West Seattle, Washington
PARK SEARCH: Right now police are searching the Roxhill Park vicinity, with K-9, after a report of gunfire – called in as someone saying they were shot at. No injuries reported, and we don’t yet know if police have found evidence of gunshots. We’re continuing to monitor this.
PROWLER: Emailed by C:
Today 9/4 at 6:15, I caught a sketchy guy sneaking in the garage door at my apartment building on the 3600 block of aw Avalon way. He was a light build, white male, about 5’7”, dark baseball hat, dark long sleeve shirt and dark pants, dark bandana (facial hair underneath). He was carrying a black duffel bag. He hid in the garage for a bit then tried leaving out a locked door. When confronted, he tried some dumb story about delivering medicine to a relative in the building, then got defensive and left. Called the cops.
27 weeks ago tonight, King County announced its first case of COVID-19. Here’s what’s new:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily summary (which, by the way, has a new format – check it out – more charts):
*20,073 people have tested positive, 158 more than yesterday
*732 people have died, 2 more than yesterday
*2,249 people have been hospitalized, 7 more than yesterday
*376,642 people have been tested, 3,358 more than yesterday
One week ago, those totals were 19,361/719/2,223/354,713.
YET ANOTHER 98116 DEATH: In a little over a week, the 98116 death toll has doubled, from 3 to, as of today’s count, 6. Though no specifics are available, the changes to the King County dashboard pages also now include a “census” geographic breakdown, and looking at deaths that way, the 98116 deaths are not in the census tracts containing the zip code’s coastal section.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 26.5 million cases, 873,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL: Today was the first day of starting-remotely Seattle Public Schools, and it started a bit slowly – literally. Meantime, some independent schools started in hybrid style, like Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor), which sent this photo:
As we reported earlier this week, each grade at EWMS has one day on campus – outdoors – and four days remote.
‘KEEP MOVING STREET’ EXTENDED: Alki SW/Beach Drive around Alki Point has been closed to motor-vehicle through traffic for four months, and SDOT announced late today that will continue at least until we’re in Phase 4.
NEED FOOD? Food Lifeline has ceased offering emergency food boxes at its South Park HQ. Meantime, Highland Park Improvement Club continues its food-relief work for neighborhood families on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11 am-1 pm, and Seattle Public Schools has made some changes in its meal service starting today, as detailed here.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
More news released by the city just before the holiday weekend: From SPD Blotter, we learn that the question we and others asked earlier this week has been answered – in part, anyway. When interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz announced that about 100 officers would be redeployed to patrol/911 response, he didn’t offer specifics, though he noted that many would come from “similar” responsibilities – like the Community Police Team and Traffic Enforcement. Later that day, SPD explained it couldn’t offer specifics until all the affected personnel had been notified. Now, that’s been done, so here’s the citywide breakdown:
Precinct CPT [Community Police Team] officers/sergeants – 29
Traffic and TCI [Traffic Collision Investigation] Detectives/officers/sergeants – 21
Precinct Burg/Theft Detectives/sergeants – 20
Community Outreach officers – 2
Crisis Intervention/SHA [Seattle Housing Authority] Liaison officers – 4
Drug Court Detective – 1
DV Unit Detectives – 5
Intelligence Unit Detectives – 5
Narcotics Detectives – 1
In addition to these 88 officers resuming responsibilities in Patrol, the department is also forming the Community Response Group, made up of 100 officers and 10 sergeants whose priority will be to address the increased response times to 911 calls throughout the city.
The announcement did not include any precinct-by-precinct numbers, so we won’t be able to follow up on that until next week. There are five precincts citywide, including the Southwest Precinct in West Seattle (which also handles South Park). Also of note, this reallocation does not resemble the list of units from which the City Council wanted to see cuts, as specified in the budget-rebalancing plan that the mayor vetoed. (Whether the council will vote to override the veto has not yet been announced – it’s not on their agenda for Tuesday, when they meet for the first time following a two-week recess.)
If you are supporting the Democratic ticket for president, and considering a yard sign, these West Seattleites have a project that might interest you: “Find the Light.” In the photo above are Roger Steiner and Sindy Todo. They explain on the project webpage that the exhortation on their signs was inspired by Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s recent convention speech:
I was hit hard by Joe’s opening sentence from Ella Baker and further moved as he clearly led all Americans to see where we have been forced to dwell and where we need to go.
“Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way.”
It slammed into my spirit hard, that we must act now to make change, we must fight until all the problems are solved in this country and worldwide. We must stop this fear, paranoia, and anxiety driven darkness.
“It’s a moment that calls for hope and light and love. Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.”
This inspired me, my pod of friends, and family with the help of some local businesses in our community to create a yard sign to continue this powerful message.
The profits from the sign sales will be split – half to the West Seattle Food Bank, half to the Biden/Harris campaign. They’re offering online ordering as well as in-person pickup/purchasing, starting tomorrow (Saturday, September 5th) at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 2-4 pm.
While the city has long since declared that most of its “Stay Healthy Streets”.- closed to vehicle through traffic – would remain that way permanently, the status of a few similar stretches dubbed “Keep Moving Streets” because of their proximity to parks remained unsettled. Late today, that changed. The Alki Point “Keep Moving Street” – Alki SW west of 63rd SW and Beach Drive SW west of 63rd [map] – has an end date of sorts, for now:
This Keep Moving Street will remain through Phase 3 of reopening in King County. We hear you asking us to consider permanent closure and sharing your associated concerns, and we’ll be reaching out over the next few months with more conversation on possible future configurations.
(If you’ve forgotten, we’re still in Phase 2.) The announcement was made in conjunction with more-firm end dates for two of the three other “Keep Moving Streets” in other parts of the city. SDOT’s post also summarizes feedback it’s received, including this regarding the Alki Point stretch:
What we heard:
=A desire for permanent closure! Over 1,000 of you signed a petition to keep this Keep Moving Street open permanently
-This street was especially helpful for wheelchair users, because the sidewalks are too narrow for wheelchairs
-Concern about “privatization” of the beach by limiting car and parking access
-Concern that the Keep Moving Street limits the capacity of people who cannot walk, bike, or roll to enjoy the view by driving by
-Concern about the shifting of speeding/noise south between Mee Kwa Mooks Park and Jacobsen Drive
On this “Keep Moving Street,” SDOT says, “We’ve seen an average of 415 cars per day, with a median speed of 17.5 MPH.” It was closed to through traffic four months ago.
In general, roadway demolition and paving will continue in Zone A of the project. We are also preparing for some overnight work at SW Brandon St and SW Juneau St beginning as early as the week of September 14. We are planning this work now and a more solidified date will be shared next week.
In addition to that work, we will resume active construction near the Longfellow Creek Green Space again (near the 24th Ave SW/SW Graham St area on Delridge Way SW) next week.
We’ve also recently reopened SW Hudson St to through traffic.
We will not be working on September 7 in observance of Labor Day.
For zone-by-zone specifics on the week ahead, see the full update here.
1:54 PM: In many ways, this will not be a typical Labor Day weekend. But in at least one way, it’s starting in typical fashion. Fron Washington State Ferries, “There is an estimated one-hour wait for drivers departing the Fauntleroy terminal.”
5:59 PM: As pointed out by commenters, the Southworth terminal is currently out of commission.
There will be no set time on sailings for the Fauntleroy and Vashon route at this time until further notice.
The Southworth terminal is closed to all sailings until further notice due to mechanical issues. Alternative routes include the Seattle/Bremerton, Seattle/Bainbridge Island and Pt. Defiance/Tahlequah routes. Sailings between Fauntleroy and Vashon will resume as scheduled. Updates will occur as more information becomes available.
WSF also says, though, the “extended wait” at Fauntleroy is over.
8:01 PM: The Southworth terminal is reopening, WSF says.
Though teaching/learning is happening online as Seattle Public Schools‘ 2020-2021 year begins today, you’ll still see some activity at local school buildings because of what can’t be done online: As previously noted, school health clinics are open. And meal pickups continue, though with a new schedule and list of locations. 11:15 am-1:15 pm every weekday (except holidays), 40 SPS locations are offering meals as described here. Here on the peninsula, two schools where meals had been available until yesterday are no longer offering them – West Seattle High School and West Seattle Elementary. But others have been added – Arbor Heights Elementary, Louisa Boren STEM K-8, Highland Park Elementary, Madison Middle School, Roxhill Elementary. Continuing local meal sites are Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School. There’s also one bus route in north West Seattle making meal deliveries.
