center)
We will continue adjusting traffic signals at select locations in Zone C. Please follow posted traffic signs.
Note that some side streets are blocked at Delridge for staging:
Please note that we are staging equipment at the following streets off of Delridge Way SW and through traffic will be restricted.
SW Dakota St, west side of Delridge
SW Edmonds St, west side of Delridge
SW Edmonds St, east side of Delridge
SW Hudson St, west side of Delridge
SW Hudson St, east side of Delridge
SW Puget Blvd, east side of Delridge
o We will close the gravel alley behind the apartments to the first driveway and use this area for staging.
SW Brandon St, west side of Delridge
SW Juneau St, east side of Delridge (summer only)
SW Willow St, west side of Delridge
The 120 will become the H Line in September 2021. For a full look at all the work that’s scheduled along the corridor, browse the online open house (which has contact info for the project team).
That’s the treasure chest that was stolen, a kids’ project in a Seaview yard. The theft was recorded on security video:
Mara explains, “It was something they created during COVID as a share place for kids … it was a big chest from the ’70s. It had a lot of sentimental value.” This happened late Monday night.
Also on video – the case of the fence-crasher:
Heather sent the video and explains: “We’re looking for help locating this vehicle. They ran through the fence never braking. We’re all lucky no one was on the other side of the fence as we all have kids and animals. This person needs to not be driving! Plates can’t be made out but it’s a very distinguishable vehicle. SPD case is 2020-185756.” This happened Tuesday morning near Fairmount Playfield.
It’s the second Thursday of the month, which means West Seattle Art Walk night, online! Just launched and viewable above, a video playlist with what organizers explain as a “curated gallery “movie” with a good selection of work for the artists who are coordinated by local businesses, and a representative 1-3 images for all the artist-led exhibits (plus) a selection of personal videos sent in by some of the artists.” You can see all the artists’ work – and find out about them – by going here.
An update today from WSDOT: The start date has been pushed back for the 1st Avenue South Bridge work that will require up to 14 overnight northbound-only closures, as announced earlier this week. WSDOT spokesperson Tom Pearce says the work is now set to start the night of July 12th (almost a week later than previously announced). The state, which owns and manages this particular bridge, says the closures are needed to “replace 14 sections of steel bridge decking.” The West Seattle low bridge will be open to all during those closures.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Metro believes it can handle the demand for bus service that will eventually arise due to the West Seattle Bridge closure.
That’s despite its plans for long-term cuts.
We covered a briefing this morning with Metro officials as they announced that some service will be restored June 22nd, both for buses and the Water Taxi. But – the September “service change” will see some long-term bus cuts, especially with an eye toward the end of some funding Seattle has been providing via the Transportation Benefit District.
First – here’s the full Metro announcement, regarding the entire system. An excerpt:
The transit services in operation in September will be about 85% of pre-COVID levels, providing an estimated 11,000 weekday trips on 121 bus routes. Service will focus primarily on a network of all-day routes throughout King County, including preserving frequent service on Metro’s busiest routes, while restoring peak service sufficient to meet returning demand to the extent possible given the current financial challenges. The cuts are made with direction from the City of Seattle in expectation that the Seattle Transportation Benefit District will discontinue revenue collections at the end of the year. (Metro says it still is awaiting something “definitive” from the city on whether a renewal measure will be pursued.)
While some weekday peak-period commuter routes will be restored, many peak routes will remain suspended in anticipation that long-term commuter ridership demand will take time to recover as many large employers continue having employees telework. Night, evening, and weekend service also will be significantly reduced.
Two West Seattle routes will not come back at all in June or September – the 22 and 37. Metro says those were the lowest-ridership routes on the peninsula even pre-COVID-19 (although some riders have pointed out the chicken-and-egg nature of ridership dropping because of cuts). The only West Seattle routes listed as NOT facing long-term cuts are 21X, 128, and the 131. And beyond September, Metro expects to need to make more cuts, as its projected revenue loss through 2022 – between taxes and farebox – is $615 million.
