West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s virus-crisis updates:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s today’s daily summary from Public Health – the cumulative totals:
*21,590 people have tested positive, 57 more than yesterday’s total*
*753 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total*
*2,337 people have been hospitalized, 13 more than yesterday’s total*
*Again tonight, the “new since yesterday” numbers on the county dashboard don’t match the increases from what was on the dashboard 24 hours ago (as captured in our Monday roundup), so we’re going with our calculations. Also, for a second night, the county has no stats on how many people have been tested, saying the state’s “data systems error” has not yet been resolved.
One week ago, the totals were 21,013/747/2,309/403.349.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 31.4 million cases worldwide, 6.8 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
‘MISCELLANEOUS VENUES’ GUIDANCE: New from the state:
Gov. Jay Inslee today issued guidance for miscellaneous venues, including convention/conference centers, designated meeting spaces in hotels, events centers and other similar venues as part of Washington’s Safe Start phased reopening plan.
The guidance allows business meetings, professional development training and testing, and substantially similar activities to occur away from business premises and with additional attendees, as long as all requirements are met.
‘SEAT FLEET’ FUNDRAISER: Did you buy a cardboard cutout for the pandemic-abbreviated Mariners season? The team says those who did, hit it out of the park:
The Seattle Mariners today announced that Seat Fleet fan cutout purchases have resulted in a donation of over $70,000 for All In WA, a coordinated, statewide relief effort that supports workers and families who have been acutely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Nearly 15,000 cutouts were purchased by Mariners fans and placed in the stands at T-Mobile Park during the 2020 60-Game Season. The physical presence of the cutouts helped bring color and atmosphere to the ballpark at a time when fans were not allowed to attend games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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8:33 PM: If you’re heading across the Duwamish River any time soon, don’t head for the South Park Bridge. The Every Day March protest group – same one that’s visited city councilmembers and others at their homes (as well as leading an Alki march last Saturday) – is currently blocking the bridge. They’ve hung banners off its sides, according to the livestream that’s up right now. The bridge is in King County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction and deputies are visible in the traffic cam (framegrab added above) turning traffic away at the South Park end.
8:50 PM: Still there. According to the stream, the protesters – estimated by police at ~50 – are writing messages on the bridge deck.
9:33 PM: The Concrete Reports stream shows that the group is leaving the bridge, so it should reopen shortly.
If you have a no-longer-needed bicycle, here’s a chance to get it to someone who can use it:
350 Seattle is organizing a bike collection drive in collaboration with Bike Works now through September 26! We’re hoping to collect 200 bikes.
Why does this matter right now? Bikes provide pandemic-safe, low-cost, and climate-friendly transportation for essential workers and other people across Seattle. But right now, they’re in short supply; bike sales have soared, and many shops only have expensive bikes left. This means that many of the people that need them most can’t get their hands on them. Each year, Bike Works fixes up thousands of bikes and distributes them across Southeast Seattle. Through bike giveaways and youth programs, Bike Works aims to make cycling accessible, affordable, and welcoming to people of all backgrounds, abilities, and incomes.
What are the logistics? We’re hosting drop-off sites in West Seattle, South Seattle, Capitol Hill, Magnolia, Phinney Ridge, Ballard, the U-District, Northeast Seattle, and Woodinville on Saturday, September 26 (and most of the sites will also be open the week before). To donate follow this link, and someone will contact you with more information about where to drop off your bikes or bike gear: http://bit.ly/350SBikeDrive. And, please feel free to share this form with friends, family, and neighbors that have bikes or bike gear to donate.
Thanks to Cynthia, who’s hosting the West Seattle dropoff, for letting us know! Once you send in the form, you’ll hear back, and she’s taking dropoffs between 7:30 am and 7:30 pm all week.
3:07 PM: Just under way – Seattle City Councilmembers‘ special meeting on whether to override Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s veto of three bills they passed, including the “rebalancing” bill with cuts in departments including SPD. If they don’t get seven votes for an override, Council President Lorena González said on Monday, they have a “compromise” bill to consider. That and the previously passed/vetoed bills are all linked from the agenda. Watch via Seattle Channel above; we’ll be live-chronicling after the meeting-opening public-comment period.
3:10 PM: Councilmember González says the comment period will last 90 minutes.
3:47 PM: So far 32 people have spoken – 27 for overriding, 5 against.
