West Seattle, Washington
News from the governor, as we start tonight’s roundup:
GOVERNOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS: Several announcements from Gov. Inslee at his media briefing this afternoon – a few rollbacks for businesses, plus a plan to extend the statewide eviction moratorium. Details are here.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*13,834 people have tested positive, up 175 from yesterday
*636 people have died, up 1 from yesterday
*1,838 people have been hospitalized, up 12 from yesterday
*256,588 people have been tested, up 632 from yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 12,592/621/1,750/227,182.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 15.4 million cases worldwide, and the U.S. has passed four million. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
WEST SEATTLE TESTING TOMORROW: Every Thursday night we remind you that Friday is the weekly drive-up testing day in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), Despite the original announcement, it actually starts at 9:30 am and continues until 3 pm, and you’re advised to get there early if you can.
FREE FOOD TOMORROW: 2-5 pm at Food Lifeline HQ (815 S. 96th), free boxes of food.
RING REMOVAL: After months of people setting fires on and around the fire rings at Alki, they were removed today.
That didn’t stop fire fans -we’ve heard two dispatches to Alki in just the past hour. SFD reported to dispatch that they “put out seven fires” during the first call.
PHOTOS? TIPS? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302 – thank you!
8:13 PM: Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader report
WINDOW SHOT OUT: From Jenny:
My car was shot with a shotgun in the middle of the night last night. The police officer said it had happened to several other cars in West Seattle as well. (I live a few blocks west of the Junction.)
We have a BLM sign up in our window, and I’m wondering if we were targeted because of it. It would be helpful to hear from the other victims if they had signs up as well.
ADDED 10:21 AM FRIDAY: A Southwest Precinct update on the car-window vandalism:
Southwest Officers responded to a shots fired call with property damage. Several cars along Fauntleroy Way SW were damaged—apparently with a shotgun. No injuries reported. On arrival, officers located a vehicle with the rear driver side and passenger side windows shattered. A second vehicle with similar damage was located one block away. No evidence located at either scene, additionally- no suspects or suspect vehicles. Officers canvassed for external video and nothing of value found.
Anyone with info — or video — please call the SW Detectives at (206) 233-2612 (Sgt Jeff Durden) or (206) 233-2623 (Main line).
(back to original post) PROWLER: From Jessica at 35th and Cloverdale:
10:47 pm Wednesday night. Motion lights scared him off. This is the second prowl in a few months.
(WSB recording of the meeting, added 9:30 pm)
5:09 PM: Just started – late – the “town hall” meeting for West Seattle, as announced by the mayor’s office. Department of Neighborhoods director Andres Mantilla, a Highland Park resident, introduced the mayor, who says the city has a “trilogy” of challenges – the pandemic, its economic consequences, and the fight for racial justice. After a few minutes, she mentions reinventing policing and her opposition, along with SPD Chief Carmen Best, to “drastic” cuts proposed in SPD.
5:15 PM: Now she moves on to the West Seattle Bridge closure. “We know it’s a lifeline, not just for West Seattle, but for the port, and our regional economy.” Then it’s on to Chief Best, who declares, “I love West Seattle.”
She then notes that Capt. Kevin Grossman has taken over the Southwest Precinct (as of 3 weeks ago), while former commander Capt. Pierre Davis has moved on to the Collaborative Policing Bureau. Then: A dozen shootings are under investigation citywide in recent weeks; homicides so far are at 31 for the year, compared to 19 at this time last year. West Seattle’s crime rate overall is “relatively decent” – down 16 percent; there’s been one homicide, in January, solved, and she says they’re not counting the Duwamish Head suitcase-bodies discovery as West Seattle murders because they didn’t happen here. Property crime is down except for arson and auto theft.
Then she moves on to reiterate that if SPD funding is halved, “we would likely not staff the Southwest Precinct” – there wouldn’t be enough staff for it, so what officers remain would likely move to the South Precinct, which also handled this area until the SW Precinct was built in 2003. She says so far it looks like they will NOT face cuts like that this year. Whatever cuts are faced, her priority would be responding to 911 calls. She says she and the mayor want to hear from the community about “what you want to see” regarding public safety.
