West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s pandemic toplines:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s today’s daily summary from Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*21.533 people have tested positive, 74 more than yesterday’s total*
*753 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total*
*2,324 people have been hospitalized, 11 more than yesterday’s total
*The “more than yesterday’s total” calculations are ours, compared to our report of what the dashboard showed 24 hours earlier, and these two calculations differ from what the dashboard shows, unexplained
**No testing totals tonight; this IS explained, attributed to incomplete results from “a data systems error” that’s expected to be remedied tomorrow.
One week ago, the totals were 20.931/743/2,305/401,635.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
UTILITY RELIEF: The city wants to remind you that it’s still available.
‘STAY HEALTHY BLOCKS’: The city has announced community groups and nonprofits can apply for temporary permits “to temporarily close blocks to thru-traffic for increased access to outdoor recreation space and improved mental health.” Non-arterials only. Full details here.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Four weeks after a hit-run driver killed 34-year-old Derrick Lacomb near Longfellow Creek, a suspect is charged, and investigators say he’s the owner of the car found dumped in Highland Park three days later. 37-year-old Steven J. Abrahamson is charged with second-degree murder, though he’s not yet in custody. Court documents say he lives just blocks from the crash scene in the 6500 block of 25th SW. Police were called there the evening of August 24th when Mr. Lacomb’s body was found after neighbors heard the crash.
Security video from nearby homes showed two vehicles possibly involved, and SPD asked for the public’s help in finding them. Three days after the crash, a WSB reader spotted the maroon Crown Victoria near 13th/Thistle; by then, SPD had posted without elaboration that the other vehicle, a silver van, had been found too. The charging documents explain that the van belongs to the suspect’s brother, who talked with police two days after the crash. Investigators say a relative of the victim recognized the van and knew its owner was a friend of Mr. Lacomb.
The charging documents say the suspect’s brother told police Mr. Lacomb was riding in the van that night, with the suspect driving his car nearby. They all stopped in the area, and Mr. Lacomb got out, went to Steven Abrahamson’s car; an argument ensued. The brother said he tried to break it up, then got back in his van, and as he drove away, saw Mr. Lacomb running after him. Then at some point his brother passed him, going very fast. Residents in the neighborhood also reported seeing a man running after the van, not long before they heard a crash. The documents indicate Mr. Lacomb was hit around 5 pm, about an hour before his body was found in some overgrowth. There’s no explanation of the reason for the argument.
A $2 million warrant is now out for Abrahamson’s arrest; court documents say he has no adult felony record, but has misdemeanor convictions including theft, trespass, and resisting arrest. (Thanks to Lee for the tip on the charges, first reported late today by The Seattle Times.)
A bumpy stretch at the east end of the SW Roxbury corridor is about to be repaved, as announced in SDOT‘s weekly West Seattle Bridge-related update:
On the weekends of September 26-27 and October 10-11 (weather-permitting), our crews will be repaving a section of
Olson Pl SW and 1st Ave S at the intersection with Myers Way S.
Olson Pl SW will be repaved at the intersection, and the southbound lane of 1st Ave S will be repaved just north of the intersection.
Expect traffic impacts the weekends of Sept. 26-27 and Oct. 10-11 for this work. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction during paving. Work will start in the early morning hours to open the travel lanes back up in the early afternoon both days. A noise variance will be issued to complete the paving.
1st Ave S has become a heavily trafficked corridor as part of the detour route for the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure. While there is additional pavement along 1st Ave S in need of repair, our crews are prioritizing this stretch of the roadway that is in particularly bad shape to make sure we’re off the detour route in the early afternoon. We will continue to monitor the pavement along the detour route to determine where repaving and repair is needed.
Since the bridge closure six months ago raised the volume of traffic through the West Marginal/Highland Park Way intersection, people have been asking about getting a traffic camera there, to see backups and incidents. When six new traffic cameras were announced elsewhere in May, we asked about it, and SDOT said no additional new cameras were planned. Then last week, while talking with SDOT’s Heather Marx about the overall West Marginal plan (WSB coverage here), we asked again, and she said it was a possibility, so they would look into it. Today, we just got word that a temporary camera is now in place at the intersection and SDOT is working to make it accessible via its traffic-info map. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson has one caveat: “Because there is no fiber-optic connection to this intersection, the camera will need to use cellular data to send images. This means that the public will see still images updated every minute, and not a constant video stream. This will be an interim solution as we investigate what it would take to install a permanent camera at this location.” The camera should appear on the map “by next week,” he adds. The image above is a framegrab taken during testing.
P.S. The West Marginal plan will be a topic during this week’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting, noon Wednesday (September 23rd) – here’s the agenda. SDOT tells us that from now on, the meetings will be livestreamed on YouTube – here’s the link.
