day : 15/08/2020 7 results

CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 8/15 roundup

On this warm mid-August evening, here are tonight’s virus-crisis toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:

*17.514 people have tested positive, 174 more than yesterday

*686 people have died, unchanged from yesterday

*2,087 people have been hospitalized, 6 more than yesterday

*314,854 people have been tested, 2,863 more than yesterday*

One week ago, those totals were 16,472/675/2,025/322,412*.

TESTING TOTALS DISCLAIMER: For a third day, the county’s daily summary includes this:

On Aug. 13, the state Department of Health provided an updated negative test total which is part of our daily outbreak summary. In this update, the negative test total for King County was reduced by 38,191. The current number of tests reflects the number of unique individuals tested. We hope to update our counts to also include the number of tests performed by the week of 8/17. Please note that this issue primarily affects negative lab results over the last several weeks, but does not impact the total number of positive tests.


WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 21.3 million people have tested positive, and more than 769,000 have died. Most cases: U.S., Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa – same as the past 4 weeks. See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

SATURDAY NIGHT ONLINE CONCERTS: The pandemic can’t stop the music! Kenyon Hall launched a series of online concerts tonight – our preview includes info on the next two.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

Remembering WSB mascot Miles, 2000-2020

Once upon a time, before a mixed-use building replaced it, a storefront at 4724 California SW held the West Seattle Petco store.

Among its offerings in the early 2000s: Shelter cats up for adoption.

Back then, our son liked to visit the store to see the fish, some of which came home to join our aquarium (until the 2006 windstorm outage claimed the last one). Your editor would usually insist on a visit to the back of the store to see the cats.

In summer 2005, one shelter-maintained cage held a 5-year-old Tonkinese/Siamese mix, whose info card from Purrfect Pals said his name was Kitty Boy and that his prior owner had to give him up upon moving to a long-term-care facility. Kitty Boy looked at us with big sad “get me out of here” blue eyes. But we had a cat at home already, a 5-year-old tortoiseshell adopted three years earlier during a Seattle Animal Shelter “foster cat” event. The next time we visited Petco, the card for Kitty Boy indicated an adoption was pending. We felt relieved for him.

On our next visit a week or so later, though, he was still there – and we learned the adoption didn’t go through. That changed everything. We took him home (and renamed him Miles, which seemed a bit more befitting than Kitty Boy).

A few months later, we started WSB (as a personal site, almost 2 years before going all-news). Miles has been our “shop cat”/mascot the whole way – low-maintenance as house cats go, no escape attempts, not much furniture clawing, occasionally putting his head on my arm while I typed but never trying to commandeer the keyboard. He had a few endearing habits like swatting at the straps on co-publisher Patrick’s camera bag when we returned from a story – left jab, right jab, left jab.

Miles became our lone cat when Sweetie the aforementioned tortoiseshell died of cancer at 13 on the 4th of July, 2013, while we were out covering the Kids’ Parade. The years ticked by and we wondered what amazing feat of kitty longevity Miles was aiming for.

Early this year, though, as Miles turned 20, there were signs of decline – going into corners of the house and yowling for no apparent reason. A few weeks ago, he became notably skinnier, and then started to wander around the house in apparent confusion, mewing rather than yowling. But he seemed relatively OK until this past Wednesday morning, when suddenly, he couldn’t stand up, and soon lost consciousness.

We sat with him, thinking death was near. He wasn’t going without a fight, though. Our vigil lasted 34 hours, and then Miles was gone – during a breaking story (the power outage). After one last round of goodbyes, we called Resting Waters, which came to tenderly transport him.

It’s odd around HQ now. No cat lying in the morning sun, or curled up on the couch. No playful paws to take aim at the camera-bag strap. So whether your pet is 2 or 20, give them a hug on our behalf, as we remember Miles.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car prowler takes accessories

The photos are from a texter whose Jeep was prowled on the northeast end of Fauntleroy, along the west end of the West Seattle Bridge.