5:23 PM: Next up, Public Health Seattle-King County director Patty Hayes, who identifies herself as a West Seattle resident. She presents some COVID-19 toplines, including the current “uptick.”
Her briefing isn’t West Seattle-specific, however, but she reminds people that you can’t just take solace in a lower death rate – people who survive get “very sick.” She talks about the efforts to test more and trace contacts, and the continued work on a vaccine. She says she was riding her bicycle on Alki last week and dismayed to see people not physically distancing enough – “we really need to all participate.”
5:32 PM: Next, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. He says he has two updates. Since adding units to West Seattle and South Park post-bridge closure, “we’re holding strong” on response times in the area. He also talks about SFD’s involvement in COVID-19 testing- 68,000 people tested at the two city sites, 2.8 percent positive rate among those tested at those sites.
5:36 PM: Jason Johnson, director of the Human Services Department and also a WS resident, presented updates on homelessness response, including added beds at the Southwest Teen Life Center to allow more distancing in permanent shelters. “As a result, COVID-19 transmission at city-funded (facilities) has been flat,” he said. He also talked about “youth and family safety” projects/programs, including a $6 million suite of programs for 18- to 24-year-olds “harmed by the criminal legal system.”
5:42 PM: Yet another city department director who lives in WS, SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe, is speaking now. He notes that two of four work platforms are now installed on the bridge – two more are going up next week, “weather permitting.” He said that instrumentation installed to monitor the bridge was watched during the platform-raising so they could learn more about its response. He also noted the information presented to the Community Task Force yesterday, most notably that repairing the bridge MIGHT give it 15 more years of use rather than the 10 years previously cited. He also had dates/times for the “office hours” next week to discuss Reconnect West Seattle if you have comments/questions:
Wednesday 7/29 at noon, Thursday 7/30 at 6:30 pm,
5:49 PM: Now it’s Q&A time. First one – how will the city support people’s basic needs when we don’t know when the pandemic will end? “The city won’t be able to do it by itself,” says the mayor, but she’s talking to others such as the state and feds. She hopes to extend the eviction prohibition through year’s end, for one. She adds that they’re hopeful of getting federal support for the WS Bridge. The city meantime will keep trying to help with things like grocery vouchers.
What other cities are Durkan and Best looking to for examples of successful police reform? “Nobody has done this right” yet, Durkan says, contending that in some ways, Seattle is already ahead, with crisis training and more, but “the community has to lead the way” in helping them improve. Best said she’s involved with national organizations that discuss the topic “often” but says much of what’s discussed already has been implemented here. That said, she goes on to say that some things officers respond to, might be better handled by others – but they would have to be available around the clock as are police. Neither, in long answers, mentions any specific city. The mayor declares “a lot of the answers we need are right here at home” with community organizations.
6 PM: Followup question, what’s the timeline for 2020 and 2021 budget changes? The mayor says the former is happening now but “extensive community engagement” for the latter will happen over the next month. She promises “additional engagement in West Seattle – we’re coming to you.” The chief says there needs to be ‘a plan” so there’s no gap in services.
Next, has the mayor outlined specific 2021 plans? She mentions what she and Best presented last week (WSB coverage here). She also repeats that they promise an “open conversation” with community members. And she again touts some things already happening, like the SFD “Health One” unit responding to people in crisis.
Q: With more people staying at home, is the city seeing rising domestic violence, and what’s being done about it? The mayor first says, please call 911 if it’s happening, resources are in place. The chief says there was an early spike in domestic violence this spring and they circulated a lot of information about how to get help. She also talks about the SPD victim advocates and resources they can access to get victims safely out of danger. The problem has “tapered off” lately, she adds.
Now, a WS Bridge question: When can the low bridge be reopened to more traffic? Zimbabwe notes that they’ve already done what they can including opening it to all overnight. “If we opened it up to everybody to access all the time, nobody would be able to access it.” He also says some Sylvan Way improvements are ahead (no details – we’ll follow up on those) as well as a left-turn signal at 16th/Holden.
School issues – how can the city help with child care, etc.? “We have to have extra help” for families, she acknowledges, and says the city’s talking with Seattle Public Schools about issues such as emergency child care. Given that many people will be working from home at least through year’s end, they are trying to find ways to perhaps repurpose preschool levy money to help.
