month : 09/2020 325 results

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 9/30 roundup

Here’s our nightly update with local/regional pandemic-related toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals (keep in mind, these are the first since Monday):

*22,400 people have tested positive, 137 more than yesterday

*758 people have died, no change in the past week

*2,374 people have been hospitalized, 5 more than yesterday

*437,985 people have been tested, 2,791 more than yesterday

One week ago, those totals (plus testing) were 21.677/758/2,340/(unavailable).

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

RAPID-TEST KITS ON THE WAY: From the state Department of Health:

Within the next five to ten days the Washington State Department of Health will receive and distribute the first batch of Abbott BinaxNOW antigen test kits for COVID-19 from the federal government. These are rapid tests that can return results in as little as 15 minutes. The first batch will include 149,000 kits, and the state anticipates receiving nearly 2.3 million total tests between now and December.

These rapid tests work best for and are approved for people with symptoms. This first batch will be distributed to community health centers, tribal clinics and critical access hospitals to increase access to COVID-19 testing in the communities they serve across the state. A plan for distribution of future shipments is in development.

VACCINE PLANNING: Also from the Health Department:

The Washington State Department of Health continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts.

Yesterday we learned that on Friday, October 2, the National Academies will release the final Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. This report will help guide equitable allocation of a limited initial supply of COVID-19 vaccine. We will be looking at that report and using it to inform our planning and thinking for how we prioritize vaccine until there is sufficient supply for demand.

In addition to an updated framework for equitable allocation, the report will include recommendations for ensuring equity in distribution, administration, and access to the vaccine; for effective community engagement, risk communication, and strategies to promote vaccine acceptance; and for equitable global allocation.

FARES RESUME: One more reminder – after months of free rides because of the pandemic, Metro buses and the Water Taxi resume fares tomorrow.

GOT INFO? Email us at or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

FOLLOWUP: West Marginal/Highland Park Way intersection work to start this weekend

Part of the West Seattle Bridge update/discussion during City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s Town Hall earlier tonight was a recap of the 6 changes planned/proposed for West Marginal Way. SDOT announced tonight that a key part of those changes – restriping part of the West Marginal/Highland Park Way intersection, as shown below (from our Sept. 18th story) – will start this Sunday (October 4th).

Specifics on work hours and traffic impacts will be out before the weekend.

UPDATE: Councilmember Herbold’s Town Hall, hour 2 – West Seattle Bridge


6:44 PM: Our coverage of West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s Town Hall continues – we covered the first hour, on public safety, separately, and now it’s on to the second hour, about the West Seattle Bridge closure, in its seventh month. Really only 3/4 of an hour left, since the public-safety discussion ran long, and it’s starting with SDOT’s bridge project leader Heather Marx making a presentation. A lot of this covers ground we have covered repeatedly – including going all the way back to the March 23rd closure – so we’ll just note anything new that arises.

6:51 PM: Interesting datapoint, Marx mentions that the post-tensioning steel brackets being used as part of the stabilization were made at Vigor in the Portland area. And she reiterates that the Cost-Benefit Analysis is under way to shape the “repair or replace?” decision, which the Community Task Force will weigh in on, though if “replace” is the decision, the CBA does not include a final decision of HOW to replace it – that is the separate Type/Size/Location study. Marx says the mayor will “visit the Task Force to announce her decision and take questions.” (If that’s at a regular Task Force meeting, it wouldn’t be any sooner than October 21st, on the current schedule.)

6:58 PM: Now it’s on to Sara Zora, SDOT’s new “mobility manager” handling the Reconnect West Seattle traffic-mitigation program that’s part of the bridge project. She touches on the low bridge and its upcoming improvements, plus the evolving access policy, and the Community Task Force subcommittee that will work on it. She also had a bit of new information on what the enforcement cameras – pole-mounted – will look like. Then she moves on to West Marginal Way (see our recent story on the 6 planned/proposed changes). She reiterates that two of those changes – bike lane and freight lane – are still pending more “stakeholder engagement.”

7:11 PM: Finally to Q&A. First question Callanan reads is about whether the immersed-tube tunnel option is getting proper evaluation, since consultant HNTB specializes in bridges. Yes, says Marx. “To say that they don’t have experience in tunneling is untrue,” she adds, saying they’ve gone to lengths to explore the ITT in every aspect, and to constantly have it suggested that they’re not is “insulting.”

Next – why the punitive approach on the low bridge? “It feels like the city doesn’t appreciate what residents are going through.” Herbold takes this on first. She reiterates that the enforcement cameras will start with only warnings through year’s end. The state legislation that authorized it was intended to keep unauthorized vehicles out of transit lanes, and that’s “the function of the lower-level bridge right now.” It’s important that people respect its limited capacity, she stresses. When ticketing starts, it’ll be $75. Then she hands it over to Marx to talk about the low bridge’s capacity: 450 an hour “before we start impacting emergency services,” as she’s said at many briefings before. “What automated enforcement allows us to do is to be more finely grained” about access – perhaps allowing medical professionals, people who need life-saving medical treatments. She says she does understand as she lives in here and has a family and transportation challenges too: “We’re all in this together … The city IS on your side … We really have to protect the low bridge for emergency services.” Herbold notes that the camera use also will allow SDOT to better examine traffic patterns on the low bridge, which could in turn lead to other policy changes for usage. “We’re all pushing SDOT to … examine these policies.”

