West Seattle, Washington
33 weeks ago tonight, King County announced its first case of COVID-19. Here’s where we are now:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily summary:
*24,773 people have tested positive, 124 more than yesterday’s total
*784 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*2,475 people have been hospitalized, 3 more than yesterday’s total
*498,283 people have been tested, 4,502 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 23,736/776/2,429/471,588.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 39.3 million cases, 1.1 million deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
NEED TESTING? Our weekly reminder – the city-operated testing site in West Seattle – south side of the Southwest Athletic Complex parking lot (2801 SW Thistle) – is open Saturdays (as well as weekdays). Go here to choose an appointment time before you go.
HELPING: With so many more people in need this year because of the COVID crunch on our economy, if you can donate, every drive gains new importance. Tomorrow (Saturday), new kids’ coats and used men’s coats are being accepted at Hope Lutheran in The Junction.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? firstname.lastname@example.org or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The executive director of the Seattle Animal Shelter now calls the Delridge situation we first reported Thursday “the worst case of animal neglect and cruelty I’ve seen in more than 20 years of doing this work, and it’s quite possibly the worst case our shelter has ever handled.” As the man arrested at his house near 26th/Findlay made his first court appearance today, SAS provided an update on the animals seized there, and photos of a few of them.
More than 220 animals are now in the care of SAS, whose spokesperson Melissa Mixon says they were “discovered in cages inside and outside a home on the property (and) are currently being treated at the shelter for severe neglect and malnourishment. Three of the animals are being transferred offsite for veterinary care reserved for exotic animals.” Here’s just part of the scene as the animals were brought to shelter HQ for intake:
Mixon provided this list of the animals they found:
128 guinea pigs
Mixon added that “in other buildings on the property, a number of deceased animals were found in cages. Investigators are still working to determine the exact amount but estimate it could be in the hundreds.”
More new information comes in the document from the 54-year-old suspect’s bail hearing today. He remained in jail today, with bail set at $7,500 by a judge, though prosecutors asked for $40,000. (11:11 pm update: He posted bond mid-evening tonight and was released.) He is not yet charged; that could happen Monday. The initial report is from SPD, which assisted animal-control enforcement in serving a warrant. The officer writes:
“I observed about 25 animals in the first room of the house … The animals were in small cages that (the suspect) called ‘transport’ cages. Many of the animals did not have food or water in their cages. (He) advised that he would be transporting the animals to the east coast soon.
Animal Control alerted me to unusual circumstances around the property. Specifically, they located deceased animals in varying degrees of decay. I asked (him) for permission to walk around the home and property.(He) allowed officers to (do so), and mentioned that he has nothing to hide. Every room of his home has animals living in cages. The floors are covered with hay, animal feces, and animal food. Inside the home I noticed two recently dead animals inside cages.
That wasn’t the worst of it – the report also says the officer found at least 80 animal skeletons, inside and outside of cages, in the backyard, in a structure behind the house, and in structures at property the suspect owns next door. The officer wrote, “Animal Control … believed the animals to have died from a lack of food, water, and medical attention.:”
HOW TO HELP: From the shelter:
In the 24 hours since the animals were discovered, the shelter has received an outpouring of support from community members, residents and organizations that want to help the animals. At this time, the best way to do that is through direct donations to the shelter’s Help the Animals Fund or via the shelter’s Amazon Wish List. Shelter staff have updated the list to reflect the needs for the 220-plus animals while in the shelter’s care. Graves also expressed gratitude for the support of the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation, which is collecting donations for the animals here.
Please note that, due to the ongoing pandemic requirements, the shelter is unable to accept in-person donations.
The shelter’s primary focus at this time is evaluating, treating and caring for the animals. In the coming days or weeks, Graves said the shelter may need the support of its foster community to help care for the animals so as not to strain capacity and resources at the shelter.
She says the animals are “in a very, very fragile state” but “are doing well in our care and our shelter team has done an incredible job in this all-hands-on-deck situation.”
The shelter says it’s handled double the usual number of severe animal-cruelty cases this year – 27 so far, when an average year brings 12 – and Mixon adds, “If you suspect an animal is being harmed, please contact the shelter at 206-386-7387.”
Police are investigating gunfire near Myrtle Reservoir Park. Residents called 911 after hearing it about an hour ago; at least two casings were subsequently found in the street near 39th/Willow (map). No injuries or property damage reported. Police told us at the scene that they are interested in hearing from anyone in the area who might have caught something on a security camera; the case number is (corrected) 2020-295620.
5:10 PM: A Seattle Fire water-rescue response is headed to the 5600 block of Beach Drive SW (map), after a report of a kiteboarder in trouble. Updates to come.