Thanks to the Seattle Public Schools employee who asked us to let students/families know that if they’re having connectivity trouble, it’s not their issue – it’s the district’s. We’ve confirmed this with SPS, whose spokesperson Tim Robinson replied with this statement:
We are currently experiencing slow internet and learning platform access due to the high volume of traffic this morning. This has resulted in disruption of service on district issued laptops. Our technology teams are actively working the issues. We will update this alert when we have a resolution.
– Department of Technology Services
Our tipster had a suggestion for families: “Please reassure your kids that this has nothing to do with their devices, or your home network. Tell them to do the best they can, SPS is working on it.”
Thanks to James Tilley for the photo of an outbound U.S. Navy submarine, seen from West Seattle as it headed north in Puget Sound this morning. MarineTraffic.com shows it’s now off Whidbey Island, but as usual, identifies it only as “a submarine.” Last similar sighting reported by WSB readers was in June, and the general consensus in a lively discussion was that it was a Seawolf-class submarine. Three of them are homeported at Naval Base Kitsap (Bangor); the Kitsap Sun noted in June that the USS Jimmy Carter had been undergoing work at the Bremerton naval shipyard. (The other two are the USS Connecticut and USS Seawolf; the former completed work at Bremerton a year ago, while the latter was recently seen in Norway.)
As school starts virtually, so do some other activities – even choir! That video from Endolyne Children’s Choir shows a virtual performance from this past summer. Here’s the announcement of how to join this fall:
Endolyne Children’s Choir – West Seattle’s community choir since 2003 – kicks off their 2020-2021 season with our Fall Session beginning on Tuesday, September 8th. Sessions will be held virtually on Zoom this session, so it is a great opportunity for new singers from all over Seattle and beyond, from kindergarten to High School, to join our fun and welcoming non-audition choir. Singers in kindergarten through 2nd Grade rehearse from (updated) 5 to 5:45 PM, 3rd through 5th graders rehearse from 5:45 to 6:45, and singers 6th through 12th grade rehearse from 7:00 to 8:30. Registration is open right now! For more information and to register, visit endolynechoir.org.
Our Music Director Megan McCormick and Staff Instructor Janelle Maroney have planned a fantastic session of virtual music education, building on the success and lessons learned from our (unexpected) online Spring Musicals session. They will provide engaging, challenging online instruction, coupled with interactive opportunities for singers to build friendships and have fun together. We are working on opportunities for our singers to spread cheer throughout the holiday season with virtual performances and other ways of connecting remotely with our larger community.
Quality musical education is so important and essential for children, and we want every child to have the opportunity to benefit from our program. One benefit of virtual rehearsals: no commuting, so singers from anywhere in Seattle, the greater Puget Sound region, Washington State and beyond can join us for this session.
We are offering several tiers of tuition pricing, from full tuition to full scholarship, so anyone can participate regardless of their financial situation. Simply select your payment tier when registering at https://form.jotform.com/202324865760052.
Fall session begins Tuesday, September 8th. Registration ends on September 6th. Please visit endolynechoir.org for more information.
6:07 AM: It’s Friday, the 165th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
*Here’s the newest Delridge project bulletin showing where work is focused right now; we should get next week’s update later today.
*1st Avenue S. Bridge: 3 more NB overnight closures are planned Sept. 8-10 (next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday).
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.
TRANSIT, INCLUDING HOLIDAY CHANGES
Water Taxi – Still on its “winter” schedule, with the 773 and 775 shuttles running – see the schedule here. (No service on Labor Day.)
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
Thanks to Blake O. for the photo from Stevens/44th, just west of PCC. Blake was parked nearby and saw this upon return: “A giant branch had fallen off an old tree, landing on nearby cars. I was parked one car length away. I don’t know any information other than, it had happened around 8:50 pm today, 9/3. Neighbors think it was just an old tree No one was hurt. There was no wind or any other outside force that they know of.” We heard a related dispatch, so authorities are aware; we don’t know whether the tree’s been cleared.