West Seattle, Washington
Five months ago today, a major day in COVID-19 response – many schools decided to close. The pandemic has yet to recede, and we’re still presenting nightly toplines, so here we go:
KING COUNTY’S NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:
*16,830 people have tested positive, up 81 from yesterday’s total
*679 people have died, up 3 from yesterday’s total
*2,053 people have been hospitalized, up 10 from yesterday’s total
*340,150 people have been tested, up 2,486 from yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 15,779/657/1,984/307,450.
ANOTHER WEST SEATTLE DEATH: 98136 just recorded its 3rd death. For the record, here are the current totals for the other four zip codes that are all or partly in West Seattle:
98116 – 2
98106 – 3
98146 – 9
98126 – 14
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.
BRIEFING TOMORROW: Want to get the statewide status? The weekly media briefing with the state’s COVID-19 response leaders is tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 pm; it’ll be streamed here.
NEED FOOD? Again this week, 2-5 pm Wednesday and Friday, you can drive up or walk up and get a free box of food at Food Lifeline‘s HQ (815 S. 96th).
GOT INFO? email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Our area’s largest political group meets online tomorrow night (Wednesday, August 12), and if you want to attend, you need to register. The 34th District Democrats‘ agenda is previewed here, and you’ll find the registration link on that same page. Agenda toplines include a vote on whether to endorse state Referendum 90 regarding sex education in schools, and a discussion of King County charter amendments that are going to voters in November. The meeting starts at 7 pm.
Fans of Café Mia in The Junction (4310 SW Oregon) have long wished for a chance to enjoy its fare in the evening. Now that wish has come true. The restaurant has added some evenings – Thursdays and Fridays to start with, 4-8 pm. (Just Friday this week, though.) “We’re doing mostly pasta and wine, but some fun cocktails,” a café staffer told us by text. And yes, as our photo shows, they have outdoor seating.
The overnight northbound closures of the 1st Avenue S. Bridge will continue longer than first expected. We’ve been asking WSDOT about the status of the project, which is replacing 14 of the bridge’s deck panels, and finally got an update this afternoon. The work hit a glitch, explains WSDOT spokesperson Bart Treece – some trouble getting the new panels fastened to the bridge. So even though the work started July 26th, with a five-nights-a-week schedule, Treece says they’ve only completed two panel replacements so far. So at this point it looks like the Sunday-Thursday overnight northbound bridge closures (10 pm-5 am) will continue through next Wednesday; WSDOT is still working out the schedule, which might include some lane closures beyond that. (For more project/bridge background, see our story from last month.)
With September getting closer, many families are still making decisions about their child(ren)’s education. Today Summit Atlas, the charter middle/high-school in Arbor Heights, joins the WSB sponsor team to let you know what they offer:
Imagine having the option of keeping your scholar safe at home while not missing a beat in school! At Summit Atlas we offer 1:1 mentoring, real-world projects, self-directed learning, and a small, diverse community where each student is embraced. Our promise is that students graduate as happy, kind, curious adults with the habits and skills needed for success in college and life.
Summit Atlas is currently enrolling for grades 6-12. In response to COVID-19, our students will start the year in virtual school with a complete daily schedule and teacher-led instruction. We will always make decisions that are rooted in the best public-health information available, putting our community’s safety first.
We’re excited to connect with you!
Online: atlas.summitps.org/enroll – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank Summit Atlas for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
From Festus, hit by a health-minded car prowler:
I live on 34th between Cloverdale and Trenton. Someone broke into our car in our driveway overnight while we were home.
Luckily, some Covid masks and a bag of giveaway clothes were the only things taken, but they really threw the inside of the car around. Just wanted to get the word out. Prowlers are out with the nice weather…
Mandi is organizing weekly post-weekend community cleanups at Alki Beach and invites you to join her if you can: 9 am every Monday morning. Anyone interested in helping can meet her at Alki Beach Bathhouse (60th/Alki). Questions? Email Mandi at email@example.com.
P.S. Bring your own supplies (bag, grabber) if you can!