6:16 PM: The event is wrapping up after a little more than an hour. The mayor urges everyone to take pandemic precautions, and vows to “put pressure on” other levels of government for help. She also says it’s time for reparations because of the generations of “omissions and commissions that have led to” unfairness at so many levels. “We are in an unprecedented time, so unprecedented that the word ‘unprecedented’ doesn’t seem to capture it.” She says she “looks forward to more discussions.”
If you didn’t get your question(s) answered, you’re invited to email email@example.com. Meantime, we recorded all this on video and will add it above when ready (the city also promises a recording in the days ahead.)
If you can donate blood, you have six chances to do it via Bloodworks Northwest‘s next roun of pop-up blood drives in West Seattle. They’re set for the first half of August in the gym at Our Lady of Guadalupe (7500 35th SW). From Bloodworks NW:
This pop-up (as with all our donation sites) is by appointment only to ensure social distancing. Here is the link to sign up. If folks prefer to have our scheduling department book an appointment for them, they can call 800-398-7888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates and times offered at Our lady of Guadalupe are as follows:
Mon Aug 3 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wed Aug 5 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fri Aug 7 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Mon Aug 10 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wed Aug 12 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fri Aug 14 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
In his first media briefing of the week, Gov. Inslee has just announced new rules to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 – including limiting indoor dining to table-sharing only with members of your own household, and banning all indoor service for bars.
He also announced that indoor fitness businesses would be limited to 5 people.
And the state Secretary of Health is announcing new face-covering rules too – they must be worn in “common areas” like elevators, lobbies, dorms. You can watch the ongoing briefing here.
3:01 PM: The governor also announced the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended until October 15th. … Plus, new restrictions for weddings and funerals. We’ll add full details when they’re out. The briefing is continuing with media Q&A.
3:52 PM: Briefing’s over. In Q&A the governor said he expects to extend the statewide pause on phase-advancing, which otherwise was to expire next week.
ADDED 9:18 PM: Here’s the governor’s post about today’s announcements.
During Wednesday’s meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force (WSB coverage here), a member asked why motorcycles aren’t allowed to use the low bridge at all times. SDOT’s Heather Marx said traffic engineers had recommended against it, calling it a safety issue, and promised to provide the inquiring member with the detailed explanation. We subsequently requested it, since many WSB readers have asked, and received it today:
While a motorcycle is physically smaller than a car, they still require roughly the same amount of room on all sides to travel safely. This is because a large truck or bus needs just as much room to stop safely when they are following a motorcycle as they do for any other kind of vehicle. While two motorcycles could theoretically travel side by side, most motorcycles would likely be travelling on their own and occupy and entire lane.
This means that from a traffic engineering perspective, motorcycles take up essentially the same amount of room as a car. This is especially true at traffic signals or in stop-and-go conditions where congestion is created by the cumulative reaction time of every individual driver waiting to go forward after the vehicle in front of them moves ahead. In this situation, the number of vehicles in a line of traffic is just as important as the size of each individual vehicle, and so motorcycles could be expected to add to congestion at the Chelan 5-way intersection just like cars do.
We also have safety concerns about motorcycles travelling next to large trucks and buses in stop-and-go conditions, especially because congestion would likely increase considerably if more motorcycles took this route.
If you have a question about that – or any other bridge issue – note that SDOT will be part of both community meetings we’ve previewed for tonight, the Town Hall at 6 pm and West Seattle Transportation Coalition at 6:30 pm.
Thanks for the tips. A Seattle Parks crew has been out on Alki Beach this morning, removing the fire rings and cleaning up the debris/trash left behind. The fire rings have technically been “closed” for months but Seattle Fire crews have been called out many nights because people have set fires on or near them anyway.
And indeed, Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin confirmed to WSB after we photographed the ring removal this morning: “Fire rings have been locked all summer to prevent the crowding and congregating that happens with beach fires. Folks were lighting fires on top of the pits, so we are removing them for now.”
Four quick notes about the hours ahead:
DEMONSTRATION: 4-6 pm at 16th/Holden, Scott from Puget Ridge Cohousing leads another streetcorner sogn-waving event in support of justice for Black lives.