Metro, by the way, is looking at late June/early July for reinstating fares – they have some safety measures to implement in the meantime.
Since the Metro announcement did not specifically mention response to the West Seattle Bridge closure, that was our question.
“We’re very well aware of (those) challenges,” Metro GM Rob Gannon replied, saying Metro has been “working nonstop” on related issues since the closure, coordinating with the city. He left the specifics to Metro’s Bill Bryant, who promised that WS riders “will see real improvements” on June 22nd and September 19th. He also noted that – for WS and elsewhere – Metro has the ability to increase service on routes quickly, “if we see a spike.”
The expectation that they can meet West Seattle demand is also based on the expectation of relaxed social-distancing guidelines. Metro in the meantime stresses that it’s doing what it can to increase confidence n safety. But it’s been talking with the city regarding increasing West Seattle demand and while the service might not be “as convenient as in the past” or cover the previous span of hours, “it will be adequate to provide the needed capacity.”
As for the Water Taxi, Bryant said it will return to its full “winter schedule” – 5 days a week, commute dayparts – on June 22nd, with the shuttle routes returning too. Longer term, they are considering adding a second boat for the WT – the dock at Seacrest could handle up to 3 sailings an hour. What about shuttle routes that cover more of the peninsula than the standard two? That’s not in the plan for June or September, Metro says, but is under consideration for longer-term planning.
Again, this briefing wasn’t specifically about West Seattle transit – it was Metro’s systemwide announcement of June/September plans – so we expect to hear more specifics in the “Reconnect West Seattle” plan that SDOT has promised. Metro also will have more details soon on the June 22 increases system-wide.
Regional leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement has called for a “general strike” and day of action tomorrow – read about it here. So far we’ve heard from three West Seattle businesses planning to close Friday in support:
(updated 7:38 pm Friday – note we’ve included a few White Center businesses mentioned)
Pegasus Book Exchange
Funky Jane’s Consignment
Best of Hands Barrelhouse
Bebop Waffle Shop
Full Tilt Ice Cream
Beveridge Place Pub
Meat the Live Butcher
Bakery Nouveau (closing early)
Kinetic Physical Therapy
Carroll Law Group
Thunder Road Guitars/The Bass Shop
Carmilia’s (closing early)
West Seattle Wonder Dogs
Click! Design That Fits
StarCycle West Seattle
C & P Coffee Company
Public Goods & Services
Marination Ma Kai
Cold Crash Brewing
Easy Street Records & Café
Elliott Bay Brewing
West Seattle Nursery
Harry’s Beach House
Olympia Coffee (closing early)
Verity Credit Union (closing early)
Northwest Art & Frame (closing early)
Great American Diner
Elegant Nails by Tina
The Good Society
Any others? Please let us know – email@example.com – and we’ll add to the list.
The photo and report are from Julie:
I am writing to share the upsetting and disappointing news that a Black Lives Matter sign our PTA placed on the Myrtle St. fence at Gatewood Elementary School was removed and stolen last night. Someone was trying very hard to block this message of solidarity and support for people of color in our community, and we ask that people be on the lookout.
We are planning to print another and post again.
Lots of boats on Elliott Bay right now. Thanks to Jim Borrow for the photo and explanation – it’s the always-popular one-day season for spot-shrimp fishing. (Not even one full day – 7 am to 1 pm in Elliott Bay, 7 am to 11 am west of the bay – but the state’s announcement notes, “Additional dates and times may be announced if enough quota remains” afterward.) ADDED: This of course has filled Don Armeni Boat Ramp’s lot – this photo, from early morning, is by Stewart L:
6:03 AM: Good morning – the 80th morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge. One more time, we’ll remind you that the Delridge Way repaving-and-more project has begun – here’s our preview.
Now on to the cameras for the 5-way intersection, and the restricted-access low bridge just east of it:
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 – comment or text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.