ORIGINAL NOTE, 3:42 PM MONDAY: Autumn arrives at 6:30 our time tomorrow morning. It’ll be the third change of seasons since the pandemic began, so once again, West Seattle skywatcher/educator Alice Enevoldsen plans an online presentation for her quarterly sunset watch. The event will be at 6:30 tomorrow night – always the sunset on the equinox/solstice date – and we’ll add the Zoom link here, and in tomorrow’s daily list, once we get it.
ADDED TUESDAY: Note a new time – 6:45 pm. Find the link to register by going here.
1:51 PM: That’s video of this morning’s City Council briefing meeting. It began with Council President Lorena González announcing that the council will have a special meeting at 3 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, September 22nd) on whether to override Mayor Durkan‘s vetos of three bills, including the “budget rebalancing” bill that cut various departments including SPD. González said overrides would require at least 7 of the 9 councilmembers, and in case that doesn’t happen, backup legislation representing a “compromise” would be standing by for an alternate vote. That legislation apparently isn’t finalized yet, and the agenda for the special meeting has not yet appeared online, but some of the proposals were discussed toward the end of this morning’s meeting. When the agenda and legislation are available, we’ll link here. Meantime, if you have a comment for the council before its vote, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2:51 PM: Here’s the agenda.
Though the Delridge repaving-and-more project has always included plans to remove some trees, the big ones outside historic Youngstown Cultural Arts Center were not supposed to be among them. As our photo shows, those trees are as tall as the century-old building. But plans changed – and neighbors are pushing back.
We found out about the tree-removal plan from neighbor Scott Squire, who explained, “Residents here consider these trees critical to our quality of life, providing as they do shade, dust capture, sound deadening, and perhaps above all, visual interest/aesthetic relief from the loud, dusty (and now torn-up) street.”
We contacted SDOT‘s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth to find out why plans changed. He acknowledged, “During the design stage of the project, these 5 trees were not planned for removal. While working at this location, the tree roots were exposed and this is when we discovered the conflict that would require us to remove them.”
He explained the “conflict” this way: “While working in the field near the Youngstown Cultural Center, our contractor discovered that the roots and bases of these trees conflicted with the new curb line. As a result of this conflict, the trees would likely need to be removed. We’ve attempted to work around the trees in order to preserve them for the community, but we found that our solutions in the field would cause the trees to become unstable and pose a danger to the community.”
But, Ducksworth says, neighbors’ pushback has the city trying to figure out if the trees can be saved after all: “We’re continuing to hear from the nearby community about how important these trees are to them and are presently looking at a design change to attempt to preserve them. We hope to know if a design change is possible in the coming days. With that said, there is a risk the trees will need to be removed. This is why we needed to post the tree removal notices. Notices typically go up 2 weeks prior to a removal. This timeline gives the community adequate time to comment; which people are doing now, and we thank them for that. If we can keep the trees, the notices will come down.”
If you’re interested in commenting, the project email is DelridgeTransit@seattle.gov, and the Urban Forestry contact on the notice is email@example.com.
Yes, that’s fog this morning, not smoke. Even once the fog clears, it’ll be cloudy, the forecast says, but we might see some sun tomorrow. Along with three weather photos from this morning and last night, a few notes:
TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE: This is the second of five days for this year’s Taste of West Seattle, with partner food/drink establishments donating.part of the proceeds from certain menu items to the West Seattle Food Bank, to help prevent hunger and homelessness. See the list of participants (and the menu items) here.
(added) DRIVE-UP FLU SHOTS: All Seattle Public Schools students, families, and staff are welcome at today’s 10 am-5 pm drive-up flu-shot clinic at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). You need an appointment – the link is here (as well as the list of other schools hosting these in days ahead, including others in West Seattle).
PEACE DAY: From Admiral UCC Church: Today “is International Peace Day. Come together for Peace. Draw, paint or photograph the symbol of peace, a dove, and post it online and in your window. We will be having a display of art at the Admiral Church grounds (today) for people to post their images of Peace there for all to enjoy. Won’t you join us! Admiral church is at the corner of California Ave SW at SW Hill St. We hope there will be many illustrations of peace displayed there. There will be twine strung between the trees for you to tape your pictures or cutouts onto. This is a great way for families to participate.”
6:12 AM: It’s Monday, the 182nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Water Taxi – Fares for this service also will resume October 1st. No recent service change; still on weekday-only schedule, and continuing that TFN.
*Delridge project: Weather permitting, the postponed SW Oregon closure is set to start this Friday. Meanwhile, here’s the work plan for the week ahead.
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.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.