4:47 PM: Comments are over. By our count, 78 speakers were pro-override, 9 against. They have three bills to consider. Before any of the votes, Councilmember Alex Pedersen speaks, saying he wants to explain all his upcoming votes. He says he wants to honor the commitment the council made to fund BIPOC organizations, and so he will vote to override the mayor’s veto of the third bill on the agenda, 119863. He says his problems with 119825, the first bill, include its move to gut the Navigation Team, so he will vote to sustain the veto, as well as the second bill, 119862. He concludes by saying that the police-union contract needs to be fixed as a key part of public-safety reform.
5:03 PM: Councilmember Tammy Morales speaks next, starting by reading “the names of the people killed by SPD in the last 10 years.” She says “creating a new system of community safety” is what the council’s action is about. “We’re trying to carry forward what was built by years of work” by BIPOC community members. She will vote to override.
Councilmember Andrew Lewis speaks next. “Government needs to work together,” he says. “Working together requires compromise.” Investing in the community is vital, though, so he says he’s going to vote to override all three bills. “I want to make a statement today about a pattern that’s potentially emerging – of negotiating by veto.” That’s “wearing” among other things, he says.
5:11 PM: Councilmember Lisa Herbold speaks now. “I don’t take this vote lightly. I took part in conversations about an alternative bill,” she says, but goes on to say that the proposed alternative “falls short. .. I’m concerned that the deal the council was offered backtracks on the objective of …. making reductions to the Seattle Police Department.” She says that what the council passed opens the door to bargaining. The mayor did not offer any reduction in the “specialty units” the council wanted to shrink, she says. “Of the 38 proposed reductions, there were 11 vacancies,” she says, which would mean 27 layoffs resulting from the 38 cuts the council wanted to see. They also wanted to see 32 patrol reductions and Harbold says there are 24 on a list with problematic backgrounds that could potentially be let go first. “The vast majority of these officers are in patrol positions.” She goes on to defend the salary cuts the original bill calls for in leadership salaries, saying it’s appropriate given the supervisors’ failings including lack of overtime-spending control. She goes on to say the compromise bill doesn’t allot enough money for the groups that are to work on community-safety planning – $1 million instead of $3 million – and that the mayor wanted to water down the upcoming “participatory budgeting” process. Finally, she says the mayor did not want to sufficiently change the way the Navigation Team works but they’re hopeful her budget for next year will.
5:25 PM: Councilmember Dan Strauss says he’ll vote to override ‘because this work is too important to stop.” That would appear to put the pro-override votes at the level needed. Strauss says the package isn’t perfect but its strong points outweigh its “imperfections.” Regarding SPD, he says they can both “stand .. behind their past decisions” and “look … forward to working together in the future.”
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is next. “Seattle is at the heart of a national conversation … to reimagine public safety,” she begins, saying that conversation is about the “right size and right scope” of police departments. She lists other cities that have reduced their police spending. “There is an ongoing call for action across this nation … we legislated knowing we’re building a path for a longer-term systemic change.” She said there’s also an “urgent need” to invest in Black and brown communities – “invest, listen, and respond.” She also acknowledges it’s clear the process needs to be “more inclusive,” as they head into the process of crafting the next budget (a process that’s about to start). “We are setting the stage for a more-inclusive conversation.” Also, “We want to make sure everyone is safe, no matter where they are, no matter the color of their skin.”
5:47 PM: Now Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks, noting that she wasn’t sure at the start of the meeting which way the vote would go, and attributes “ferocious fight-back” from activists in leading to what looks to be an override vote. She says she’s still not happy with the cuts resulting in an “austerity budget,” nor is she happy with what she suggests were “back-room conversations” leading to the alternative bill (that’s apparently now dead).
5:59 PM: González says she will vote to override the vetoes. Police reform “is the needed course of action,” she says, “… not the ongoing status quo.” She echoes what several others have said – “the modest actions the council took over the summer” represent just a start. “Not everyone in our community is safe. We cannot look away from this … if we truly believe that Black lives matter … I want to be able to tell my daughter, who I’m holding in my arms, that I did the right thing.” She says the compromise bill was the result of a month of talks, so the process “illuminate(d) and quqntif(ied) how far apart we are from the mayor.” But talking with the mayor is not about “capitulation,” she insisted. “It’s time for us to move past this back-and-forth and get to work … that is what we were elected to do.” Her message is clearly for observers and critics too, and she warns that the next process ahead will “be hard … we will be asked to make difficult decisions.” She hopes it will not find them, in three months, again dealing with a veto.
