West Seattle, Washington
Avoid 48th/Beach Drive – near Lowman Beach – for a while. SDOT is there to clean up a spill following a collision. SPD is awaiting a tow truck for at least one vehicle, whose driver was taken to the hospital.
Here are tonight’s toplines in the virus crisis:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s today’s daily summary from Public Health – the cumulative totals:
*16,749 people have tested positive, 148 more than yesterday’s total
*676 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*2,043 people have been hospitalized, 15 more than yesterday’s total
*337,664 people have been tested, 5,204 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 15,634/656/1,983/304,242.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
FITNESS CLARIFICATION: On Sunday, we reported that our area’s three biggest gyms were reopening today. Now, the governor’s office has clarified its latest guidance about fitness, issuing this FAQ today.
NEW RELIEF FUNDS: Also from the governor’s office today, news of two new relief funds, one for immigrants and one from agricultural workers.
ENFORCEMENT FEEDBACK: Last month, the city announced a plan to have the Department of Finance and Administrative Services oversee education and enforcement for businesses. Now they’re asking for feedback before making what was an “emergency rule” permanent. This update explains how to comment.
NEIGHBORHOOD SPIRIT: From Pete Spalding on Pigeon Point:
Since City Night Out was cancelled this year…..
The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council decided a taco truck would be a good substitute. With social distancing and masks abundantly worn. Special thanks to Toni Wells for arranging for the taco truck and all of the Pigeon Pointers who participated in a safe manner.
What a great neighborhood.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Not only is it shelter from the blazing late-in-the-day sun, but 2 Fingers (9211 Delridge Way SW) also notes it’ll allow them to stay healthier outside during the fall and winter.
Received today from the state Fire Marshal’s Office – a potentially life-saving reminder:
The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office advises residents that home furnishings have changed over the last few decades from natural materials to synthetic materials. Synthetic fabrics, padding, glues, and resins in newer furnishings burn hotter, faster, and produce more toxic gases and smoke than natural materials.
Studies have shown that room fires with older, natural materials get hot enough to reach “flashover” (the point when all of the materials in the room ignite) in about 30-45 minutes. Whereas newer synthetic materials reach flashover much quicker, in about four to eight minutes.
Additionally, when natural materials burn, the smoke includes hydrogen, carbon, and carbon monoxide. When synthetic materials burn, additional toxic gases including benzene, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide are created.
This means that it is now more important than ever for families to respond and escape quickly in the event of a fire.
· Residents should be sure that their home has operable smoke alarms installed in every bedroom and in the hallways on each floor of the home.
· Plan and practice a home fire escape plan. Be sure everyone has two ways out of each room.
· Check doors for heat before opening them. If the door is hot, use another way out.
· In a fire emergency get outside immediately, and never go back inside the home.
· Smoke is poisonous. Stay low and get outside immediately. Never go back inside.
· Gather at a designated meeting place and call 911.
Here’s a video with a side-by-side comparison of how natural and synthetic furnishings burn.
From Constellation Park …
… to Highland Park …
… three areas of West Seattle remain host to what the city calls “Stay Healthy Streets.” They are streets closed to through (vehicle) traffic, so there’s more room for bicycling, walking, running in these social-distancing times. Though there’s been an intention voiced for the inland stretches – including High Point/Sunrise Heights and Highland Park/South Delridge/Puget Ridge – to be permanent, no final decision is in yet. Supporters of making the Alki Point stretch permanent have an online petition going (you can’t miss the banner on the waterfront railing at 64th/Beach). The primary official method the city’s been using for feedback on the entire program is this survey, which has been extended through August 21st.
Among other things, streetcars are why The Junction is The Junction. Though they’ve been gone for many decades, streetcars play a big role in West Seattle history, and you can learn more about it Thursday. Here’s the preview:
Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s monthly speaker series will host local transportation enthusiast Mike Bergman in his presentation of “To West Seattle by Streetcars: 1916 to 1940” at ‘Words, Writers & SouthWest Seattle’s’ next digital event, which will be hosted via Zoom at 6 PM on August 13th.
Bergman’s talk will explore the history of West Seattle’s streetcar system in the first half of the twentieth century, including its construction and the influence the streetcar system had on the area’s development and growth. Showcasing numerous historic photos, Bergman will address the evolution of three segments of the West Seattle corridor: Youngstown (Spokane & Avalon to the bridge), the West Waterway bridge itself, and the elevated streetcar trestle between the bridge and downtown.
Advanced registration is required at www.loghousemuseum.org. Registered participants will be emailed a Zoom link to the presentation on the date of the event.
Born and raised in Seattle, Bergman has been interested in Seattle Transportation history from an early age, especially the city’s bridges, railroads and public transit systems. He has a degree in Geography from the University of Washington, and was employed as a transit consulting firm, then moved to King County Metro in 1980. At Metro, he worked as a transit service planner, project manager and communications specialist. He took a new position at Sound Transit in 2000, where he produced the agency’s annual service plan and developed schedules for ST Express buses, Sounder commuter rail and Link light rail.
