West Seattle, Washington
While the Phase 2 announcement first thing this morning was cause for celebration, a top health official offered cause for caution hours later, and that’s part of our nightly roundup.
PHASE 2: The week began with the county applying for permission to move to Phase 2, and four days later, the state announced its approval this morning. That means – as listed by the county – more businesses can open, and many that are already open can do so more widely.
…BUT FOR HOW LONG? In a midafternoon media briefing, county health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin warned that new data – just in last night – shows an uptick in cases, warning that the trend could even force the reopening into reverse. The past week saw 47 percent more cases than the week before, he said. The reason that didn’t put the brakes on the reopening, for now, he explained, is that the number isn’t huge – 100+ – but he stressed that it’s crucial people take simple steps, wearing face coverings and continuing distancing, or else things could get out of hand quickly. The new cases aren’t attributable to any particular area or any particular means of transmission, he added – there’s “no single smoking gun.” Overall, his message was that stepping ahead in reopening is the wrong time to step back in personal protective measures.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: The aforementioned spike was for the week of June 12-18. Here’s the first daily summary since then:
*9,096 people have tested positive, 109 more than yesterday
*584 people have died, 2 more than yesterday
*1,540 people have been hospitalized, 3 more than yesterday
*137,312 people have been tested, 2,309 more than yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 8,644/571/1,517/115,016.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ FALL PLAN: It’s out and it’s complicated.
CONFUSED ABOUT WEDDINGS/FUNERALS? The governor issued “additional guidance” today.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Two vigils for racial justice and equity in West Seattle today:
North Delridge neighbors lined the pedestrian overpass at Delridge/Oregon, and the sidewalk beneath it, for a #SayTheirNames vigil this evening.
Organizer Nancy planned it to be “a quiet and respectful demonstration of support for our African American neighbors, friends, and family.”
Earlier, a nine-minute vigil outside Providence Mount St. Vincent:
This was part of a national elder-care initiative calling for “a time of reflection and awareness building of racism as a public health crisis.”
Just this week, the King County Board of Health passed a resolution making that declaration.
As we wrap up this school year, we have been planning for 2020-21. We hope that at the start of the new school year, King County is in Phase 4 of the Governor Inslee’s reopening plan\. If we are, in alignment with public-health agency recommendations and the governor’s plan, school will resume as normal and students, who choose to, will return to face-to-face classroom instruction. Unfortunately, we don’t know what will happen over these next few months, so a contingency plan is needed, including how we will address a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in our community.
Four engagement teams of just over 100 participants that included students, parents, educators, school leaders, community partners, and central office administrators have been meeting to develop priorities for school in the fall — responsive to safety measures required for each phase of re-opening and the experiences of our students and families furthest from educational justice.
The engagement teams worked together to understand the operational and budget constraints, public health and safety guidelines, and feedback gathered in a recent staff, family, and leadership survey. Common values and priorities emerged from the four groups and leadership team, you can view them on our Planning for Re-Entry announcement webpage.
These values and priorities resulted in a model framework. If King County is in Phase 2 or 3 this fall, some type of in-person, part-time instruction will be provided for all K-12 students with the option of 100% online, remote learning for families who aren’t ready to send their students back to school buildings. Regular in-person instruction will resume when we are in Phase 4.
100% online learning will be provided as an opt-in option for any family that does not want to return in person. This option will also be available in the event buildings remain closed through fall or close abruptly due to a resurgence of COVID-19. Online learning will be high-quality and consistently provided with clearer expectations and accountability for instruction and assignments. Online learning will be provided on a reliable schedule that includes live instruction, video lessons, and small group supports, etc. Over the summer months, educators, school leaders, and a digital learning task force will prepare for delivery of these enhanced supports.
A blended model with some in-person learning for all K-12 students and some remote, online instruction. This scenario is highly dependent on public health guidelines and if we are in Phase 2 or 3 in the fall. It was determined by the Reopening Leadership Team with input from the engagement teams that while the hope is to provide in-person class time for everyone, social distancing guidelines may require a phased in approach or starting with smaller student numbers. In doing that, priority would be given to students of color furthest from educational justice, students who require in-person therapy, students who receive Special Education services or IEP supports that can’t be delivered online, students who receive services as English Learners, and students supported by McKinney Vento – students experiencing homelessness or unstable housing. Teams also expressed interest in providing additional in-person instruction for K-3 students and students in transition years – sixth grade and ninth grade. The schedule for a blended model, part-time in person and part-time remote learning, is yet to be determined. The in-person schedule is dependent on the physical capacity of our buildings. We are exploring partnerships with community organizations to increase space capacity.
A full return to in-person classes. A full return to regular instruction will require we are in Phase 4 and that we follow guidelines of Public Health. While we are hopeful, this scenario is unlikely in Fall 2020.
