West Seattle, Washington
Mid-September virus-crisis updates:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s today’s daily summary from Public Health – the cumulative totals:
*21,013 people have tested positive, 82 more than yesterday’s total
*747 people have died, 4 more than yesterday’s total
*2,309 people have been hospitalized, 4 more than yesterday’s total
*403.349 people have been tested, 1,714 more than yesterday’s total
NO ONE-WEEK-AGO COMPARISONS … because last Tuesday was the day when county and state stats were down.
ONE MORE AREA DEATH: One of the five zip codes that are entirely or partly within West Seattle, 98146, recorded another death in today’s report and is now up to 14. (Cross-referencing the daily by-city stats, it appears this is a Burien death, as that jurisdiction is shown with 1 in today’s report, while Seattle and White Center both show 0.)
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 29.5 million cases worldwide, 6.6 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING TODAY: He talked about COVID-19 as well as wildfires – you can see the video here; he turns to the pandemic just past 17 minutes in, starting with words of concern about college-community outbreaks, particularly what happened in Pullman, and continuing with a graph showing a possible uptick in virus activity overall. “This virus hasn’t gone away,” reminded Secretary of Health John Wiesman.
STATE HEALTH LEADERS’ BRIEFING TOMORROW: You can get a full update on the statewide situation by watching the media briefing with the state’s COVID-19 response leaders tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 pm; it’ll be streamed here.
COVID CLOSURE: Walgreens confirmed to WSB today that the High Point store’s Friday and Saturday closure was COVID-19-related.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
You might have given up trusting forecasts by now, since we’re still socked in by smoke. But if not – here’s what forecasters are saying: “Relief from smoke will come in the form of an upper-level trough moving onshore late Thursday into Friday, bringing widespread rain that should help clear out the smoke.” So don’t expect relief tomorrow. Couple of interesting side notes from the Washington Smoke Information website: First, if it’s any consolation, this isn’t the longest smoky stretch we’ve lived through in recent years, though it does top one disturbing category. Also: If you’re wondering about which fires this smoke is from – look south, not east.
P.S. If you’re watching the numbers, readers shared their favorite sites in this thread earlier today.
(File photo by Christopher Boffoli)
In 2010 and 2017, the Seattle burgers-fries-and-shakes legend Dick’s Drive-Ins took votes on potential new locations. Neither vote resulted in a West Seattle location, much to local fans’ disappointment. But now there’s a new round of voting that again offers the hope of Dick’s in West Seattle – at least temporarily. Multiple readers have pointed out (thank you!) that Dick’s announced today that it’s launching a food truck, and taking votes on where it should go first when it hits the road in November. (Minus fries, it should be noted.) West Seattle is an option on the ballot dropdown – so if you’re a Dick’s devotée, go here to cast your vote.
During the planning process for the now-underway project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line, the so-called Brandon Node area was a major focus of concern – some for example wanted to see the RR H stop at Brandon rather than Findlay, since the former already has a signal, as well as a library. Nonetheless, the stop is going in at SW Findlay, and the city is now seeking input on ways to get people to/from there, as well as SW Brandon:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) invite the Delridge and High Point communities to participate in creating better pedestrian connections in the Delridge neighborhood. Please take a tour of the site by watching this video:
Visit surveymonkey.com/r/C9HBJCF to provide input.
This design project will provide a plan for improving pedestrian paths along SW Brandon and SW Findlay streets and make trail entries to Camp Long and Longfellow Creek more open and welcoming to the public. One of the goals of this project is to improve access for the future new RapidRide H Line stops that will begin service in 2021 at SW Findlay and Delridge.
Find project info by going here.
Thanks to the people who sent tips after seeing the recovery of a body along the Duwamish River by the South Park Bridge. That area is in unincorporated King County – known as the “sliver by the river” – so it’s a Sheriff’s Office case, confirms KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. He says the person found dead was a man “in his early 40s” found onshore. KCSO Major Crimes Unit detectives are investigating, but Sgt. Abbott says they’re not expecting to have further comment until the Medical Examiner’s Office does an autopsy to find the cause of death.
4:24 PM: Seattle Fire has a “full response” headed to the 3400 block of California SW. Updates to come.
4:27 PM: Though there are businesses in that block, this is described by arriving units as a small residential building. They say it was a kitchen fire, already extinguished. The response is being downsized.
In case you didn’t get to watch it live – starting at 3 minutes into the video, that’s the noontime event that announced 3 finalists for each of the six Port of Seattle Duwamish River parks that are up for renaming. After the map of the parks is the official announcement, with the finalists and what you can do next:
The Port of Seattle announced the top three names chosen for each of the six Port-owned parks and shoreline access sites along the Duwamish River to new names that reflect their cultural, historical and environmental significance. The Port partnered with Seattle Parks Foundation, a well-recognized public parks and greenspace non-profit, to design and implement the re-naming campaign with transparency, equity and community involvement. The names were announced on a press conference call joined by dozens of community members.