“They took the tools to take apart a Jeep. Also the tool to take the spare tire off the rear. Everything else is replaceable. They took the whole glove compartment too.” If you find anything like that, let us know and we’ll connect you.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: Low-bridge datapoints from Councilmember Herbold’s weekly update

(Reader photo)

Two datapoints about the low bridge are part of City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly newsletter. First, its traffic volume, graphed over six months, early February to early August:

Second, an update on low-bridge maritime-traffic openings:

According to SDOT, the lower bridge has opened 858 times through the end of July: 757 times for marine traffic, and 101 times for maintenance, testing or aborted openings. The most common operator is Broughton and Beckwith; openings last an average of 12 minutes; 357 openings occurred during peak travel hours.

I asked SDOT about openings in 2019. For the entire year, there were 1390 openings for marine traffic, 502 during peak travel hours, and 371 times for maintenance, testing or aborted openings.

The Coast Guard currently uses a “standard of care” that asks mariners to voluntarily limit their requests for openings during peak travel hours. 502 openings during peak travel hours for the entire year of 2019, as compared to 357 openings during peak travel hours through July of this year, has led me to make additional inquiries of SDOT of whether or not the Coast Guard is using the “standard of care” as intended.

As we’ve reported here over the years, the city has repeatedly tried and failed to get low-bridge openings curtailed or even canceled during peak times. Meantime, the West Seattle Bridge update in Herbold’s newsletter also includes traffic data for other routes as well as noting two meetings next Wednesday – the Community Task Force (noon) and the council’s Transportation Committee, talking about bridge funding (no published agenda yet).

UPDATE: Big SFD callout in The Junction = gas-line break

(Added: WSB photos)

12:08 PM: All those sirens were for a gas-leak callout at Rutan/Edmunds [map]. Most units, though, are being dismissed.

12:46 PM: SFD crews still at the scene told us it was caused by the crew doing road work on 44th near Edmunds. No injuries. They’re getting ready to close out the response and leave.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Expanded heat alert for Sunday

(Thursday’s sunset, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

The heat alert for Sunday has expanded by a few hours. The National Weather Service now has a “Heat Advisory” for 7 am Sunday through 2 am Monday. Same outlook, though: “Very hot conditions with afternoon temperatures in the 90s expected.” Today, meantime, we could get into the mid-80s – same for Monday and Tuesday.

TRAFFIC ALERTS: 2 West Seattle road closures this weekend

We start today by reminding you about two road closures:

44TH SW IN THE JUNCTION: As we first reported Wednesday, 44th between SW Alaska and SW Edmunds will be closed most of the weekend – and the next two weekends – for replacement of concrete road panels damaged by heavy bus traffic.

From SDOT‘s notice:

 Sidewalk access will not be impacted.
 Please use detour route.
 All lanes will be closed to general traffic and Metro traffic on 44th Ave SW between SW Edmunds St and SW Alaska Street on:
o Saturday Aug. 15th from 8 AM through Sunday Aug 16th at 6 PM
o Saturday Aug. 22nd at 12:01 AM through Sunday Aug. 23rd at 11:59 PM
o Saturday Aug. 29th at 12:01 AM through Sunday Aug. 30th at 11:59 PM
 Metro Transit’s C-Line will not use the bus stops on SW Alaska St at Calif. Ave SW (at Easy St Records & at Key Bank.) C-Line passengers can use bus stops on SW Alaska St east of 42nd Ave SW and east of 41st Ave SW.

SW GENESEE IN NORTH DELRIDGE: As part of the project preparing for the RapidRide H Line, SW Genesee is closed again this weekend between Delridge and 25th, with local-only access east of Genesee. Delridge Way itself IS open, though.

SDOT says, “Drivers will need to detour at SW Andover St or SW Alaska St to get to and from Delridge Way SW.” Also note that Metro Route 50 is rerouted (details here). The closure could last until 5 am Monday, although last weekend’s closure was over by early Sunday evening, so we’ll be checking on it.