West Seattle, Washington
Here’s what’s new in the virus crisis:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*18,130 people have tested positive, 141 more than yesterday
*697 people have died, 1 more than yesterday
*2,130 people have been hospitalized, 15 more than yesterday
*327,448 people have been tested, 339 more than yesterday*
One week ago, the four totals were 16,979/680/2,068/345,323.
TESTING TOTALS DISCLAIMER: For the seventh 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.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
‘PERSONAL SERVICES’ CLARIFICATIONS: From the state:
Business activity requirements for “Personal Services” applies to cosmetologists, hairstylists, manicurists, tanning salons, makeup and tattoo artists, and other similar categories. New language clarifies that all customers of these businesses must wear a face covering unless directed by a medical professional who says otherwise. That means that certain services such as facials or beard trimmings are no longer permitted.
NEIGHBORHOOD MORALE: The photos and report are from Lizzy:
In lieu of a block party, we made take out pizzas for our neighbors where we live near Chief Sealth High School. We’ve been making pizzas as a family and with our neighbors who share the oven with us every Wednesday since the quarantine began and it’s been nice to share and socialize for a few minutes.
GOT INFO? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours before a protest group gathered outside the Southwest Precinct, its new commander was talking about police reform at the first online meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council.
Capt. Kevin Grossman and his second-in-command, Operations Lt. Sina Ebinger, had a lot more to say – from West Seattle’s crime drop, to police staffing.
The WSCPC, rather than an organized group, has long been a monthly gathering of whoever shows up, coordinated by community member Richard Miller, often with special guests as well as local police leadership. Meetings went on hiatus after February because of the pandemic; last night, the WSCPC returned, with the help of SW Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner.
Capt. Grossman opened with a recap of his background (which we’ve covered at other community meetings, as well as in our interview with him). Then – the trends:
“We currently have crime rates much, much lower than 2019,” he said, while making it clear that the pandemic and bridge closure were undoubtedly major factors.
(Southwestern side of Roxhill Bog, WSB file photo)
Half a year ago, we reported on a new effort to save Roxhill Bog. It concluded with a note that community involvement would be sought starting in late summer. Now it begins, with a survey:
West Seattle community members are being asked to participate in a survey of the Roxhill Park and its bog natural area as a part of the restoration efforts by a community lead partnership of organizations: Roxhill Champions, Duwamish Alive Coalition, City of Seattle, King County, and American Rivers. The purpose of this survey is to understand how communities are using the park and its natural area containing the bog. The community feedback on current uses, concerns and desires for the future will help ongoing planning efforts to restore the bog natural area and improve its use by community members. The survey is part of the hydrology study which was announced at a February “Stakeholders” meeting.
This natural area is one of the few remaining bogs in the city and was a thriving community treasure where families and community members connected with nature. Local schools used it as an outdoor classroom connecting curriculum with hands on learning, with community groups using it for recreation, education and social activities. It hosted one of the most diverse bird and native plant populations in the city.
The 5.3-acre bog natural area is also the headwaters of Longfellow Creek that flows through West Seattle. In recent years the area of the bog has been drying out, causing a rapid decline of the bog’s 2,000-year-old peat and its unique wetland ecosystem. The first step in restoring the bog’s health is to understand what is happening with the water in the bog. Part of the community-based effort to restore the bog’s health is conducting a hydrology study of it and to also understand how our community uses it currently and would like to in the future.
The survey (is open now and will) run through early September. All answers will be anonymous and any feedback is greatly appreciated. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete and is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The information shared in the survey will be very helpful in planning for the bog and natural areas that the West Seattle community enjoys.
For more information and to participate in the survey, go to:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Even once there’s a repair-or-immediately-replace decision for the West Seattle Bridge, that won’t necessarily be the absolute final word.
That bit of information emerged in breakout-group discussion during today’s seventh meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, which dealt with a variety of topics, and began with a mayoral guest appearance. Our video below shows the first 1 1/2 hours of the 2 1/2-hour meeting:
Task Force co-chair Paulina López opened the meeting, previewing the agenda. Co-chair Greg Nickels introduced the current holder of his former job, Mayor Jenny Durkan. “The job of mayor in the best times is a hard job … (this) mayor has had an incredible amount of hard stuff on her plate this year,” from COVID-19 to racial-injustice protests to the topic at hand, the emergency closure of the West Seattle Bridge almost five months ago.
Two changes ahead at Terminal 5 in West Seattle. Temporary tenant Matson will call there for the last time this week; it’s consolidating Hawaii operations with the Alaska operations it runs from the West Sitcum terminal in Tacoma starting August 28th. As a result, three of the cranes at T-5 will be moved there starting next week; the Northwest Seaport Alliance‘s announcement says, “The cranes will be raised with hydraulic jacks and the wheels/trucks rotated 90 degrees and loaded on a barge.” The remaining three will be dismantled and removed later this year; new cranes will arrive next year as the first expanded berth of the T-5 modernization project prepares to open.
The Wash Dog has a spacious new home, and the “bath house and spa for pets” is sponsoring WSB to make sure everybody knows about the move. Here’s what they would like you to know:
The Wash Dog has moved! We are very happy to be able to welcome furry customers to our new and larger location: 10623 16th Ave SW in White Center [map].