7:19 PM: Next Q, any plan to encourage better usage of park and rides, add more, encourage more water taxi usage, etc.? “All those ideas are definitely in play at this time,” Zora replies. Is there a time frame? Callanan follows up. Next few months, says Zora. They’re taking into account all the feedback from the 15,000+ respondents to the mobility survey.

Next Q, what will they do to encourage repair-or-replace crew to work as fast as possible? Marx replies, “How many crews and the hours of work are ‘means and methods,’ and we generally leave that up to the contractor … One of the things we can do is include some pay for performance measures,” such as a financial incentive for delivering early. The question is “absolutely valid,” she affirms.

Then: Why hasn’t there been much discussion about combining with light rail? “It’s a little bit complicated,” says Marx, adding that they are continuing to talk with Sound Transit about “the advisability of combining both bridges.” (ST has always been planning its own cross-Duwamish bridge, you might recall.) There might be wisdom in having two separate structures, she says. “There are good reasons to combine the structures, good reasons to keep them separate … you can rest assured those conversations are happening on a weekly basis.” Herbold adds that if a new West Seattle structure is built, it would be ’24-’26, but ST’s timeline is years later. She says she sent a letter about including this in the draft Environmental Impact Statement that ST is working on; they said it can’t be included but there’s “potential they could add it for analysis in the final EIS.”

7:27 PM: Why couldn’t the Longhouse just get a simple crosswalk? Marx explains that they have to have a signal before they can put in a crosswalk, and that (as mentioned in the West Marginal Way presentation) it will all be fully funded by the bridge project. “The interim signal will be installed in mid-2021,” Zora notes. (As we’ve reported, and as Marx added, dealing with the railroad tracks is what will take extra time.)

7:30 PM: This is wrapping up. In closing, Herbold says her office has ‘a big backlog of emails” and she and her staff are “doing everything we can” to get answers. Callanan says unanswered questions from tonight will be forwarded to her office too.

WHAT’S NEXT: Two related meetings are coming up next Wednesday (October 7th) – the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meets at noon, and the District 1 Community Network is scheduled to have Councilmember Herbold as a guest at 7 pm. We’ll have connection information on both as they get closer.

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Councilmember Herbold’s Town Hall, hour 1 – public safety


5:35 PM: Click the window above to watch West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s Town Hall, scheduled to spend the first hour on public safety, the second on the bridge closure. We’ll be chronicling each hour separately, as they happen. First, public safety, with the backdrop of the council’s recent vote to cut Seattle Police funding, leading to a veto fight with the mayor, who lost and just today announced the council’s planned cuts will take effect, including suspension of the Navigation Team.

Police Chief Adrian Diaz is the first guest; moderator is Brian Callanan, a West Seattleite who works for Seattle Channel. The chief starts with his five priorities for SPD, and says he’s a former West Seattleite who still has family here. He notes that the Southwest Precinct has had 2 homicides – with arrests in both; assaults, arsons, and motor vehicle thefts are up, while burglaries, robberies, and rapes are down. He acknowledges concern about street racing and Alki issues. He says staffing, however, is an issue almost daily, citywide, but today is the first day for a redeployment of 100 staffers citywide back to patrol/911 response. “Our core mission is responding to calls for service and preventing crime.”

5:40 PM: The chief says he has to leave, and turns it over to SW Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman. He says crime in West Seattle is down 15 percent overall, perhaps because of the pandemic and bridge closure. But he says he’s been hearing a lot about quality-of-life issues in Alki and South Park. “I’d like to address them (but) the biggest problem I’m facing … is staffing.” As we’ve reported before, he’s lost 10 percent of the sworn officers to resignations, retirements, and lateral (other department) moves. He talked about how it took an hour for a repeat caller to get a response because the four officers on at that time were busy with higher-priority calls. “That illustrates my point – we just don’t have the staffing to get to all the calls.” He says the redeployment isn’t going to help much because “50 percent of the people assigned (to the precinct) have indicated their intention to leave.” Half his staffing most nights also has been lost to dealing with protests in other parts of town, but the chief has come up with a way to address that, that should help, he says.

5:46 PM: Back to Councilmember Herbold, who talks about the plan for alternative means of community safety, and the mayor’s announcement that – in addition to going ahead with cuts – means that violence-prevention organizations will get the funding allotted by the council. She says participatory budgeting – with everyone from small businesses to activist groups participating – will help shape the changes. She says the size of the police force may decline as some functions move to other types of responses, but that doesn’t mean no police – it means that officers will be able to focus on what they’re truly needed for. She mentions an Oregon program called CAHOOTS that’s been cited before, saying it handles 20 percent of 911 calls in its jurisdiction.

She moves on to LEAD – Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion – which is expanding to West Seattle, into a long-planned move for which Herbold has advocated. Guests from the program, including a Prosecuting Attorney’s Office rep – join her. First, Tracy Gillespie, the program’s operations director, who explains that it’s for people who have repeat contacts with police, and referrals can be made by community members as well as by law enforcers. It’s meant to be a very neighborhood-centered program. Project manager Aaron Burkhalter speaks next. He says he’s been talking with community members already “to try to get a good sense of what’s going on … trying to prioritize as much as we can.” He says they’re already handling “high-priority referrals … from West Seattle.” is his email address. The King County PAO who supervises three LEAD-liaison lawyers, Natalie Walton-Anderson, a West Seattleite, calls the program “amazing” in its ability to address people “engaging in public disorder and low-level crimes” while dealing with substance disorder and untreated mental illness. Prosecutors’ role: “We want to come up with a solution that doesn’t involve jail.” But that doesn’t mean no accountability – they also want to hear what’s not working, as well as what is.