RETIREMENT PARADE: If you’ve been involved with Fauntleroy Children’s Center, you know Gerry Cunningham – and you should know she’s retiring! A car parade in her honor will be held in the nearby Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) parking lot 4:30-6:30 pm today. Drive/ride/walk/run through and wish her well!
WEST SEATTLE ‘TOWN HALL’: As first previewed Monday, the mayor, police chief, SOOT director, and otheer city department heads plan an online “Town Hall” for West Seattleites starting at 5 pm. Here’s how to attend.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm online, Sound Transit is in the spotlight, plus a West Seattle Bridge update – here’s our preview, including info on how to attend.
Family and friends are remembering Dean Barney, and sharing this with the community:
Dean was a man of quiet strength with an unwavering moral compass who loved to explore throughout his career and life. Whether delighting in well-planned excursions with family to explore nature’s vast treasures, carefully stewarding the financial strength of many diverse organizations, or being there to build puzzles with his daughter, share sports tips with his son, or share a laugh with his wife, Dean was a pillar of strength who faced life with good humor and a commitment to supporting others.
On July 12, 2020 at the age of 73, Dean died peacefully surrounded by family and a lifelong friend after a two-and-a-half-year valiant battle with acute myeloid leukemia. Birdsong, sunshine, and a gentle breeze accompanied Dean on his final journey. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years Ginny Barney, daughter Beth, and son John.
Born a twin in Portland, Oregon in 1946 to USAF Colonel Russell Barney and Mrs. Helen Barney (née Funderburgh), Dean was an 8th generation descendant of Ian Robbins, a pioneer on the Oregon Trail. Dean and his three sisters – Myrna Barney, Gini Corvi, and his twin Connie Gill – were raised in many places in the US and abroad during their father’s military service. After high-school graduation from Highland HS in Albuquerque, NM in 1964, Dean attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on an ROTC scholarship for two years, followed by two years of service in the Navy. He worked several jobs to fund his education, completing his degree at UCB in business in 1970 before attending the University of Washington, where he completed his MBA in 1971.
Dean’s professional career as a financial executive began in public accounting and spanned many diverse areas from cable television to mineral water to the performing arts. Later in his career he devoted his many talents to bolstering the financial capabilities and stability of many notable Seattle arts organizations including the Intiman, Seattle Children’s, and ACT Theatres, where his financial acumen and dedication to sharing his knowledge across organizations helped support vibrant theatre in the region for years.
Throughout life, Dean enjoyed exploring nature’s bounty with Ginny, family, and friends – camping, hiking, and cycling through the diverse natural treasures of the American West and around the world. From paddling the rivers of the Pacific NW to exploring the red rock canyons and rich cultural history of the desert Southwest, Dean loved adventure.
As four-decade residents of West Seattle, the Barneys welcomed many friends into their home near Lincoln Park to appreciate the beauty of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains along with their hospitality and playful presence.
Dean’s family and friends will miss his quiet, strong presence, meticulous planning, love of nature, dry wit, and unwavering banter about the perils of pets.
The Barney family extends their deep thanks to the dedicated nurses and doctors of Kaiser Permanente, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and UW Medicine for their encouragement and extraordinary care throughout Dean’s hard-fought battle with cancer.
Friends wishing to honor Dean’s life are encouraged to support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society through his daughter’s dedicated website and local organizations dedicated to the beautiful trails of the region: the Washington Trails Association and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:07 AM: It’s Thursday; four months ago today, the city closed the West Seattle Bridge.
SPEAKING OF CLOSURES
Tonight ends the first week of overnight closures for the northbound 1st Ave. S. Bridge, as deck work continues. 10 pm-5 am. After tonight, the next scheduled closure is Sunday night.
Major work continues on Delridge Way, with lane reductions and side-street closures, as road-rebuilding and utility work continue for the RapidRide H Line conversion project – here’s what crews are working on this week.
Here’s the 5-way intersection camera (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Here’s the restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am) 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). The camera is back:
Going through South Park? Don’t speed.
Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.
Metro – Still reduced service and distancing – details here.
Water Taxi – Back to its “winter” schedule, with the 773 and 775 shuttles – see the schedule here.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.