Following his retirement in 2016, Mike maintained a strong interest in local transit and transportation history. He is a volunteer at the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive (PNRA), a non-profit educational organization developing a repository of Northwest rail history, including city streetcar systems. Mike has organized PNRA’s large collection of material on the Seattle Municipal Railway and has developed and shown powerpoint presentations on Seattle streetcar history to various community groups. He is the president of the Tacoma Chapter- National Railway Historical Society, and regularly contributes articles of local historical interest to The Trainsheet, the chapter’s monthly newsletter.
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society has been sponsoring this free speaker series regularly for the past seven years. Future presentations for following months are planned to be shown live via Zoom to continue observation of safe, social distancing. Corporate sponsorship is being sought for this series and donations are welcomed.
Next month’s event will be by former presenter Eric Wagner, and is titled, “After the Blast: The Ecological Recovery of Mount St. Helens”. For videos on these and other speakers’ presentations, check out “Events” at www.loghousemuseum.org. This series is open to hosting any author or speaker addressing historical issues relating to the Puget Sound/Duwamish Peninsula and/or the general public.
The photo is from a reader reporting an e-bike theft: “My partner had his brand-new bike stolen from our storage at the Huxley [Fauntleroy/Edmunds] over the weekend. It’s a $1,700 bike, still in the box. He uses this bike for work as a courier. If anyone has any leads, please, please let us know.” It’s a black RadCity Step-Thru. The placeholder report # is T20021439.
(Archived video of morning Budget Committee meeting)
10:38 AM: The Seattle City Council has just reconvened as the Select Budget Committee, continuing their consideration of cuts to departments including SPD. The agenda is here, including details of what’s up for discussion/voting. The briefing meeting earlier this morning hinted at some changes to their proposals; also of note, the mayor’s office announced this morning that a new forecast predicts a worse budget crunch than previously predicted. You can watch via Seattle Channel‘s livestream above. The meeting is starting with public comment.
1:30 PM: The Budget Committee meeting has adjourned; the council is scheduled to reconvene at 2 pm for the regular weekly meeting, which will include some final votes.
2:04 PM: They’ve pushed back that start time so their staff can complete all the paperwork from the amendment votes in the budget meeting – they’re now set to restart at 2:45 pm.
5:32 PM: They’ve finished the vote that included SPD cuts. You’ll see a lot of reactions, so there’s a separate followup ahead, but one big thing of note: The council did NOT vote to “defund” SPD by anything in the vicinity of 50 percent. The cuts they approved, for SPD and other departments, are for the rest of this year, with next year’s budget-planning process beginning in a matter of weeks. They approved some SPD cuts that would total about 100 of 1,400 positions (including 30 expected to be lost by attrition) – here’s a summary from a news release sent by Council President Lorena González’s office:
Cut 32 officers from patrol – $533,000
Reduced specialized units including officers assigned to mounted unit, school resource officers, homeland security, harbor patrol, SWAT team – $250,000
Removed officers from Navigation Team, ensuring homeless neighbors are not retraumatized by armed patrol officers – $216,000
Reduced staff budget through recognizing expected attrition – $500,000
Reduced administrative costs, including salaries, community outreach, public affairs
Cut $56,000 from training and travel expenses
Cut recruitment and retention – $800,000
Transferred victim advocates from SPD to Human Services Department – $377,000 impact
Removed two sworn officer positions from the 911 Emergency Call Center
But the council also acknowledged that the authority to decide what and who to cut rests with Police Chief Carmen Best, so their stipulations are more a request than an order. They also voted to start exploring creation of a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention (the same name Minneapolis has looked at for something more sweeping) to handle functions that could be moved from SPD in the future.
9:46 AM: You’ll recall that last week, the Southwest Precinct‘s commander announced that Seattle Parks would cover the costs of having three officers on overtime be at Alki Thursdays through Saturdays to help enforce the 9:30 pm closing time. After one night – last Thursday – this was suspended, because, Capt. Kevin Grossman said, transferring money between departments would need council approval. We went immediately to City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office to find out what was being done about this; Friday afternoon, her legislative assistant Newell Aldrich told us they were awaiting more information from Parks because the situation was “complicated.” This morning, Aldrich has just updated us: “We heard from the City Budget Office that Parks will contract with off-duty officers hired through Seattle’s Finest to do the closing of Alki Beach and Don Armeni boat ramp at night. Parks has the resources and appropriation authority to pay for this work.” We are inquiring with Parks to find out how soon this will start.
10:14 AM: Seattle’s Finest, as noted in comments, is one of multiple companies through which off-duty officers freelance; here’s a link. Meantime, we just heard back from Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin, who says details, such as when this will start, are still being worked out.
6:16 AM: It’s Monday, the 140th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
*Major Delridge road work continues as part of the RapidRide H Line project – here are this week’s toplines.
*1st Ave. S. Bridge northbound closure tonight – 10 pm-5 am.
CHECK THE TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
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). Here’s that camera:
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 – On 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.