6:04 PM: Questions and comments from viewers now, read by Callanan. First – how will community safety be measured post-defunding, and what happens if it doesn’t work? Herbold says the term “defunding means a lot of different things to different people.” She says metrics will be used, from crimes reported to 911 calls received to the annual public-safety survey. It’s not about not policing, she stresses: “This is about allowing law enforcement to focus on its core mission.” The SPD budget reductions proposed in the new budget largely involve transferring functions outside the department. As for the initial reduction in officers passed by the council, that’s going to take a while because they have to be “bargained” (as also noted in the mayor’s announcement today). Herbold mentioned again that they want reductions to come from a list of officers who have troubled histories – “about 25 of them.” There’s a hiring freeze right now pending “the conversation about the future” of public safety.

Second, Capt. Grossman is asked about how cuts will affect policing in our area. “We will always look to ensure we’ve got adequate 911 coverage, especially when it comes to life-safety issues.” He adds that he doesn’t like the term “defunding” either but “there’s nothing wrong with a reset, society-wise,” discussing what police’s role should be. “It’s a good time to have that conversation,” he says, acknowledging SPD “takes a large part of the city’s budget.”

Third, another question for Capt. Grossman, about street racing, drug use, and other disorder: “When are we going to get support and relief on Harbor Avenue SW?” He replies, “I don’t know if I’d been here a day when I started getting emails from neighbors about those issues.” But it’s a “resource issue” and they’re “very very short-staffed at night …. times when I’m down to 4 officers.” The new citywide Community Response Group is intended from hereon out to handle protests so Southwest Precinct officers can stay in this area. He says maybe longterm, changes – maybe making Alki 1-way? – could help more than enforcement. “Long-term issues like street design are going to be longer-term solutions.”

6:15 PM: Herbold says Capt. Grossman is also supportive of making the Alki Point Keep Moving/Stay Healthy Street permanent, and thanks him for that. Next question – from an advocate for reducing gun violence. They want to know if Herbold’s office is developing relationships with community organizations like theirs. Herbold says that sort of thing is part of the community-organization funding just approved by the council (and vetoed by the mayor, then upheld by the council). She’ll be meeting with Human Services Director Jason Johnson to see whether funding will go to expand current contracts or whether new ones will be added. “If you’ve got particular programs that are doing work in West Seattle, let me know.” Callanan then asks the captain “what’s being done to address gun violence in South Park?” Grossman mentions his time as South Precinct commander, dealing with much more gun violence than this area, but as he’s said before, shots-fired calls are a priority, and he stresses the importance of his officers thoroughly investigating them. He also mentions the importance of working with youth to prevent violence before it starts.

Next, for Herbold (and Callanan says they might stretch the public-safety discussion beyond 6:30 pm) “how will your vote to reduce police funding affect your constituents; will we lose the precinct” (as once suggested by former Police Chief Carmen Best)? Herbold says this is an opportunity “to clarify what we actually did.” Budget rebalancing – not just SPD cuts – was necessary because of the revenue decline caused by the pandemic. It’s important to understand “how little we actually cut,” she says. She also explains that the precinct is NOT in jeopardy – it was at the time a reaction to another councilmember’s proposal for dramatic cuts that were never going to happen – and she ensured that by “legislatively establish(ing) budget levels for each precinct.” That bill meant no precinct could be closed without a council vote, which she would “never, ever support.”

Next, “When are you going to do something about all the RVs parked on Andover next to the West Seattle Health Club?” Herbold says, “I worked in the budget process several years ago for funding the RV Remediation Program .. when problem areas are identified, RVs are either asked to minimize their impacts to the areas where they are located, or move … I also worked to get funding through Seattle Public Utilities for RV pump-outs … The city’s approach is not one where we’re out there just towing RVs because they’re unlawfully parked or people’s living in them … we’re really focused on minimizing the impacts to surrounding communities … not having people’s RVs towed, one of the only things they have of value. … Unfortunately we have a lot of people living in their vehicles, and our focus is not to be punitive, but to minimize the impacts they have to surrounding communities.” Grossman adds, “It’s always been a challenge” and notes that the mayor’s office has a moratorium on moving campers or RV residents because of COVID. He underscores that they try to do what they can about reducing impact, and sometimes his officers can try to get them to leave for a while, though they often come back.

LEAD’s Burkhalter says they do work with people living in vehicles, working with the Scofflaw Mitigation Team (though this area wouldn’t be in their initial West Seattle focus, which will be in Cottage Grove and The Junction).

Next question – why does SPD put so much focus on “managing protests” instead of focusing resources elsewhere? “We have to make sure we facilitate people’s First Amendment rights but also have to make sure people’s lives are not in danger, and significant property damage is not occurring,” he says. He also adds that decisions are made based on projections from what police are seeing on social media. But again, he’s hopeful the department’s new protest-response team will free up his officers for what needs to be attended to here.

Asked for her thoughts, Herbold says she is also opposed to property damage, hate speech, arson, violence against officers, and if that happens or seems likely,”police are going to err on the side of caution and show up.” But reimagining public safety can lead to decisions freeing up police, too.