Next week, families will need to complete an Intent to Enroll questionnaire to hold a place in their program selection. Families will be asked to indicate if they plan to enroll in the 100% online learning option for the fall or want the in-person option program. Depending on responses, in-person K-12 instruction frequency will be determined. Please look for an email early next week from Public Affairs with more details. This information will be critical in helping us finalize plans for next year.
We know the uncertainty for next school year is stressful and there are still a lot of unknowns. Staff and the Seattle School Board will be working diligently to provide additional answers and details in collaboration with educators and school leaders over these next few weeks.
Next steps: On June 30, a detailed Fall Reopening Plan will be presented to the School Board during a public work session. The plan will reflect the values and priorities surfaced during the recent engagement, the model framework outlined above, an analysis of our buildings’ physical capacity, and adherence to Public Health guidelines.
Feedback? Here’s how to send it.
5:31 PM: Thanks for the tips about the big police response in the 1100 block of Alki Avenue. Radio communication indicated a report of “possible human remains” in the water; so far, we are told at the scene, nothing definitive – they are still searching.
5:48 PM: What they HAVE found, so far, is a black plastic bag that smelled really bad. That’s why they are searching further, to look for potential contents.
6:35 PM: Police boats are still there, searching.
8:08 PM: Police spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson confirms to WSB that they did find “human remains.” Several bags, according to a subsequent SPD Blotter post.
9:46 PM: Identification and cause of death will be up to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine.
12:28 PM: Thanks to Stewart L. for the photo above – he says police were back out checking around the Luna Park area this morning (low tide was just after 11). We headed out in hopes of catching them but they were gone by the time we got there. Also gone, the yellow tape; the Luna/Anchor Park viewpoint is open again.
SUNDAY NOTE: As discussed in comments, TikTok users who say they made the original discovery – showing a suitcase on the rocks by Luna/Anchor Park – have posted videos about it. They say police didn’t respond to their original report until repeated calls hours later. We will be following up on that too (and, as noted in comments, would be interested in talking with anybody who has firsthand knowledge – firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!).
Two weeks ago, with readers’ help, we built a list of local Black-owned businesses. Here on Juneteenth, we’ve had a request to republish the list – so here it is again:
A Kids Place Too Dentistry for Children (WSB sponsor)
(2617 California SW)
Down to Reiki
(3400 Harbor SW)
Full Spectrum Training Studio
(9240 2nd Ave SW)
(4611 36th SW)
Ipseity Incandescent Healing Studio
(3272 California Ave SW)
(4417 Fauntleroy Way SW)
(4714 42nd SW)
Lika Love Boutique
(4547 California SW)
(3618 SW Alaska St., lower level)
M&P Carpet Cleaning
(4742 42nd SW, #473)
New Luck Toy
(5905 California SW)
Percy The Barber
(2641 42nd Ave SW, #120)
Platinum Cuts & Salon
(9434 Delridge Way SW)
Professional Home Inspectors, LLC
(4511 35th Avenue SW, Suite 303
(4617 37th SW)
The Avenue (formerly Pacific Room)
(2808 Alki SW, currently closed for remodeling)
West Seattle Animal Hospital
(4700 42nd SW)
West Seattle Fish House
(9005 35th SW)
Additions? email@example.com – thank you!
(WSB photo from June 2019 summer-solstice gathering. Maybe in-person again next year!)
For the second time this pandemic year, West Seattle educator/sky-watcher Alice Enevoldsen will be holding her change-of-seasons sunset-watch event online. The summer-solstice moment is 2:43 pm Saturday, so Alice invites you to join her via Zoom tomorrow night, 8:45 pm-9:15 pm, to celebrate and to learn – all ages welcome. You need to register in advance – go here to do that now.
12:58 PM: Longtime Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis is leaving, reassigned to headquarters. We just received his announcement:
To our West Seattle community,
Our nation has been obviously challenged this year. The Covid-19 virus and its accompanying prevention protocols took us all by storm and has changed our daily interactions with one another. Also, we are struggling with a multitude of civil unrest incidents sparked by the killing/death of George Floyd.
In dealing with both monumental issues, I’ve seen the very best in a great many people. With Covid-19, I’ve witnessed neighbors helping neighbors accompanied with a great partnership effort with police and Seattle Fire, and with the recent protests and marches, I’ve seen a great many communities accompanied by law enforcement, peacefully marching, partnering for a common peaceful goal.
That said, I must give credit where credit is due. Our West Seattle communities, including South Park, have stepped up greatly and displayed front and center what it looks and feels like when a community and their officers take serious ownership of one another, and for that I am truly grateful.
The outpouring of support and outreach by our community to your officers during these times is heartfelt and a testament to the trust and partnership that you have with your officers.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with and for you for several years and I couldn’t be more proud and honored for that privilege. That said, regretfully I must inform you that I will be reassigned to Police Headquarters at the end of June, completing a 5-year tour of duty as your precinct commander. I want to thank our West Seattle community for hanging in there with us as we try to provide the very best in responsive police services. Again, Thank You for your unwavering support, friendship and partnership!
