West Seattle, Washington
Here’s our nightly update with local/regional pandemic-related toplines:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*23,419 people have tested positive, 151 more than yesterday’s total
*774 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total
*2,410 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than yesterday
*456,822 people have been tested, 1,105 more than yesterday
One week ago, those totals (plus testing) were 22,400/758/2,374/437,985.
ANOTHER LOCAL DEATH: 98116 is now up to 7 deaths as of today. Checking on the other 4 zip codes that are entirely or partly within West Seattle:
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
LIBRARIES OPEN SOON? Though the governor’s new guidelines allow some indoor services, the Seattle Public Library says it’ll take a few weeks for them to figure out their plan.
NEED FOOD? Another food-box distribution is planned by the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church, 1:30-4 pm Saturday (October 10th), 2620 SW Kenyon.
GOT INFO? Email us at email@example.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“This has been bad. It’s been awful for West Seattle. And there’s no immediate fix … no matter what options we take here, we’re in this for a number of years.”
That’s part of what Mayor Jenny Durkan told the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force today at its 10th meeting, two weeks before she is expected to announce her choice between “repair now and replace later” or “proceed directly to replacement.”
But the centerpiece of the meeting came in toplines from the report that is supposed to shape her decision, along with input from the CTF and the Technical Advisory Panel: The Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). And members voiced concern that it doesn’t give enough consideration to the misery the mayor mentioned. The toplines presented by SDOT seemed to be leaning toward “proceed directly to replacement,” but without some key information: Cost estimates in dollars, and cost estimates in impacts to area residents and businesses.
Though the mayor spoke first, as one CTF member observed, it would have been more helpful for the CBA toplines to have been presented first, so that’s where we’re starting, right after the meeting video:
(Note: Meeting stopped for 15 minutes starting 55 minutes in due to technical trouble)
As we reported Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Inslee has announced new guidelines for a variety of businesses and institutions – among them, libraries. We asked Seattle Public Library management whether that means they’ll be opening their buildings soon. Today, SPL communications director Andra Addison sent this update:
Gov. Jay Inslee has announced public libraries may allow some indoor service at 25 percent capacity in Phase 2 of his Safe Start reopening plan. Indoor activities were previously slated in Phase 3. The Seattle Public Library currently operates in Phase 2 and is assessing the new reopening requirements with current planning efforts to expand services.
The safety of our patrons and staff is our top priority as we develop and progress carefully and thoughtfully on our reopening plans. It will likely take a few weeks to develop a plan to determine services that can safely adapt to in-building access. All physical distancing and health protocols will remain in place, and as required in the new guidance, cloth masks will be required to access any in-building services. Curbside Pickup Service and online services, classes, programs and activities will continue through all phases. More details will be announced when plans are finalized.
(2017 photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
If you’re a property owner, you should get information soon on your next valuation. In a news release today, the King County Assessor says median values in West Seattle dropped a bit. However, that’s NOT because of the bridge closure – as we learned earlier this year in a conversation with the department, all the info going into your valuation for taxes in a given year is compiled before the start of the previous year. In other words, your 2021 taxes are based on what your property was worth January 1, 2020 – before the bridge closure (and the pandemic, for that matter). Keeping that in mind, here’s the Assessor’s news release:
The King County Assessor’s office is wrapping up the annual process of mailing out re-valuation notices to taxpayers. Notices will be arriving in West Seattle soon. Median values fell 1% in West Seattle.
Each year, County Assessors appraise every commercial and residential parcel in the state. These values – set effective as of January 1 by state law – are then applied to the next year’s tax bill. Property values are being set on January 1, 2020, for taxes due in 2021.
Data indicates that home sale prices and overall home values have been relatively flat in the aggregate compared to last year. As always, values vary from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood – some are up, and some are down. One significant factor in residential home values in King County is the increase in values in suburbs around Seattle, especially in the south end.