Then she adds that she wants to address the defunding of the Navigation Team, though that was not asked: The funding for it was reallocated to expand service providers’ contracts, she says, to make sure the work of reaching out to people living outdoors continues. Those providers have a better success rate than the Navigation Team did, she says. “Our vote is not about stopping that engagement or stopping the efforts to mitigate the impacts of people living outdoors.” She says letters today from the mayor don’t mention the reallocation of funding, so she’s concerned. “I’m really concerned that this omission is going to manufacture chaos by stopping the work of the Navigation Team and not replacing it, which was not the council’s intention.” LEAD can help, she says. She asks Gillespie to elaborate. “There’s a huge gray area between public disorder and criminal activity.” The organization REACH – the LEAD service provider – specializes in working with people “on their longterm behavior” and what they need to improve that behavior. She says stabilizing people has “extremely effective results.”

6:44 PM: That’s it for the public-safety discussion; we’re covering the Town Hall’s second hour, more like 3/4 of an hour now – on the bridge – in a separate story (go here).

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: More port cranes, sailing away

September 30, 2020 5:01 pm
|    Comments Off on SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: More port cranes, sailing away
 |   Port of Seattle | Seen at sea | West Seattle news

Thanks to Roger for the photo (and to others who tipped us too). The two port cranes passing West Seattle on their way out of Elliott Bay this afternoon are from Terminal 46 on the downtown waterfront. We mentioned them 2 1/2 weeks ago; their previously scheduled sail date was in the midst of the wildfire smoke. These cranes are headed to Everett to be scrapped, says port spokesperson Peter McGraw, who also tells us one old crane was left behind at T-46 for longshore-worker training.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police @ school; 2 car break-ins; 2 more found bicycles; more…

Today’s West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

POLICE @ SCHOOL: A few readers mentioned early-morning social-media chatter about a police response at Arbor Heights Elementary. The call was ultimately classified “trespassing.” We checked with SPD this morning; they confirmed there was no evidence of burglary or vandalism, adding, “Patrol officers hailed using their PA system but weren’t able to locate anyone.”

CAMPING GEAR STOLEN: Scott‘s car was broken into overnight in his driveway near 39th/Olga:

Thieves made away with my brown Alps tent (but left the poles), and a large tan tote with a bunch of camping gear including a mess kit. Also in the tote was a silver zippered case with a battery and charger for a Serfas headlight. Also look out for a WALL-E fleece blanket, which was covering up the stolen items.

Police report # is 2020-922548.

CAR-THEFT ATTEMPT: Jason‘s car was also broken into, early today:

My work van was the victim of an attempted theft this morning on 28th Ave SW in High Point. They did get away with some power tools and broke the ignition switch but did not get away with the van itself. This was at 4:15 am this morning and it looks like a minivan cased the block, dropped someone off then a sedan came back and picked up the guy and loot! Also, the neighbor at the end of the block had their Audi broken into and they also tried to steal the car unsuccessfully. All beware, thugs are running rampant!

BICYCLES FOUND: From the dumped-and-likely-stolen file, two more abandoned bicycles. First, from Tiffany:

This bike, which I assume stolen and ditched, has been leaning against my building for a couple weeks now. 4050 California Ave SW

This one was via text:

Nice commuter bike dumped in EC Hughes park [earlier this week]. Northwest corner of park.

CATALYTIC-CONVERTER REMINDER: Last but not least, we’ve had multiple reader reports in recent weeks about catalytic-converter thefts, and Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner has sent this notice:

The SW Precinct has noticed a string of catalytic converter thefts over the past few weeks. In an effort to decrease future incidents, we would like to provide the following prevention suggestions:

-Speak with your vehicle manufacture to inquire about specific devices that can be added to shield or lock the catalytic converter

-If possible, ensure your vehicle is parked in a busy, locked, monitored and/or well-lit location

-Check on your vehicle regularly to ensure no damage has been done

-Work with neighbors to establish or maintain a Block Watch group to increase “eyes on”

-Report all suspicious and/or criminal activity to the SPD by 911 immediately

Please feel free to reach out to me directly [] if you are interested in discussing this further and/or if you would like to schedule a free safety/security assessment.

And a reminder that the precinct commander will be part of the public-safety discussion in the first hour of tonight’s Town Hall, starting at 5:30 pm; more info here. We’ll be covering it live.

UPDATE: Free food boxes @ West Seattle Eagles

3:02 PM: Need food? The West Seattle Eagles have boxes of it available right now, free, to anyone and everyone, at their HQ in The Junction, while they last. 65 boxes remain, we’re told. Just drive/ride/walk up; the Eagles are at 4426 California SW.

3:53 PM UPDATE: All gone.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle makes the list for first Dick’s Drive-In food-truck stops

(File photo by Christopher Boffoli)

Two weeks ago, the legendary Seattle burger chain Dick’s Drive-Ins took votes on where to send its upcoming first-ever food truck. Today, the top 5 vote-getters were announced – and West Seattle was among them. Where in West Seattle, and when, is yet to be announced; in the original truck announcement, Dick’s said the truck – serving burgers and shakes – is expected to be ready in mid-November. The other four – announced in alphabetical order, so Dick’s wasn’t saying who got the most votes out of the 40,000+ cast – were Bellevue, Bellingham, Everett, and Renton. We’re checking with the chain to see if they have a timeline for the date/site announcement.