At The Wash Dog, there’s a grooming service for every need:
*Self-Service Dog Wash Rooms – Walk-In Service
*Professional Bathing Service – by appointment
*Professional Grooming – by appointment
*Nail Trims – Walk-In Service
Customers can also drop by with their dog just to say “hi” and pick up a treat.
The Wash Dog is located at 10623 16th Ave SW, on the west side of the street. Hours for walk-in services are Monday–Friday, 10 am to 7:00 pm, and Saturday/Sunday, 9 am to 5:00 pm. Holiday hours are always posted online at thewashdog.com or on The Wash Dog’s Facebook page.
We thank The Wash Dog 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.
We checked in today with WSDOT on the status of the ongoing nighttime work to replace deck panels on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge. Here’s what spokesperson Tom Pearce tells us:
Our contractor has used five nights of full closures on the NB SR 99 Duwamish River Bridge. Per our agreement, the contractor is allowed to have nine more full closures. They are scheduling three more for Sept. 8-9-10.
During the next two weeks, the northbound bridge will reduce to one lane nightly Sundays through Thursdays, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. No work on Friday or Saturday nights. These do not count against the nighttime full directional closures.
They have replaced six panels on the bridge; they still have eight to do.
As a reminder, if you have to cross the Duwamish late at night/early in the morning, the West Seattle low bridge is open to all 9 pm-5 am.
(Added 4:46 pm: Archived meeting video)
The City Council Transportation Committee has just given unanimous approval to a funding source – intracity borrowing paid off by a bond sale – for the initial major costs of the West Seattle Bridge project. That followed an extensive briefing on what has transpired in the past almost-five months. First, here are some toplines of how that funding will work:
This money will cover program costs through the first quarter of next year – what will be needed beyond that, too soon to tell, but the just-announced design contractor should be able to come up with an estimate not long after the October repair-or-immediately-replace decision, SDOT says, while also stressing that partner funding is expected – federal, state, etc.
A final vote on the initial funding plan approved this morning (added: here’s the legislation) is set for the next full Council meeting on September 8th. This mornings discussion and vote followed a major briefing on various bridge-related matters, first official briefing for the council since shortly after the sudden shutdown of the bridge on March 23rd. First, SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe recapped what’s happened in the almost five months since safety concerns shut down the bridge, including the determination that repair is possible, while they have not yet determined whether it’s feasible.
SDOT’s WS Bridge program director Heather Marx also spoke, breaking down current work into three categories: On The Bridge, On The Ground, In The Community. The first list included yesterday’s announcement of HNTB as the contractor to design an eventual replacement (whether that needs to happen ASAP or a decade-plus down the road). She also updated the stabilization work (which Marx said will continue into “early winter”):
And the low bridge’s need for “strengthening” (“probably a 2-year project,” per Marx:
She also said in response to a question from Councilmember Lisa Herbold that no major low-bridge closures were likely because of that work.
Meantime, there was a preview of how low-bridge camera enforcement will work:
Meantime, “On The Ground” focused mostly on what detour-route improvements have been made so far:
And more are ahead, Marx noted in the Reconnect West Seattle overview – we expect to hear a lot more about that when the WS Bridge Community Task Force meets at noon today. Meantime, here are the In The Community toplines:
The committee meeting is continuing with non-bridge topics; when the meeting video is available later today, we will add it to this report.
10:04 AM: You can’t get to southbound Delridge Way SW from the five-way intersection right now because of a broken-down truck. Metro Routes 50, 120, and 125 are rerouted, too. Police are directing traffic. (added) The SDOT camera shows a tow truck has arrived.
11:21 AM: Traffic cam shows that the truck has been towed and the lane is open again.
Good morning. 3 notes for the hours ahead:
BLOOD DRIVE EXTENDED: Last month, we wrote about a pop-up drive at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Now there’s word it’s been extended, with donation sessions added 9 am-5 pm today and next Monday and Wednesday. Here’s how to make an appointment.
TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE: The City Council’s Transportation Committee meets online at 9:30 am, with agenda items including West Seattle Bridge funding and scooter-sharing. The agenda includes info on how to view and how to comment.
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Online at noon, it’s the advisory group’s 7th meeting, with the agenda including remarks from and Q&A with the mayor. Our preview includes the agenda and how to watch.
6:07 AM: It’s Wednesday, the 149th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
*Major work continues along Delridge Way for the RapidRide H Line prep project – here’s the bulletin detailing where crews are working this week and how that affects traffic/access.
*The 1st Ave. S. Bridge work is scheduled to continue with another NB 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 – No recent changes – still reduced service and distancing – details here.
Water Taxi – Still on its “winter” schedule, with the 773 and 775 shuttles running – see the schedule here.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
“Good neighbor!” That’s how Kay describes Brooke, who you see above in a photo taken after Kay spotted Brooke working to clean a vandalized mural. It’s on the south side of the NB 35th SW bus stop near Thistle, depicting the faces of President Barack Obama and Albert Einstein, shown below via Google Street View:
You might see Brooke back at the bus shelter tomorrow – Kay reports she was trying multiple solvents to try to find something that worked, and was planning on “going to the hardware store to ask their advice.”
12:54 AM: Seattle Fire has just dispatched a “full response” to 30th/Charlestown [map] for a report of smoke and flames. Updates to come.
1 AM: Firefighters have radioed that it’s an “exterior rubbish fire” and are downsizing the response.