5:19 PM: Via radio communication, responders say they’re seeing a board but so far, nobody with it. Also note, the response is on a narrower section of Beach Drive, which means traffic effects – avoid the area.
5:24 PM: They’ve found a blue-and-white board offshore, attached to a buoy, but have not confirmed whether anyone is actually missing.
5:28 PM: They’ve determined this board isn’t linked to anyone in trouble; there’s another boarder about a mile south they’re going to go check with to be sure they’re OK and weren’t with anyone.
5:37 PM: They’re not finding evidence of that person so far, but now they’re looking at relocating crews further south – to Lowman Beach and/or the ferry dock – until they can check more closely. The dispatcher says the original caller reported a kiteboarder last seen “two hours ago.”
5:43 PM: “It does not appear we have a victim at this time,” is the conclusion, and this is being wrapped up/canceled.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STOLEN BIKES: From Katrina:
Our bikes were stolen off our covered porch in North Admiral. They are both Public brand cruisers, both have upgraded Brooks saddles.
We’re looking to get the word out in case they (hopefully) get dumped somewhere. Thought we would let folks know as well to be extra vigilant as we were told there has been an uptick in bike theft in our neighborhood.
10/22 UPDATE: Found, as noted in comments.
APARTMENT-GARAGE BREAK-IN: From Tim:
(Wednesday) night a prowler entered our locked garage at apartment complex: Aura West Seattle. He had bolt cutters and cut a chain we had used to lock up a wagon. He then used our wagon to gather other items in the garage. Someone must have caught him in the middle and he ended up ditching the wagon in the garage with a stolen car battery charger and a tent. This prowler stole a previous wagon about a month ago along with a roof bag for our camping trips. We got a new wagon with a lock, and still, no match for the thief. They have also broken into the bike room as well on separate occasions.
Two days after King County Elections mailed 1.4 million ballots, they continue arriving … we received ours today. Once you have yours, this year of all years, you’re advised to vote early – avoid that last-day rush, and have your ballot part of the initial totals announced on Election Night! You can use the USPS mail but you can also cut out the middleperson and get your ballot directly into the possession of the people who will process it by using an official KCE drop box. The three in West Seattle are:
West Seattle Junction – south side of SW Alaska between California and 44th SW
High Point – outside the rear entrance plaza of the library – 3411 SW Raymond
South Seattle College – in front of the main administration building – 6000 16th SW
These two are also close to West Seattle:
White Center – outside the east side of the library, 1419 SW 107th
South Park – outside the front of the library, 8604 8th Ave. S.
Go here for the map and list of all drop boxes.
The county sends driver teams out to empty the boxes “every day Monday through Saturday until Election Day with some Sunday and multiple-per-day pick-ups for our busiest boxes. Ballots are always picked up in a team of two and teams have an entire set of security protocols to follow, including seals and logs, every time they pick up ballots.” On Election Day (November 3rd), when the boxes close at 8 pm, the county plans to have traffic-directing help on hand plus “a plainclothes security officer at each drop box location to assist in de-escalating any tense situations and to provide general support to the closing team. Security Officers will be unarmed and will not be wearing an official police uniform. Our goal is for them to blend into the community while also being able to provide extra assistance as needed.” If you don’t get your ballot by Monday (October 19th), contact KC Elections.
Today’s blustery weather is a reminder that winter’s on the way. We
reminding you this afternoon about tomorrow’s drive-up coat drive at Hope Lutheran – 9:00 am-1:00 pm on Saturday. What they’re looking for: NEW coats for kids, from a children’s size 6 – adult 2X, plus USED men’s coats in sizes M, L, XL, or a financial donation. Hope is at 4456 42nd SW, but enter the lot at 41st SW and exit to Oregon. Volunteers will be there to get the donation(s) out of your back seat or trunk so it’s a no-contact event.
Three notes for the rest of your Friday:
ADMIRAL THEATER REOPENING: As we first reported last week, today is reopening day for The Historic Admiral Theater (thanks to Peter Morse from nearby Mission Cantina [WSB sponsor] for the top photo). First movie’s at 3:30 pm – the marquee is updated, the lineup is set, the staff is ready:
The photo is from Admiral employee Diane, who writes:
We have been rushing to get the Admiral ready for our first moviegoers. We are so excited. We are opening with a skeleton crew of 4. Our general manager is Larry Wymer. We are going to do the best we can to make the movie experience enjoyable while having rules to keep everyone safe and comfortable. We are only going to have 2 movie showings per day (25% capacity) and we made sure to give us, the staff, enough time between movies to disinfect the theaters and common areas.