Another COVID cancellation: Admiral District trick-or-treating

September 30, 2020 12:55 pm
|    Comments Off on Another COVID cancellation: Admiral District trick-or-treating
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

One month before Halloween, The Admiral District has this announcement:

Admiral District merchants of West Seattle regret to announce that the annual “Trick-or-Treating” event for 2020 has been cancelled. While this longstanding Admiral neighborhood tradition has grown in popularity each year, and continues to be a West Seattle family favorite, the safety of our neighbors comes first. COVID-19 continues to impact families and businesses in the West Seattle community. Admiral District businesses have implemented CDC and King County recommended guidelines during this time. Thank you to all of you who have continued to support our establishments during the pandemic. We are still here, and we appreciate your business.

Trick or treating in the Admiral District has been 100% volunteer-supported by the businesses operating near the intersection of Admiral and California Ave SW for over 20 years. We look forward to bringing this longstanding tradition back to our neighbors in 2021.

Thanks for your support.
The Admiral District

Junction business trick-or-treating is also canceled, replaced with a 10-day virtual Harvest Fest.

HELPING: Art cars visiting West Seattle seniors

The pandemic has been tough for everyone – but especially for seniors, whose vulnerability to COVID-19 has meant isolation at a time of life when connection is more important than ever. So today, organized by the city’s Lifelong Recreation program, “art cars” are journeying to several senior-living centers and care facilities in West Seattle to spread some joy.

We caught up with them as they got ready to head out from the West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) lot in Morgan Junction at mid-morning.

This isn’t an official public-viewing event for health/safety reasons – but the stops along the “parade” route had advance notice, of course.

After leaving Thriftway, over the span of about two hours, they were scheduled to visit The Mount, Brookdale West Seattle, Westwood Heights, and The Kenney.

If “art cars” are new to you – here’s a bit of background.

Nine years ago, they had a meetup in West Seattle.

HAPPENING TODAY/TONIGHT: Online Town Hall & more

September 30, 2020 10:30 am
|    Comments Off on HAPPENING TODAY/TONIGHT: Online Town Hall & more
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(American Constellation passing The Arroyos while headed from Tacoma to Anacortes this morning – photographed by Chris Frankovich)

As noted last night, some smoke has shown up again. But forecasters insist we will NOT be dealing with bad air quality – nothing worse than a dip into “moderate.” In the meantime, here’s what’s happening today/tonight:

THE MISSING PIECE OPENS: First day for the new game café. (35th/Roxbury)

CITY COUNCIL BUDGET MEETINGS: After the introduction of the mayor’s proposal Tuesday, the council begins its meetings as the Select Budget Committee. First meeting of the day – outlining the process, and presenting the plan – is under way ; then, department presentations begin with a 2 pm session. It’s all streamed via Seattle Channel; the agenda for both sessions, with document links, is here.

ICE CREAM TRUCK ON GENESEE HILL: Across from GH Elementary, the PTA is hosting the Full Tilt Ice Cream truck, selling $6 cones to help their school-supply drive. 3-6 pm. (50th/Dakota).

BURRITOS FOR LAFAYETTE: Another PTA fundraiser – this one for Lafayette Elementary, 4-8 pm, at Chipotle in The Junction. (4730 California SW)

TOWN HALL: City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is hosting her first one since April, online 5:30-7:30 pm tonight – first hour on public safety, featuring Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz and Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman, second hour on the West Seattle Bridge. It’ll be streamed live on YouTube; RSVP via this form to get the link for asking questions.

Remembering Wanda E. Carney, 1930-2020

Family and friends are remembering Wanda E. Carney, and sharing this remembrance with her community:

Wanda Elizabeth Carney passed peacefully in the early afternoon of September 7th, 2020 in Seattle.

Wanda was born July 6th, 1930 in Toronto, Canada to Susan and William MacKay, and was the little sister to her four older brothers. She graduated from Winchester Street School in 1947, and became a nursery school teacher in Toronto. A brief leave was taken in 1953 to cross the ocean and tour Europe with a friend. In 1955 she ventured with friends to teach nursery school in Los Angeles.

On June 22, 1957, she married William E. “Bill” Carney of Seattle after meeting him at a wedding of mutual friends. A long-distance romance via letters between them blossomed into true love and marriage only ten months after they first met. The courtship was short, but the love affair lasted their entire lives.

Wanda and Bill settled in Seattle, and eventually made West Seattle their home for over thirty years. They later moved to the town of Dayton, WA in the 1990s.

Wanda pursued her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher by graduating from South Seattle Community College in 1974, and then from the University of Washington with a degree in English and Elementary Education in 1977. She received her Professional Education Certificate in 1976, and did substitute teaching at grade schools all over the Seattle area.

Wanda was very proud of her Canadian heritage, only becoming an American citizen in 1979 because of a new employment rule requiring it to teach in Washington. As protest, she celebrated Canada Day and Canadian Thanksgiving with even more enthusiasm.

She was a friend to many, and always seemed to be able to make new ones while staying in touch with her old ones. This included neighbors and friends in Seattle and Dayton, people from her church, and her many relatives and old friends from Canada. Her taco dinners were legendary, and her friends and family would eagerly await her annual Christmas gift of homemade shortbread from an old MacKay family recipe.

From an early age, music was a big part of Wanda’s life and passion. She sang in recitals, amateur musicals, choirs, many weddings and the Seattle Chorale. She was often asked to do solos in her United Methodist Church choirs, both in West Seattle and in Dayton. While her children did not inherit her musical talent, they all appreciated and treasured it. Wanda would often sit down at a piano and play a tune, or sometimes just burst out with a favorite song from her memory. It was very special to be able to hear her sing.