The Assessor has been monitoring the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While housing values have remained relatively steady so far, some commercial sectors have had their values severely impacted. These changes in value will be reflected in the 2021 assessed value for taxes payable in 2022.
“While home values did not rise significantly countywide, some areas, such as Auburn and Kent are seeing a lot of demand and therefore increases in median value, as more and more buyers are being priced out of Seattle and the eastside,” said Wilson.
You can appeal your valuation – as explained here – but not your tax bill.
2:39 PM: From King County Transportation:
The M/V Spirit of Kingston (social-distancing passenger capacity of 33) will be on the West Seattle Water Taxi route all evening, replacing the Doc Maynard (86-passenger capacity) while it operates on the Vashon route. The Sally Fox will be out of service tonight while a pilot-house window is replaced. Please plan your commute accordingly in the event that West Seattle customer demand exceeds available capacity on any individual sailing.
The water taxi continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through regular cleaning and disinfecting between sailings. Masks are required for both passengers and crew.
3:10 PM: Update – back to normal!
essel Maintenance on the M/V Sally Fox completed early, which allows the Water Taxi to operate at the normal social distancing capacity of 86 on both the West Seattle and Vashon routes. Current ridership has been well below this threshold. Thank you to the engineering team for the expedited work!
West Seattleite Stephanie Gerding was in for the fight of her life after two strokes in the middle of the night sent her to the hospital.
While there, she says in this online profile, she wondered if her life was about to end, too soon – until her husband put a photo of their 10-year-old daughter at her bedside. “That was the moment I knew not fighting for my life, not being there as her mom, was not an option. This was not the end for me.”
That was three years ago. But stroke recovery is not the same as simply getting over an illness: “I wish doctors told us recovery is a lifelong journey so we would have a more inclusive and optimistic outlook.” Nonetheless, she sets goals – and one of those was to be in the Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk, raising money for the American Heart Association. Last year was her first one. This year, it’s happening virtually, culminating this Saturday, and she’s participating again. Her husband Patrick Gerding wanted us to know, describing his wife as “a local hero.” You can support her, or participate yourself. As Stephanie describes it, it’s a matter of investing “in hope for a future with fewer strokes.”
P.S. Knowing the symptoms of stroke can save your life or that of someone you love.
(WSB file photo)
… Over the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult for a mid-sized drugstore chain to operate independently. Changes in the pharmacy world, business tax increases and the pandemic created very strong headwinds for us. We knew we needed to do something to re-shape Bartell’s future.
For months now, we have carefully considered the best way to move forward, and we believe we have found the most successful way. Today, we announced our agreement to sell Bartell Drugs to Rite Aid.
This was a well-thought-out decision and we would like to tell you what this means to you.
First, we are thrilled that the Bartell name and heritage will remain. We expect you, as well as our 1,700 employees, to see little or no change in our 67 stores for some time to come. In fact, the change may be hardly noticeable as you will continue to benefit from having our ongoing pharmacy care and support with the same friendly teams and still enjoy our other unique products and services. In addition, Bartell Drugs will be owned by the local Bartell family until the acquisition is approved by financial and regulatory agencies. This process will take us most likely to early December and could be longer.
Second, we are confident Rite Aid is the best choice. Their management team has a fresh vision of how drugstores can best serve health care needs. Of our many options, their strategy and vision best align with our Bartell values and allows Bartells to continue to do what we do best, serve our community. To serve you!
We are excited about this excellent opportunity with Rite Aid, who wants us to continue to do what we do best, to serve you in the “Bartell” way. …
Rite Aid’s announcement says the purchase price is $95 million.
Bartell and Rite Aid have two stores each in West Seattle. We’re checking on the status of the corporate offices.
Five events in the hours ahead:
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Noon-2:30 pm online. Agenda and viewing info are in our Tuesday preview.