6:13 PM: Voting time. 119825 (the main “rebalancing” bill): 7-2, veto overridden (Pedersen and Councilmember Debora Juarez were, as expected. the “no” votes). … On 119862, 9-0, veto overridden … On 119863, an “interfund” loan to allocate $14 million to organizations working on alternative public-safety, Herbold first speaks to the importance of the investment and says she hopes the mayor will take action to allocate the money. The vote – 9-0, overridden. The meeting adjourns at 6:24. So what does all this mean? Stand by for reaction. As always, we’ll substitute the archived video above when it’s available.
8:42 PM: We’ve received a post-vote statement from Councilmember Herbold. Most of it is basically what she said during the meeting, but the last paragraph is of note:
“I maintain my optimism that Council and the Mayor can turn the page on this and forge a path forward together in 2021 budget discussions. I, and the City of Seattle, are indebted to the tens of thousands of people who have participated in this discussion by writing, calling, providing comment, and marching day after day. This is the beginning of the conversation and the investment of $3 million by this Council to begin a participatory budget process, which was upheld today, will ensure a true community process that redefines public safety. I will work to ensure that process centers Black and Brown communities who have been, and continue to be, most affected by our current system. To the business community who is asking to also be at the table, Participatory Budgeting is designed for everyone to participate, including you.”
Meantime, we’ve substituted the archived video of the hearing atop this story.
ADDED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: SPD’s official statement, just in via email:
Early yesterday evening, Seattle City Council Members voted to override the Mayor’s veto of their 2020 Budget Rebalancing legislation.
The Seattle Police Department is still determining the implications of this action and the appropriate response. However, it is the SPD’s intent to keep the Department as whole as possible. In 2020, and as we move into 2021 budget discussions, our primary commitment is to build trust and maintain public safety.
Chief Diaz is working closely with the Mayor’s office to assess next steps.
The SPD is aware these decisions can create long-lasting impacts, and remains committed to equitably serving all of Seattle.
One week ago, we noted that the community coalition West Seattle Bridge NOW had yet to hear back from the mayor after sending her a letter imploring a fast fix for the six-months-closed bridge. That spurred the coalition to work on what you might call a “video petition” (still in progress). But in the meantime, WSBN’s Kevin Broveleit tells WSB they did finally get a mayoral response – it’s posted in full on the coalition website. No major revelations or promises, but here’s an excerpt:
Like me, I know others want to see a solution right now. Restoring safe travel for years to come to and from West Seattle is my north star. I cannot stress enough that we have not passed up a single opportunity to expedite these efforts and that I will continue to be steadfastly focused on efficiency throughout.
Since the closure of the High-Rise Bridge, we’ve worked to simultaneously advance all efforts needed to expeditiously pursue both a repair or replace scenario in addition to traffic and environmental mitigation efforts. By advancing all pathways at once, not a moment has been lost while the careful and thorough assessment is done to understand which avenue – repair or replace – provides the best, safest outcome for the region over the long term.In October, I am expecting a full engineering and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis that Task Force – which includes the Coalition – have played a part in shaping.
“It’s a good start,” says Broveleit, adding that the coalition is working on a formal response, as well as the aforementioned video (to which you can still contribute).
Meantime, the task force mentioned in the mayor’s letter, the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, meets online at noon tomorrow; the agenda and viewing link are at the end of this WSB story.
Thanks to commenter Flo for the tip – Lime‘s e-scooters have arrived in West Seattle. We’ve been watching Alki and The Junction for sightings since last Wednesday, when Lime became the first of three scooter-share companies to deploy theirs as part of Seattle’s “pilot” program. This morning we saw several on Alki, the ones above in front of Outer Space Seattle (WSB sponsor) and a couple more between there and Seacrest. Lime told WSB they plan to deploy “a handful” here for starters, with more in the weeks ahead. Also getting the city’s go-ahead are Wheels (seated scooters) and LINK. Each of the three companies will have permission for up to 500 scooters citywide for starters, eventually up to 2,000 each “if things go well,” according to SDOT‘s announcement, which has more details on how the program is supposed to work.
Thanks to MC for the photo from Monday’s “drive-up” flu-shot clinic at Chief Sealth International High School. Five more clinics, with the Visiting Nurse Association, are ahead in West Seattle this week and next for Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and families. You are welcome with or without insurance – MC notes, “Funding is available for free flu shots for uninsured kids and adults.” This year, health experts say flu vaccinations are more important than ever because of the pandemic – here’s why. Here are the upcoming clinics:
Wednesday, September 23
Madison Middle School – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, September 25
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 29
Chief Sealth High School – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 1
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, October 2
Madison Middle School – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
You need to register for an appointment – via the link on this page.
