West Seattle, Washington
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).
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
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 kingcounty.gov/taxreliefextension, call 206-296-3920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
6:16 AM: Welcome to Tuesday. It’s the 190th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
*Delridge project: The SW Oregon closure is now set for early this Friday (October 2nd) until early the following Monday. Meanwhile, here’s the newest bulletin, with word on where work is scheduled this wwek.
*Westwood Village lot repaving: We updated this on Monday. Part of the work has moved over to the southeast area of the center, just north of QFC.
*Olson/Myers/1st repaving: Last weekend’s work was completed on schedule; next round is scheduled for October 10th-11th.
Metro – Remember that fare collection resumes Thursday.
Water Taxi – Fares for the foot ferry also will resume 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.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.