Wanda loved to read (something she definitely passed on to her children), and to attend plays, the opera and symphony, musicals and movies. If the movie had good music in it, so much the better. “The Sound of Music” was a favorite of hers. Also, anything with a bagpipe!

She is survived by her daughter Susan Carney, sons Robert Carney (Susanne) and Thomas Carney (Julie Nugent-Carney), and grandchildren Will Kulm, James Kulm, Elizabeth Kulm, Jacob Carney, Cade Carney, and Jackson Carney.

Wanda celebrated her 90th birthday on July 6th of this year outside her residence at the Kenney retirement home, surrounded by family. Jokes were told, laughter rang out, and everyone there had a big smile on their face (especially Mom) – clearly visible despite the protective masks.

She lived a full life, and is dearly missed by her family. A celebration of her life will be held in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Dayton United Methodist Church, 110 S. 3rd ST, Dayton, WA, the Salvation Army, or the Special Olympics.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, TRAFFIC: Wednesday 9/30 watch

September 30, 2020 6:21 am
|    Comments Off on ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, TRAFFIC: Wednesday 9/30 watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

6:21 AM: Welcome to Wednesday, last day of September, 191st morning without the West Seattle Bridge.


*Delridge project: The SW Oregon closure is still set for early Friday (October 2nd) until early Monday. And here’s the newest bulletin, with word on where work is scheduled this wwek.

*Westwood Village lot repaving: We updated this on Monday.


Metro – Remember that fare collection resumes tomorrow

Water Taxi – Fares for the foot ferry also resume Thursday.


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 the nearest camera:

Going through South Park? Don’t speed.

Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 9/29 roundup

Tonight’s toplines, as we start the eighth month of the pandemic response:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s today’s daily summary from Public Health – the cumulative totals:

*22,263 people have tested positive, 51 more than yesterday’s total

*758 people have died, unchanged since Friday

*2,369 people have been hospitalized, 7 more than yesterday’s total

*435,194 people have been tested, 1,052 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 21,590/753/2,337/(unavailable).


NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 33.5 million cases worldwide, 7.1 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

PROPERTY TAXES: From King County:

Seniors, people with disabilities, and others with qualifying conditions who applied for property tax exemptions or deferrals but are still waiting for a determination will be able to extend payments until January 31, 2021.

Affected property owners will be contacted, and will need to notify the Assessor’s Office via the web at, call 206-296-3920 or email to opt in to this program. The statutory deadline of November 2 remains in effect for all other property taxpayers.

BRIEFING TOMORROW: Want to hear firsthand what state health officials are saying about the pandemic? You can watch tomorrow’s weekly briefing live at 2 pm here.

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

WANTED: A restaurant to partner with West Seattle High School seniors for one day

Even as they fight to stay afloat in the pandemic economy, local businesses have continued to give back to the community. The West Seattle High School ASB is hoping to find one that can answer their call, and asked us to publish it:

Dear West Seattle community,

The West Seattle High School Senior class ASB is looking for a restaurant’s help in fundraising for the school year. Usually, the Senior class hosts an annual Homecoming dance; however, because of Covid-19, hosting an in-person dance is not an option. This means that the Senior class is losing out on thousands of dollars from ticket sales that would fund the majority of our prom. In an effort to stay financially on track with being able to afford the cost of a Senior prom at the end of the school year, we are searching for a restaurant who would be willing to host a restaurant fundraiser.

The fundraiser would be a one-day “takeover” where we encourage our large community of staff, hundreds of students, and families to dine in your restaurant or order takeout and a portion of the sales would be donated back to the Senior class. Some benefits restaurants would receive from hosting this fundraiser include a tax write-off, good publicity, and an increase in foot traffic to their business.

We chose to take this route instead of directly calling restaurants because we did not want owners to feel pressured to help us when they might be experiencing financial troubles due to the pandemic. If you are a restaurant that is interested in hosting our restaurant takeover. please contact Senior Class President Ella Richardson at .

West Seattle High School ASB hopes everyone is staying safe and healthy during these trying times, and we are looking forward to being together again soon.

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Smoke sneaks back in

September 29, 2020 6:16 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Smoke sneaks back in
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

6:16 PM: That was the view from Alki Avenue late this afternoon, as smoke from the south arrived. But the National Weather Service says it will not be anything like what we experienced earlier this month:

Smoke from California fires is making its way into Western Washington. This smoke will mainly be aloft and the air quality index is expected to remain in the good category. The skies are expected to become hazy starting this evening.

One of the newer large fires in Northern California is ravaging wine country north of San Francisco.

ADDED: Two views of the slightly smoky sunset – from Dan Ciske:

And from Vanessa Carr:

BIZNOTE: The Missing Piece is about to open

(Photo courtesy The Missing Piece – above, co-proprietor Lauren)

In the final days of 2019, we told you about plans for The Missing Piece to bring games, coffee, and more to 35th/Roxbury. Proprietors Lauren and Alex hoped to open in spring … but the pandemic delayed that plan. Nonetheless, they continued working on the space, and tomorrow, they finally open! Here’s the announcement:

Hello, West Seattle and beyond. We are proud and excited after months and months of hard work and planning your home away from home, we will be passing go and opening our doors in the coming days.

On September 30th at 8:00 AM, The Missing Piece will welcome its first visitors with smiles, coffee in the air, warm pastries in the case, and comfortable seating for all of your hobbies.