First morning of fall, which arrived at 6:30 am, and it started with fog/mist. Here’s what’s ahead:
TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE, DAY 3: This is the third of five days for this year’s Taste of West Seattle. You can be part of it – dine in at, or take out from, partner food/drink establishments and get the menu item(s) from which part of the proceeds are being donated to the West Seattle Food Bank, to help prevent hunger and homelessness. See the list of participants (and the menu items) here.
CITY COUNCIL VETO VOTES: 3 pm, the council meets to vote on whether to sustain or override the mayor’s vetoes of three bills, including the one that “rebalanced” the budget with cuts to departments including SPD. See the agenda for how to comment at the meeting (signups start at 1 pm) and how to watch/listen.
(4160 California SW)
DEMONSTRATION: After skipping last week because of the smoke, the twice-weekly streetcorner demonstrations are back:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, September 22, 4 to 6 p, 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, September 24, 4 to 6 p, 16th and Holden
Come show support for BLM and ending systemic racism. Hold signs, meet neighbors and stand for racial justice. (Organized by) Scott at Puget Ridge Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
FALL EQUINOX SUNSET WATCH: 6:30 pm, skywatcher/educator Alice Enevoldsen invites you to celebrate the change of seasons with another online version of the quarterly events she has been leading for a decade-plus. Watch for a link here – and here.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:
STOLEN SUBARU: Via text: “My vehicle was stolen last night at 4550 38th SW in front of Link apartments. 1999 Subaru Outback sport.” Plate is shown in the photo; call 911 if you see it.
CAR PROWLS: From Taylor via email: “My partner has experienced two car prowls in the last month!! One (Monday) morning and one two weeks ago. Watch out, 35th & Cambridge area. We blame it on the increase in traffic and of course the economic shortage in the area. Keep an eye out, people, and make sure your floodlights are turned on with fresh bulbs.”
Family and friends are remembering Barbara J. Schorn and sharing this with her community:
Barbara Jean Schorn, loving wife and mother of three children and grandmother to six, went home to be with her Lord on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at age 83, surrounded by her three sons.
Barbara was born on May 9, 1937, in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Victor and Violet Erickson. She was baptized and confirmed at Redeemer Lutheran Church. After receiving her teaching degree from the University of Minnesota, she spent the summer in Europe and then returned to teach 4th grade at Robbinsdale School. On December 22, 1959, she married Robert Schorn. Together they moved to Seattle in 1962. In 1964, they moved to Racine, Wisconsin. Then again in 1965, they moved to Anchorage, Alaska, returning in 1967 to settle in Seattle.
Together they raised three sons, Scott, Eric, and Tyler.
Barbara had a passion for children, teaching and volunteering. While raising her sons, she volunteered in the Seattle Public Schools and was very involved in First Lutheran Church of West Seattle (a member since 1963) being a Sunday School Teacher, Bible School Teacher, serving on Altar Guild, and as a Circle member. She volunteered in her sons’ and grandchildren’s activities such as Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, soccer, baseball, basketball, and paper routes. She loved to take Scott’s dogs on the paper routes of all her sons.
After she raised her sons, she worked at the Seattle Public Schools as an Instructional Assistant and then as an on-call Substitute Teacher. She volunteered at the Son of Heaven China exhibit and others. She also helped elderly couples by taking them on weekly grocery-store trips, and helping them live independently in their homes. She attended all her grandsons’ baseball and soccer games. Barbara was an avid seamstress.
Barbara loved camping, boating, and trips to Lake Chelan. Barbara and Robert were Seattle Sonics basketball season-ticket holders from the inaugural season all the way until the Sonics left for Oklahoma, and also a fan of local baseball, football, and hockey teams. While in Anchorage, they went camping every weekend that weather would allow to explore Alaska. She was known for her kind, caring, compassionate spirit.
Barbara was preceded in death by her sister Gloria Nordin, her parents Victor and Violet Erickson. She is survived by her husband Robert, her three sons, Scott (Valerie), Eric (Wendy), and Tyler (Kaoru), and her 6 grandchildren, Gunther, Peter, Nicholas, April, Miyabi, and Madoka.
The family would like to thank Rosalind Chege and Mercy Muturi for their tender care of Barbara in her final years.
Private family service will be held at Washington Memorial Cemetery. Donations in her memory may be sent to the West Seattle Food Bank.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:30 AM: Welcome to fall! It’s Tuesday, the 183rd 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 will 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.