“Speaking on behalf of the Seattle Port Commission, we are delighted by the strong tribal and community participation in this effort,” said Fred Felleman, Port of Seattle Commission Vice President and tribal liaison. “It’s important these public parks have names that reflect their location and cultural significance.”
The top name nominations for the six parks are:
Terminal 105 Park [in West Seattle]
Hermoso Park & Habitat Area
t̓uʔəlaltxʷ Village Park & Habitat Area
(Toolalt[w], t-oo-ah-lal-too-wx: Herring’s House / Name of an old village site on the west bank of the Duwamish River / A description of where herring live/spawn)
t̕uʔəlaltxʷ Memorial Park & Habitat Area
(Toolalt[w], t-oo-ah-lal-too-wx: Herring’s House / Name of an old village site on the west bank of the Duwamish River / A description of where herring live/spawn)
Terminal 107 Park [in West Seattle]
Duwamish Bend Park & Habitat Area
həʔapus Village Park & Habitat Area
(haapoos, ha-ah-poos: Name of a small stream draining across a flat on the west side of Duwamish River)
yilə’qʷud Park & Habitat Area
(yillaqwud, yil-a-qwud: Name of an old village site on the west bank of the Duwamish River)
Terminal 108 Park
c̓əqas Park & Habitat Area
(tsaqahs, ts-a-kahs: Muddy, a word used to describe a beach/shoreline)
sbəq̓waʔ Park & Habitat Area
(sbaqwah, s-bah-qwah: Great Blue Heron)
čəbčəbid Park & Habitat Area
(chabchabeed, chab-chab-eed: Drybark / Description of location on the east side of the Duwamish River for gathering fir bark for fires)
8th Avenue South Street End Park
Gear Park and Habitat Area
t̓ałt̓ałucid Park and Habitat Area
(tathtathootseed, t-ahth-t-ahth-oots-eed: Where there is something overhead, across the path / A description of logs or branches located above a path or trail)
De Colores Park & Habitat Area
South Park Shores Park & Habitat Area
Duwamish River People’s Park & Habitat Area
qiyawa’lapsəb Park & Habitat Area
(qeeyahwahlapsub, ki-yah-wa-lap-sab: A descriptive word referencing the Duwamish River route to Elliott Bay / eel’s throat)
Turning Basin #3
Restoration Park & Habitat Area
Salmon Cove Park & Habitat Area
t̓at̓łqid Park & Habitat Area
(tatthkid, t-a-t-th-kid: A descriptive word referencing a short cut when traveling upstream during high tide at the mouth of the Duwamish River)
“There are great opportunities here for our communities to select names that honor the heritage of the Duwamish River and elevate the indigenous history and culture of the region of the land we occupy,” said Rosario-Maria Medina, a community member involved in the naming process.
Community members submitted more than 3,000 responses during the ‘Incredible Parks Want Incredible Names’ nomination phase. After an eligibility check, park name nominations went through multiple rounds of scoring and evaluation by a review committee.
The shortlisted names announced today represent the diversity of people and their experiences with each park – finalist names range from English, Spanish, and Lushootseed languages. A video of the press conference will be made available, here.
“The Seattle Parks Foundation would like to thank the Port of Seattle and the community members along the Duwamish River who have worked countless hours over the past several months to bring us one step closer to renaming these great public spaces that will provide great use for people to enjoy for generations to come,” said George Lee of the Seattle Parks Foundation.
Choose Your Favorite Park Names Now!
The public has until 11:59 p.m. on September 30 to rank each name nomination, here. After September 30, the review committee will review results and select the final park names. The final park names will be announced on October 27th at the Port’s Commission meeting.
One of the finalists for T-107 – həʔapus Village Park & Habitat Area – is the one the Duwamish Tribe is officially supporting, as we first reported here.
Starting tomorrow, Chief Sealth International High School invites students and families to a weekly drive-thru event to “pick up school supplies, library books you’ve put on hold, pre-purchased yearbooks, and spirit gear.” It’ll be 11 am-3 pm every Wednesday, for students and/or families. It’ll happen at a table along the “bus loop” drive in front of the school – and you can walk up or ride up as well as drive up, car not required. (Yearbook orders and payments for 2020 are still being taken, too – go here.)
Last nonth, we reported on the community coalition West Seattle Bridge NOW sending Mayor Durkan a letter imploring her to proceed with bridge repairs ASAP. No response yet, says the group, so it’s now inviting you to be part of what you might call a video petition:
About three weeks ago, we sent a petition with more than 3,600 signatures on it asking the Mayor for immediate action to repair our Bridge. To date we haven’t heard back, so we wanted to follow up with her, but this time in a personal way.
The West Seattle Bridge NOW citizens coalition has a new ask. Our goal is to highlight everyday West Seattleites in a short video telling their story, in their own words, as to how the closure of the West Seattle Bridge as affected them. We need your smart phone selfie testimonials to make this happen!