11:13 AM: One day after the City Council finalized budget cuts for Seattle Police, as a “first step” toward a dramatic change in public-safety delivery, there’s a big change that wasn’t in their legislation: Chief Carmen Best is leaving, two years after her promotion. Right now she and Mayor Jenny Durkan are holding a media briefing to discuss her plan to depart, and SPD’s future – you can click into Seattle Channel‘s livestream here (update: replaced with archived video):
We’ll add notes as it goes.
(Note – the video feed seems to be lagging so we’re taking notes from a listen line.) “When you know it’s time to go, it’s time to go,” opens Best, saying she “has no regrets. .. I love this department, I love this city,” and she tells her staff they will “always be in her heart.” She says she is “grateful” to Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz for agreeing to serve as interim chief, and declares him “more than ready” for the role. She says she has an “ask for the community” – “find a way to work together to put aside” personal & political conflict to “create solutions” for the city’s future. Her tone is very upbeat as she thanks a variety of supporters and co-workers, including department heads who are at the event. “I’m sorry to leave in some ways” – and she turns the mic over to the mayor.
Durkan begins with her voice cracking with emotion. “We’re facing an unprecedented crisis” – from the pandemic to systemic racism. “It’s been a hard, hard year, and today’s a hard, hard day.” She hails Best’s leadership and says she’s certain she’ll be leading elsewhere: “I wish she was staying.” Durkan says she and Best have had “many conversations” in recent weeks about her desire to retire. “Losing her is a deep loss for our city.” She says Best has dramatically diversified both the department and its leadership team. She says Best would have been “the right person to reimagine policing in this city” and says “deep conversation with community” was already under way, as were changes including collaborative policing and the return of Community Service Officers. After much touting of Best’s attributes, Durkan turns to recent events – ” “in the midst of disagreement, I hope we can find common ground” and then says she is “mystif(ied)” that the council didn’t consult Best. She assails the council for voting to cut Best’s salary, and no other department heads. “My message to the city council is and has always been, I remain willing to work with you.” But she also says she’ll uphold contracts; and she says transformation is “hard, painful work … the road is long.” She adds, “Council, if you want to go far, we have to go together.”
11:34 AM: Now she is talking about Deputy Chief Diaz: “I am certain he will continue this hard work.” He then takes the microphone, first with words of appreciation for the departing chief. “Our department has had some hard times” in his years, but this is “the most challenging,” he says, then insisting the department is committed to reform. The department already has “the nation’s most robust accountability” system, he says. But “we know much more is demanded of us” and he promises “we’re listening to you.”
11:41 AM: Now Q&A. Would Best work with the council now if they asked? She says now it’s up to Chief Diaz. Was there a last straw? She said she was disappointed not to see “a plan going forward,” and then reads a gratitude email from a recently hired Black officer, then saying she would likely have to lay him off under the council’s plan, subsequently saying: “Can’t do it.” She then says the council’s decisions show a “lack of respect for the officers.” In response to another question, she says their vote to cut her pay and that of her command staff seemed “vindictive” and “personal,” so maybe departing “will help the city and department move forward.” In response to another question, she says again that she doesn’t want to have to lay people off. And also, in terms of “political grandstanding,” she says, “I’m done with that.”
The mayor says she does not plan to launch a search for a permanent police chief this year: “What job would they be applying for?” A short time later, she also notes that the “unpredictable” budget climate would likely make it impossible to attract a good candidate.
12 PM: The mayor also gets in a dig at the council by noting none of them called to ask about the officers injured in protests that turned violent. … The chief says she was particularly “offended” that the council would “even consider” cutting her command staff’s salaries (a move she also called “illegal”). The mayor then accused the council of playing “mini-police chief” in trying to micro-manage the SPD budget. They could and should have given the chief a number to meet in cuts, and to let her decide how.
How will Chief Diaz try to work with the council as the 2021 budget process gets under way? He says he looks forward to them contacting him. The mayor, meantime, has said multiple times that she wants to hear from “all of Seattle” in crafting the future of public safety. She’s asked a while later about her harsh words for the council and how that’ll lead to collaboration. “I am willing to work with them, and I think we need to work together,” she says. “I want to work with this council.”
12:23 PM: Best gets the final word as the event ends, saying she has faith the city and the people in it “will do what’s right.” We’ll substitute the archived video above when it’s available.
