West Seattle, Washington
“This virus is still with us,” reminded the governor in a media briefing today, in case you’ve forgotten. Now, tonight’s toplines:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*16,138 people have tested positive, up 192 from yesterday
*663 people have died, up 6 from yesterday
*2,006 people have been hospitalized, up 14 from yesterday
*318,926 people have been tested, up 6,758 from yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 15,039/647/1,946/256,588.
ONE MORE LOCAL DEATH: 98136 has long been the only West Seattle zip code with just 1 reported COVID-19 death. Now, the county map shows a second.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 19 million cases worldwide, and the U.S. is at almost 4.9 million. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
TESTING FRIDAY, NEW HOURS: The weekly South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) COVID-19 testing starts earlier as of tomorrow – 7 am to 1 pm Fridays.
NEED FOOD? 2-5 pm Friday, free boxes of food are available at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th).
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
10:55 PM: We went to Alki to check on the extra police announced for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, starting tonight. They had a quiet, chilly night for their first run backing up Parks crews at the 9:30 pm closing time. We got there around 9:10, when the officers and Parks crews made a sweep to warn the few beachgoers on hand that closing time was approaching.
Though illegal beach fires have been a huge problem for weeks, none were in evidence when we got there. When 9:30 closing time arrived, the two vehicles headed eastbound:
Alki is officially closed. Almost no one here anyway. Sgt. tells us a couple fires were extinguished earlier. pic.twitter.com/wb45u0Oo1V
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 7, 2020
We also checked Don Armeni around 9:45, and officers were there too, with a congregation of cars that looked to be gearing up to leave. The extra officers are only slated to be on duty until 11; we’ll be listening to see what happens after that.
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman says they’ve run into complications – interagency funding transfers apparently require City Council approval – and will “pause” the new patrol until that’s worked out. We’re following up on this with both council and Parks to see what’s being done about this and how soon.
11:38 AM: Councilmember Herbold’s office tells WSB they’re “looking into it.”
Above are artists Kay Kirkpatrick, Judith Camann, and Kelly Lyles, who – along with Monica Cavagnaro – have just unveiled Highland Park Improvement Club‘s first “outdoor sandwich-board art display.”
They describe “Drive By and Sign Hi” as a “Burma Shave Ad-inspired recycled creation … a multimedia, multicultural, multilingual piece created to amaze and amuse your WS Bridge Detour route drive.”
It’s on the north side of busier-than-ever SW Holden, right outside HPIC (between 11th and 12th SW), and expected to be up into September.
That’s West Seattle High School senior Jonah Elbaum, and if you listen to 88.5 KNKX between 8 and 9 pm tonight, you’ll hear him as a guest jazz DJ! His mom Mindy Elbaum explains, “His band director Ethan Thomas reached out asking if Jonah would be interested in hosting the monthly student DJ segment on KNKX School of Jazz with Abe Beeson. Typically students go in studio to record but because of the pandemic, Jonah recorded from his kitchen table!”
We’ve been reporting on the West Seattle Bridge T-shirt design contest, presented by the West Seattle Junction Association, which says almost 7,000 people voted, and has just announced the winners, from among 63 entries!
Greetings from Accidental Island
MIKE SHAUGHNESSY / BRADI JONES
Mind the Gap
So Close Yet So Far
Congratulations to all! You can pre-order yours – and/or see the list of Junction merchants where you’ll be able to buy them starting in about a month – by going here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
No matter where you are on the topic of transforming public safety, you likely have been talking a lot about it lately.
And it dominated last night’s meeting of the District 1 Community Network (D1CN), with featured guests from the Seattle Police Department’s Southwest Precinct – new commander Capt. Kevin Grossman, new operations Lt. Sina Ebinger, and Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.
D1CN is a coalition of West Seattle/South Park community-organization reps and other interested area residents; among the groups/organizations represented last night were the Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, West Seattle Be Prepared, Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, West Seattle Bike Connections, Morgan Community Association, West Seattle Transportation Coalition, South Park Neighborhood Association, West Seattle Timebank, Admiral Neighborhood Association, Duwamish Valley Safe Streets, VIEWS, Alki Community Council, and Fauntleroy Community Association.
POLICE SPOTLIGHT: Capt. Grossman spoke first, introducing himself and his priorities (see our June interview) – including gunfire (12 incidents in West Seattle in the past month, no injuries aside from the Alki shooting last Sunday, 28 year to date, up a bit from 24 at this point last year), auto thefts (Seattle is #22 in the nation); up a bit this year in West Seattle but overall crime and violent crime are both down more than 10 percent in our area, with the captain acknowledging COVID and the bridge closure play a role. Burglary is his other priority – he says there’s a current cluster in the Junction but overall they’re down 22 percent year to date.
After a three-month closure, Copper Coin (2329 California SW) has announced it’s reopening at 4 pm today. As heralded by posters on its windows during much of the closure, the restaurant has done some overhauling – declaring on its website that it “has been reimagined to fit our new environment,” including contact-free ordering for both takeout and dine-in (which includes outdoor seating). The restaurant also promises a “redesigned burger-focused menu (that) keeps us committed to exceptional quality ingredients while adding the versatility of a menu that can be enjoyed anywhere.” Hours are listed as Wednesdays-Sundays, 4 pm-8 pm.