We are thrilled to be able to offer the greater Seattle area respite from their busy lives to take a moment to be in the moment. Whether this is sipping coffee, watching the clouds roll by through our beautiful windows, or enjoying your loved ones while playing a board game.

Also worth noting: we are going above and beyond to ensure that The Missing Piece is following all city, state, and federal COVID guidelines to promote safety, sanitation, and cleanliness throughout your entire stay with us.

The Missing Piece is a cafe with locally-sourced coffees, teas, and pastries. We provide an all-inclusive, welcoming environment where one can relax, play board games, read a book, and simply feel at home. Swing by to pick up your favorite drink and/or snack. Or make a table reservation on our website to enjoy one of our many games. We thank you for supporting us and being on this journey from the beginning.

To our friends and neighbors: thank you, we are excited to be a part of the community, and we will see you all very soon.

Before The Missing Piece, the space was home to a medical-marijuana dispensary.

CITY BUDGET PROPOSAL: West Seattle Bridge funding, Parks changes, and other toplines of interest

Just a week after the conclusion of a battle over “rebalancing” the current city budget, the 2-month process of working on a new budget has just begun. Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s proposal is now public, released in connection with the prerecorded speech you can watch above. Here’s the 751-page document:

Reporters got a preview this morning, with the mayor as well as city budget director Ben Noble and staff; we participated. It’s a $6.5 billion budget – about $2 billion of that for the city-run utilities. While the mayor says the COVID-19-caused shortfall will be largely covered by the new “JumpStart” tax, she also said more than once that it’s time to get busy on a city income tax.

From both the briefing and our scan of the document, here are some specific points of interest:

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: The budget proposes $100 million – the $70 million recently advanced by a City Council vote, and $30 million more. We asked at the briefing, what happens if it costs more to get the bridge back in service, whether by repairs or replacement? Noble said they’re well aware they’ll likely need to spend more, and SDOT is working on that. The mayor added that they’re hoping for state/federal assistance – the former in recognition of the bridge serving the port, “the heartbeat for much of the commerce in the Pacific Northwest,” the latter because they already have “broad support” from our state’s congressional delegation. “In any other year, this would be” the budget headline, Durkan observed, but this year, the pandemic and the fight for equity are atop the list. She also noted that the city is working on “ways to help businesses” as well as mobility issues for people ‘including front-line health-care workers.” Another bridge-related expenditure mentioned at the briefing: $4 million to continue stationing an extra Seattle Fire ladder truck and medic unit on this side of the Duwamish River while the bridge is out.

PARKS: With so much park property in West Seattle, this spending is always of interest. The mayor’s budget anticipates only opening four of the city’s 10 swimming pools next year. Southwest Pool is one of them, but this means Colman Pool will be closed for a second year. Hiawatha Community Center will be closed all year, though that’s planned in connection with the stabilization work. The budget also proposes converting Alki Community Center from a full-service community center “to a childcare and preschool hub,” which would save $100,000 in operating costs. Many capital projects will remain deferred – West Seattle has several in waiting, including three landbanked parks (Junction, Morgan expansion, and 48th/Charlestown). The prospect of a new Park District levy – deferred for a year though the current one is expiring now – might be needed to raise money for capital projects.

POLICE/LAW: The City Attorney’s Office plans to go back to combining the Precinct Liaison positions for the South and Southwest Precincts. As for the public-safety-reform big picture, from the “budget book” overview:

• The Seattle Police Department was budgeted for 1,422 sworn officers in the 2020 Adopted budget, but will only be funded for 1,400 in 2021. The IDT referenced above will work in the fall of 2020 and into early 2021 to assess the appropriate force size for the long run.

• SPD’s Parking Enforcement unit and its 120 employees will be transferred to the Seattle Department of Transportation.

• The Office of Emergency Management, which coordinates the City’s efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and emergencies, will be moved out of SPD and become an independent office.

• The existing 9-1-1 Communications Center, currently housed in SPD, will also be transferred out into its own independent, stand-alone unit. As non-sworn, community-based alternative responses to calls are developed, the 9-1-1 Communications Center, now to be called the Seattle Emergency Communications Center, will be crucial in dispatching those responses.

• The 2021 budget will make permanent the transfer of the Seattle Police Department’s Victim Advocacy Team to the Human Services Department (HSD). This transfer was initially made by the City Council in the 2020 2nd Quarter Supplemental Budget Ordinance. This team is comprised of 11 FTEs and a budget of $1.25 million. These resources will be added to the proposed new Safe and Thriving Communities Division in HSD.

(Here’s how Chief Adrian Diaz summarizes it.) The mayor said she’ll unveil her vision for the future of the homelessness-addressing Navigation Team separately, soon. Meantime, no, there is NOT any proposal to close the Southwest Precinct, as once suggested by the former chief. Its operational budget is in for $17 million, down from $18 million this year.

SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY: One thing noted in passing during the briefing, and also underscored in the “budget book” (page 147) – some library-levy dollars that were supposed to go toward expanded hours will instead be shifted to cover basic services/operations. So that could mean reduced hours once libraries are fully open again.

OTHER DEPARTMENTS: We’re still reading! More coverage to come.