1:30 PM: West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold has issued a statement about the chief’s departure, calling it a “staggering loss.” Read her entire statement here.
4:36 PM: Six more councilmembers’ statements:
*Joint statement from Councilmembers Lorena González, Teresa Mosqueda, Tammy Morales
*Statement from Councilmember Debora Juarez
*Statement from Councilmember Andrew Lewis
*Statement from Councilmember Alex Pedersen
(added 10:02 pm) *Statement from Councilmember Dan Strauss
(added Thursday) Statement from Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Three previews for the rest of your Tuesday:
SPD CHIEF’S DEPARTURE: Citywide outlets broke the news late last night that SPD Chief Carmen Best is departing, two years after taking over, one day after the City Council’s vote on budget and job cuts. At 11 am today, she and Mayor Jenny Durkan will hold a news conference “to discuss Chief Best’s decision to retire and the future of the Seattle Police Department.” Seattle Channel will stream it here, and we plan to carry the feed.
DEMONSTRATION: 4-6 pm at 16th/Holden, the twice-weekly streetcorner demonstration organized by Scott from Puget Ridge Cohousing: “Hold signs, meet neighbors, and stand for racial justice.”
RECONNECT WEST SEATTLE: Over the next week, SDOT plans 4 “neighborhood check-ins” before finalizing the neighborhood=prioritization results and launching projecs on/near detour routes.The first one is today for Georgetown during its Community Council meeting, 6:30 pm – connection information, and the full list of meetings (including one for West Seattle’s affected neighborhoods Thursday night), is here.
Family and friends of Dominic Madura are sharing this remembrance with the community:
Dominic Madura passed away in Seattle on July 19th, 2020, at the age of 27.
Dominic was born in Seattle, on July 23, 1992, to John and Jana Madura, joining his older sister Chelsea, at their home in West Seattle.
Dominic attended Holy Rosary Grade School in West Seattle, and graduated in 2011 from Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien.
Dominic loved the outdoors, including fishing, kayaking, biking, skateboarding, and spending time at the beach. He could often be found longboarding or kayaking along Alki Beach near his home. Dominic’s love for fishing started at an early age, when he was barely big enough to hold his own fishing pole. His favorite time of the year was the family’s annual summer vacation to Twin Lakes where he would fish, spend time with family and friends, and relax in the outdoors. He loved fishing there so much, that once when his family went for a fall weekend trip, and didn’t catch anything, the distraught eight-year-old demanded they stay until he caught at least one keeper to bring home. Nic (as his family called him) always out-fished everyone.
Dominic was a very kind and gentle person; a loving son and wonderful brother. He was always thinking of others, often bringing home a treat to his mom or lending a hand around the house. He loved nature, and all creatures, especially dogs. Growing up, the Madura family had a yellow lab, Blondie, that Dominic absolutely adored. His favorite times with Blondie were the rare occasions when West Seattle was hit with snow. He once built a snow fort in the backyard for them to play in, and then fed Blondie cheese from a hole in the roof. Dominic had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved to make funny faces and use goofy voices to make everyone laugh. For example, a few months ago Dominic threw on a witch Halloween mask, and began strumming the song “Last Kiss” on his guitar, singing along with a silly voice. He loved to play his guitar, especially with good friends, most of whom called him “Dom.” Jam sessions in his parents’ living room would last for hours; they sometimes took requests but mostly played local Grunge and other favorites of the Madura household.
Dominic was also a fighter, winning a battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, all while dealing with late onset, type 1, diabetes. Though he won the battle over the cancer, these two diseases took their toll on his body, and his spirit. Despite those challenges, he always remained strong and tried to look on the bright side of life.
Dominic leaves behind his parents, John and Jana Madura; his sister Chelsea (Madura) Smith, and his new niece, Siena. He also leaves behind many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. A funeral mass will be held for Dominic, and donations can be made in his name to The Oxford House. Due to COVID restrictions, a larger celebration of his life will take place next Spring.
Please share your favorite memory of him at: emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Dominic-Madura
Care & Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:03 AM: It’s Tuesday, the 141st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
*Major Delridge road work continues as part of the RapidRide H Line project – here’s where they are focused this week.
*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 – Remaining 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.