Captain Pierre Davis
Commander, Southwest Precinct
We have a message out to find out who will succeed him, whether interim or permanent.
BACKGROUND: Capt. Davis came to the precinct in 2010 as second in command – Operations Lt. – after serving in the Traffic Division. He led the precinct as interim commander in 2014, the year he was promoted to captain. He left West Seattle for a while and was at the East Precinct before returning here in 2015 as commander after then-Capt. Steve Wilske was promoted ta assistant chief.
3:42 PM: No word yet about who’ll run the precinct next – responding to our inquiry, Public Affairs’ Sgt. Lauren Truscott said they didn’t have that information yet.
ADDED MONDAY: Captain Kevin Grossman will be the new precinct commander. We talked with him this afternoon and will have that story later in the day.
Juneteenth arrives this year after weeks of demonstrations against racism and for justice and equity, and the day began in the shadow of the West Seattle Bridge, with a march – hundreds strong – from the ILWU Local 19 hall, headed to Terminal 46 and then to the Corrections Department Day Center, planning rallies at both stops. Here’s our video of the march’s start:
Motorcycles led the way as the march headed north on East Marginal, first on the frontage road and then to the open road:
The longshore workers’ union also stopped work up and down the West Coast during the day shift today in observance of Juneteenth, as noted in our preview.
WHAT’S AHEAD IN WEST SEATTLE: Both of these are open to all:
Providence Mount St. Vincent (4831 35th SW), noon – Along 35th, kneeling for 9 minutes as “Providence Elder Place West, a PACE program (Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly), located on-site at The Mount, is joining the national PACE organization for a time of reflection and awareness building of racism as a public health crisis.” (Just this week, the King County Board of Health officially declared it to be one.)
Delridge/Oregon overpass, 5:30 pm – A #SayTheirNames vigil, as previewed here.
9:01 AM: Just in: The state says King County can move to Phase 2. More info to come…
9:29 AM: Still awaiting King County’s followup announcement. Basics of Phase 2 include 50 percent capacity for indoor dining – see more here.
11:46 AM: For more on what Phase 2 enables, here’s a more-detailed list on the King County Public Health website.
12:33 PM: King County’s own announcement has just arrived. Before that same list, it begins:
Following approval by state Secretary of Health John Wiesman, King County has officially entered Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start recovery plan to allow limited business re-opening. Phase 2 allows for twice the capacity in retail, restaurants, and other businesses previously allowed in King County’s modified Phase 1 and goes into effect immediately.
“Moving to Phase 2 is another step toward economic recovery for our region, but it must go hand-in-hand with even more careful adherence to precautions from our public health experts,” said Executive Constantine. “Wearing face coverings, washing hands, and avoiding crowds and unnecessary contact can help make ours a one-way trip back to prosperity, and prevent the need to go back to stay-at-home orders.”
While there are no additional categories of businesses included in moving from modified Phase 1 to Phase 2, the operating capacity has doubled for those able to reopen. For example, restaurants can now operate with 50% of indoor capacity, and retail with 30% capacity. Businesses with questions on how to safely reopen under the state’s guidance are encouraged to call Public Health’s Business Compliance Line at 206-296-1608.
“We evaluated a number of factors to apply to move to phase two of reopening. Our healthcare system, perhaps the single most important factor, is currently well-prepared to care for COVID-19 cases as well as the other health needs of our community,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Public Health officials recommend that people keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible. Outdoors exposures are less risky than indoors, and improving indoor ventilation is recommended. In addition, people need to wear face coverings in public, wash hands frequently, and get tested at the first sign of symptoms.
“Our cases have declined significantly since the peak of the outbreak in late March, and are now hovering around our target goal,” said Duchin. “Over the past seven days, however, we have seen an uptick in the number of cases compared to the previous week. With re-opening, we anticipated more cases in the community. That is why it is now more important than ever keep 6 feet apart from one another whenever possible and minimize unnecessary activity, especially people at increased risk for COVID-19.”
“As we move into phase 2 and for the foreseeable future, our risk will be increasing, not decreasing,” said Duchin. “COVID-19 has not gone away and we must take the ongoing risk very seriously. If we are going to be successful continuing to reopen, it’s essential that we do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 spread as we have more contact in social, recreational and work-related settings.”
Still have questions? We’re planning to cover the 3 pm media briefing with Dr. Duchin.
Within the next few hours we’ll be doing some technical upgrading, and we have one request for you: Please don’t post a comment or forum item until we update this announcement to say the work’s all done. We’re changing servers and it might take a little while for everyone to “see” the upgraded one, so you could be unknowingly posting to the old server if you don’t wait for the all-clear. We hope that’ll be around 7 am but won’t know until we get there. Thanks for your patience.
8:14 AM: We’re still fine-tuning, but if you see this update, you’re seeing our new server