To participate, please visit: wsbnpetition.com/share-your-story
Your story will be hosted on the WSBN website and shown to the mayor as part of the group’s commitment to driving urgent action on behalf of our community.
SDOT said again at last week’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting that it’s expecting to decide in October between “repair now/replace later” and “replace now.” Meantime, stabilization work continues (here’s an update SDOT published Monday).
Enough smoke photos. How about bird photos? Anyway, the air’s not clear … but it’s clearer … and that’s a start. Notes for the hours ahead:
PARKS (ETC.) STILL CLOSED: The city announced Monday that it’s continuing the closures through Wednesday.
SECOND GEAR SPORTS SALE: The sports-consignment store‘s 7th-anniversary sale (6529 California SW), previewed here, continues until Sunday since they closed for a few days because of the smoke. Open today 10 am-6 pm.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING: He’ll talk about wildfires, smoke, and COVID-19 at 2:30 pm; watch here.
BLM SIGNWAVING CANCELED: Since air quality is still a concern, Scott has called off the regular Tuesday 4-6 pm 16th/Holden demonstration.
WS CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL CANCELED: As mentioned here over the weekend, this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – usually the third Tuesday – is off because the Southwest Precinct‘s commander and operations lieutenant are both unavailable.
Late in the day Friday, we got a couple questions about a sudden closure of the Walgreens store in High Point, which continued Saturday, with the store reopening Sunday. The closure notice posted on the store door did not cite a reason. We asked corporate media relations on Monday via email: “Was this a COVID-related closure?” and corporate spokesperson Erin Loverher responded this morning:
Yes, this location was temporarily closed and is now open. When notified of a confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19 case, we take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories. Our clinical and safety teams work closely with our field and store leadership to respond accordingly, which may include identifying and contacting individuals who may be at risk in order to self-quarantine or self-monitor their health, as well as third-party, industrial cleaning and disinfecting the location or impacted areas of the store. Cleanings may require temporarily closing a store, at which time customers may visit a nearby store location for their prescription needs.
We are actively reviewing our policies and procedures as guidelines evolve, and will continue to adjust our safety protocols accordingly to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers.
As we reported in this July story, businesses are not required to disclose to customers if one or more staff members tests positive. Some have done so proactively anyway, or in response to inquiries like this.
Family and friends of William G. Urlevich Sr. are sharing this remembrance with his community:
William G. Urlevich Sr. passed away unexpectedly on September 5th, 2020 in Seattle at the age of 77.
William, otherwise known as “Big Bill,” is survived by his wife Lauree Urlevich (nee Riefflin) and his son William G. Urlevich, Jr. He is predeceased by his brother, Mike Urlevich.
Bill was born December 21st, 1942 in West Seattle to Gasper and Julia Urlevich. He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1962 and also attended Olympic Junior College. He and Lauree were married in 1966 at Holy Family Church. He was employed as a Longshoreman with the ILWU for over 40 years until his retirement as a checker in 2008.
He was a longtime coach of West Seattle baseball teams from T-Ball, Pee-wee, and Pony for 18 years and won many championships. Bill enjoyed spending time with friends, playing Yahtzee with his brother-in-law Tom, and occasionally traveling. No family gathering was complete without Big Bill getting kids and neighbors together for a game of street football, basketball, or baseball. He was a keen competitor who played championship cribbage and was patient with teaching kids all sorts of card games.
He was an avid sports fan and had a deep appreciation for everything football, especially the Huskies and Seahawks. He and his son won the Seattle Times Guest Guesser in 1984 and were awarded the grand-prize trip to the Super Bowl.
Bill was also known for some serious dance moves, winning dance contests in high school and wowing friends and family at every occasion. On trips to Reno, he got up on stage and danced with Chubby Checker, The Coasters, The Temptations, and the Four Tops. In a revival of Grease, Big Bill and Lauree were pulled on stage to dance with the cast doing “Willy and the Hand Jive.” He will be remembered for his generous spirit, a larger-than-life personality, and the World’s Best Clam Dip! Those closest to him lovingly referred to him as “Johnny.”
A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held at a later date.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:16 AM: It’s Tuesday, the 176th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD WORK, ETC.
*Delridge project: Here’s the latest update, with closures the next two weekends.
*1st Avenue S. Bridge: One more NB overnight closure for the deck-panel replacement project is planned Wednesday night (September 16th), WSDOT tells WSB.
*Westwood Village parking lot: We checked on this project Monday. If you have to go to the post office, use the SW Trenton entrance – but don’t use that to try to get anywhere else at WWV.
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 – Today, Routes 125 and 128 resume stopping at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge. Otherwise – still reduced service and distancing, with some changes starting this Saturday (September 19th), and the potential return of fares on/around October 1st.
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.
Rain isn’t always big news, but when it happens after days of sky-shrouding smoke, it is. So in case you can’t believe your ears, we’re verifying – that’s rain. We’re hearing it here over Lincoln Park; Gill in White Center reports it there too. Might not be enough to clear things up – warns the Weather Service – but it’s certainly welcome.