If you see a seal on the beach – keep your distance, for their sake. David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network sent this report and photos after another rescue:
Seal Sitters MMSN responded Wednesday to the second orphaned harbor seal pup in the last 2 weeks. This thin pup was first reported in the morning on private property along Beach Drive SW. He returned to the water early in the afternoon and just after 5 PM, Seal Sitters’ Hotline received a call about a pup on Alki Beach at 55th Ave SW. Spot comparison photos confirmed that this was the same animal.
A perimeter was set up to keep people back and First Responders monitored the tiny pup while answering the many questions from folks out enjoying the sunny day. The pup stayed ashore only briefly, but returned to the beach around 7 PM. He was observed at that time to be very lethargic with tremors. Phone calls were placed to NOAA’s regional stranding coordinator to see what options were available to rescue the pup from this dangerous location and stabilize overnight. When the incoming tide began to roll the weakened pup in the surf, he was removed from the water by the Seal Sitters’ First Responder and placed above the high tide line. NOTE: Only authorized members of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network are allowed to handle seal pups.
Casey Mclean, SR3 Executive Director and Veterinary Nurse, agreed to come for an evaluation and removal from the beach. The pup weighed 8 kg (17.6 lbs). His glucose level was very low, he was dehydrated and was suffering from hypothermia. A small umbilical stump was noted and age estimated at a week or so. Casey began some preliminary treatment including starting fluids. If this pup survives, it is hoped that he can be transferred to one of the scarce rehabilitation spots that are available.
Harbor seal birthing season is from late June through September in our area of Puget Sound. These pups would normally spend from 4-6 weeks nursing before having to face life on their own. About 50% don’t make it through their first year.
Seal Sitters would like to thank the individuals who reported this struggling animal to our Hotline. We have had to adjust some of our normal procedures because of the COVID-19 restrictions, but will be doing our best to respond to your calls.
Based on the urban location, it is highly likely this newborn seal was abandoned due to human activity. Always stay back when you see a seal pup on the beach and call Seal Sitters’ Hotline at 206-905-7325 (SEAL).
Here’s the report on last month’s rescue.
Thanks to Kersti Muul for the report – transient orcas are southbound off Eagle Harbor (Bainbridge Island), “more east in the channel.” Let us know if you see them!
Two West Seattle Junction notes today:
EX-JAN’S BEAUTY SUPPLY: We received email from the firm that manages 4517 California SW – where Jan’s Beauty Supply closed last summer after 36 years – saying the space has a tenant. “The owners have taken their time on this vacancy to find the right tenant. We are pleased to let you know we have signed up a new tenant for that space that we all hope will be there for many years to come. It is an electric bike shop and they plan to open on October 1. The store is not revealing its name quite yet.” (We haven’t yet found anything in public records hinting at it, either.) ADDED: As noted in a comment, the storefront has signage up saying it’s the new home of Seattle E-Bike.
ANOTHER SPACE FOR RENT: Thanks to everyone who emailed about the note posted in the window at 4310 SW Oregon, saying the Christian Science Reading Room there is closed as of last Friday. A sign has since gone up saying the space is up for rent.
10:08 AM: At City Hall right now, three city councilmembers, including West Seattle/South Park’s Lisa Herbold, are holding a news conference explaining the police-budget plan. The council’s president, Lorena González, is speaking first. “We as a council are unified” and want to talk with the mayor and chief, she says, adding that she’s sent a letter offering chances to meet with them.
10:15 AM: Herbold speaks now. “Reimagining” does in fact begin with ideas that “may not at first seem realistic,” she contends. She talks about the importance of activists’ and advocates’ involvement. The goal is to “reduce the footprint of armed police officers'” response to calls, she says, noting that 56 percent of 911 calls are of types that could be handled in other ways. She and González both renewed their call for SPD to cut positions “out of order” rather than the standard “last hired, first fired.”
10:21 AM: Councilmember Tammy Morales, saying her district is home to people who are “overpoliced,” is speaking now. “The mayor and police chief have sought to undermine our credibility,” she declares. Like the other two, she also emphasizes that the public-safety reinvention is part of something going on nationwide – a “racial reckoning … (which) is here and we can’t let it slip away without dramatic, impactful change, even if it makes us uncomfortable. … This council is working hard to restructure community safety … We invite the mayor to walk alongside us, or step out of the way.”
10:31 AM: They’re in Q&A now. One question involves what will be done about homelessness response with the plan to eliminate the Navigation Team. Organizations that are already working in social services will do the work – with increased outreach – they reply, while adding that other programs such as other departments’ trash collection will not be affected.”The Navigation Team … has a dismal success rate … in comparison to our third-party providers,” González says.
11:17 AM: The briefing has ended. We’ll substitute the archived video above when it’s available.
12:27 PM: You can now see that video above or here. Meantime, SPD has announced that it “will be launching a Re-envisioning Public Safety website, outlining what SPD is doing to engage the community and working toward change,” with a media event at 2:30 this afternoon.
The Southwest Design Review Board‘s first online meeting happens at 4 pm today, earlier than previously announced, but the agenda is the same – the 7-story, 277-unit mixed-use project proposed for 4406 36th SW, one of two buildings comprising the Sweeney family’s first proposal for their West Seattle Triangle holdings, including the site of their legacy business, Alki Lumber. (The other building, 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW, will be reviewed at 4 pm August 20th.) Information on how to watch/listen to today’s meeting is here – registration required – along with information on how to comment on the project. The design packet for today’s meeting is here; our recent preview is here.
Though the response was big, SFD says the call at Waste Management (7201 W. Marginal Way SW) is a “small trash fire.” No report of injuries.