WHAT’S NEXT: The budget proposal goes to the City Council, and they start almost two months of meetings, hearings, proposals, and counterproposals. First meeting is tomorrow, 9:30 am – here’s the agenda. Meantime, there’s of course a lot more in the budget, and we’ll

UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ on 29th SW, quickly downsized

September 29, 2020 1:55 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Seattle Fire ‘full response’ on 29th SW, quickly downsized
 |   High Point | West Seattle fires | West Seattle news

1:55 PM: Seattle Fire has sent a “full response” to the 6400 block of 29th SW. The first units arriving are seeing “light smoke” but have assessed it so far as a kitchen fire.

1:58 PM: The fire is already out and the response is being downsized.

READER REPORT: Abandoned blue child-size bicycle

September 29, 2020 1:14 pm
|    Comments Off on READER REPORT: Abandoned blue child-size bicycle
 |   Seaview | West Seattle news

Frank sent the photo, explaining that bicycle has been on a planting strip along SW Graham in Seaview near 48th SW since at least Sunday. Nobody in the neighborhood has claimed it, so in case it was stolen and dumped, Frank wanted to get the word out.

HELPING: 4 ways to do it in West Seattle this week, featuring ice cream!

(Lowman Beach Park, photographed by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

Four ways you can help your neighbors this week!

GENESEE HILL ICE-CREAM TRUCK: The Genesee Hill Elementary PTA‘s school-supply-drive fundraiser had to be postponed earlier this month because of smoke – but what perfect weather for the new date, tomorrow (Wednesday, September 30), 3-6 pm. The Full Tilt Ice Cream truck will be at Dakota Homestead across from the school (50th/Dakota) with cones for $6, including vegan options.

LAFAYETTE DINE-OUT FUNDRAISER: Also on Wednesday, you can help the Lafayette Elementary PTA by getting food from Chipotle (4730 California SW), 4-8 pm. No third-party orders – if you’re ordering online in advance, it has to be via Chipotle’s website or app. More info in our calendar listing.

FOOD DRIVE AT OLG: On Saturday (October 3), 10 am-2 pm, a food drive is part of Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Drop-In Services Day. Here’s everything that’s happening:

Get your flu shot. Register to vote or update your voter registration. Pick up a mask and care kit. Help restock the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. One stop … a lot of good. Flu shots are provided by Walgreens and are free with many insurance plans (bring your card). Needed pantry items include non-perishable food (canned tuna/soup/chilis/stews, mac & cheese, pasta, peanut butter, pasta sauce), tp, hygiene items (soap, shampoo, conditioner), and household cleaning supplies (laundry and dish detergents, all-purpose spray cleaners, paper towels). Open to all wearing a mask and presented by OLG’s Immigrant Ministry.

This will be in the church’s north parking lot, 35th/Myrtle.

TOYS FOR TOTS: The pandemic will make this a challenging season for holiday helping, so some of it is starting early! Starting this Sunday (October 4th), the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle will collect Toys for Tots at the exit of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market (in front of Easy Street) from 10 am until 1:30 pm every Sunday until December 6. New unwrapped toys for all ages are needed. Also: An ongoing collection box is at Be’s Restaurant (4509 California SW) if you can’t make it to the Sunday dropoff.

About last night’s emergency response in Arbor Heights

September 29, 2020 10:32 am
|    Comments Off on About last night’s emergency response in Arbor Heights
 |   Arbor Heights | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

We received multiple questions last night about a police/fire response on SW 104th last night because SFD classified the call as “scenes of violence, aid.” The last word is key – it’s a lower-level medical response than the usual “scenes of violence” callout; the “scenes of violence” designation is usually because of how a victim was injured, generally involving a weapon of some kind. We don’t automatically go out on the “aid” level of calls but with all the questions, we went over to try to find out more. The response was already wrapping up and officers on the scene wouldn’t comment. We found out from SFD later via email that a 30-year-old man had been taken to a hospital, in stable condition, but had to wait until this morning to ask SPD media relations for more information on their part of the response. The response: “This was a crisis call and a domestic-violence assault. One person was arrested.”


4 bridge-related notes:

STABILIZATION-WORK UPDATE: That photo of the bridge’s underside, credited to Alex Francis, is part of this week’s SDOT update on bridge-stabilization work. From the update:

This week, the contractor is planning to:

*Continue prepping for the post-tensioning work
*Continue prepping for Pier 18 access
*Continue inspecting, mapping, and filling cracks

The work continues atop, beneath, and inside the bridge.

MAYOR’S BUDGET PLAN: With the repair-or-replace decision still up to a month away, what will Mayor Jenny Durkan propose for the bridge in her 2021 budget? We’ll find out in a few hours – her plan goes public at 1 pm today, and the council’s budget work starts tomorrow. So far, the city has allotted $70 million via an “interfund loan,” but that’s just a down payment. The council doesn’t finalize the budget until November, so there’s theoretically time for change once the decision is in.

CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION: After the mayor’s presentation, the council has its weekly business meeting at 2 pm today, one day later than usual because of Yom Kippur. Besides the low-bridge-camera legislation we reported on Monday, the agenda has one other bridge-related item. A resolution calling for review of potential Comprehensive Plan amendments that would be considered next year includes one now described as a “review of policies and maps in the Comprehensive Plan to determine whether any changes are warranted due to the failure of the West Seattle Bridge.” This is a revision of the proposal from community member Deb Barker, which we first reported on three weeks ago.

REMINDER – TOWN HALL TOMORROW NIGHT: The bridge is scheduled to be the focus of the second hour of City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s two-hour online “town hall” 5:30-7:30 pm Wednesday (as announced last Friday). To get the viewing link, and info on asking questions, you have to RSVP here.