FREE BOXES OF FOOD: Drive/ride/walk up to the West Seattle Eagles lot, expected to be available starting just after noon, while they last, All welcome. (4426 California SW) 11:59 AM UPDATE: We’re told the truck is running late and this isn’t expected to start until after 1:30 pm.
WEST SEATTLE MICRO-SCHOOL FAIR: 5 pm today, online. Register here. The announcement:
With some West Seattle schools like Little Pilgrims closing permanently, most others focused on remote learning, and some bigger center-based programs experiencing COVID scares, new neighborhood schooling options are emerging as the community looks for safer options. Parents are invited to a community event to learn about childcare and school options now or to learn about joining the waitlist for programs next year. All featured programs have a 8:1 or smaller child/parent ratio and follow strict CDC guidelines for schools/childcare programs. The event will feature different types of programs with a wide range of rates, including:
-half day/full day outdoor-focused programs (forest school) in Schmitz Park and other local parks
-half day/full day preschool programs
-half day/full day early elementary K-4th grade micro-schools and virtual programs
-virtual micro-school options
To RSVP for the WEST SEATTLE SCHOOL FAIR, click here. For any parents who can’t make the event time, if you register, you’ll get a link to view the event as well as a recap of the full list of all available programs sent to you after the event.
SDOT MEETING ABOUT 26TH SW: As noted in the Delridge road project’s most recent bulletin, a proposal for “diverters” where the 26th SW greenway crosses Brandon and Genesee is back – or, the city could convert that stretch into a no-through-vehicle-traffic “Stay Healthy Street.” An online community meeting is planned tonight at 6:30 pm – find the connection info by scrolling down the project page and looking for the section headed “Upcoming meeting about adjacent Delridge Neighborhood Greenway.”
DISTRICT 1 COMMUNITY NETWORK: 7 pm tonight, this West Seattle/South Park coalition has two major agenda items – talking with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold and discussing the bridge. The meeting link is here, or call 253-215-8782, meeting ID 894 3131 0146 and password 422860 for either option.
Sunday brunch without leaving home, this weekend! Here’s the announcement:
The Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association will present its first ever Cabin Fever Brunch Bash, a virtual fundraising event, on Sunday, October 11 featuring remarks from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, music by Clinton Fearon, live art, poetry, and more.
The Cabin Fever Brunch Bash will bring the work of local artists directly to viewers. Brunch options prepared by Chef Mulu Abate of Phresh Eats will be available for delivery or pickup to brunch ticket holders in advance of the event, with gluten- and dairy-free options available for all menu items. Hosted by DNDA’s Executive Director David Bestock, the event allows virtual attendees to experience DNDA’s work, and enjoy sweet music vibes from Clinton Fearon and Daniel Pak, live art by Sophia Trinh, poetry from Jordan Chaney, fun videos, and more, while supporting DNDA’s programs in southwest Seattle.
General admission tickets are $10. Buy before October 7 [today!] to get a single brunch ticket for $125, or brunch for two for $200. Brunch items will be delivered the day before the event, or can be made available for pickup. For tickets and donations, please visit https://dnda.ejoinme.org/brunch.
DNDA has been leading a vision for a vibrant and thriving Delridge since 1996, and was honored as Nonprofit of the Year by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. We work to integrate art, nature, and neighborhood to build and sustain a dynamic Delridge. Support DNDA as we support youth and families, and together we will write a brighter future for us all.
6:07 AM: Welcome to Wednesday – the 198th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD WORK, ETC.\
*Lander Street Bridge in SODO: Now officially open.
*Southbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge: Short closures for “temporary repairs” today, between 6 am and 3 pm.
*Delridge project: SW Oregon will close again at Delridge this Friday-Sunday. Lots of other project-related news here.
*Olson/1st repaving: This will conclude Saturday and Sunday, with this alert: “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.”
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 are two cameras:
The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s the nearest 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 – Resumption of fare collection, day 7.
Water Taxi – Also no longer free.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.