IN-CAR MOVIE RAINED OUT AGAIN: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s plan to show “The Secret Life of Pets” to an in-their-cars crowd at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) has now been thwarted by weather two Fridays in a row – rain is expected to return tonight – so they are shelving it until next year.
ANTI-RACISM VIGIL: Organizer Nancy says the weekly vigil in North Delridge is on:
We’ll be back on the Delridge pedestrian overpass again. I hope you’ll join us as we take a public stand against racism.
What: Delridge weekly anti-racism vigil
When: Friday, October 16th, from 5:30-6:30 pm
Where: Pedestrian overpass on Delridge at the Delridge Community Center/Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Please remember to wear your masks!
If you can’t come in person, please consider passing on the info to your networks.
Today we’re welcoming Seattle E-Bike as not only a returning WSB sponsor, but as the most recent addition to The Junction – the shop has moved to 4517 California SW. Here’s what the shop wants you to know:
Right now electric bikes are in short supply in Seattle, but Seattle E-Bike has a variety of bikes that are ready to go. The next time you’re in The Junction, you can stop in and look at the various types and styles. You can even take a 30-minute test ride.
Seattle E-Bike owner Brian Nordwall and manager Alex Dunn both live in West Seattle, and they believe an electric bike is one of the best means of commuting while the bridge is closed, not to mention a great way to get out of the house to explore the neighborhood. Whether you need to get downtown, go to the store, or deal with the hills and steep inclines around West Seattle, an electric bike can make for a much smoother and more comfortable outing. Now that the West Seattle Bridge closure is in its seventh month, you might still be looking for an alternative means of transportation, and now you don’t have to go far to find one.
Seattle E-Bike‘s new location also offers accessories and a service department to keep your e-bike in great condition. Seattle E-Bike is located at 4517 California SW; its fall hours are
Tuesdays-Fridays 10:30 am – 6 pm, Saturdays 10:30 am – 5 pm, closed Sundays/Mondays.
We thank Seattle E-Bike for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
10:24 AM: Thanks to Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch for the heads-up: Southern Resident Killer Whales are heading in our direction, southbound off Shilshole at last report. Last time, they turned around before making it this far south, but here’s an early alert just in case they keep going this time.
11:50 AM: Getting closer – see comments.
12:55 PM: Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail called with an update – still southbound but slowly, off Bainbridge.
1:42 PM: Donna just called again to say the orcas are rounding Alki Point! Kersti says they’re from J-Pod.
In addition to providing shelter for more than 50 people, Camp Second Chance on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle has been contributing to other tiny-house encampments by hosting a space for building more of the small structures (after replacing all the tents at CSC, as we reported last year). The volunteer-powered operation, Sound Foundations Northwest, which sprung from the efforts of West Seattle’s Alki UCC and Fauntleroy UCC, has found a new home of its own.
Sound Foundations NW has announced a new partnership with the Low Income Housing Institute, which operates Camp Second Chance and other tiny-house encampments. A LIHI warehouse space in SODO will be the new home of the tiny-house-building operation. The announcement says, “This new partnership will help meet the demand of building several more tiny homes while getting homeless residents who are transitioning to permanent housing the essential services that have made this model a success.” No one living in a tiny-house encampment, for example, has tested positive for COVID-19, the organization says, while 440 people in other kinds of shelters have. Also, they cite a higher success rate of tiny-house encampment residents exiting into long-term or permanent housing.
Along with moving to a bigger space – 6,000 square feet, double the CSC space’s size – as of November 3rd, Sound Foundations NW is redesigning its building process to speed it up. Currently, they’ve been able to complete two tiny houses every three weeks. With an assembly-line system, Sound Foundations NW says, they could eventually build up to two a day – something they don’t believe anyone else in the country is doing. The operation is needed because while the city has supported the operation of tiny-house encampments like CSC (the only one in West Seattle), the city does not fund the tiny houses themselves – it’s all donation- and volunteer-supported, and hundreds more will be needed. (They have a fundraising campaign going to support the move.)
Once the operation is moved from what’s known as “The Big Tent” at CSC, Sound Foundations NW will donate the tent to the encampment to serve as its new community center.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz sought to boost SPD’s patrol ranks recently by moving 100 officers out of non-patrol duties, the Southwest Precinct‘s commander has said at community meetings that it didn’t help much, because many of the officers he was scheduled to get had given notice instead.
We hadn’t heard specific numbers in his previous mentions, but last night at the Alki Community Council‘s monthly online meeting, Capt. Kevin Grossman shared the stats – he’d been told to expect 10 patrol officers, but seven retired, so he got three, though even that helped, he said. Attrition is a current citywide problem – he lost three people just this week. The ones who are old enough are retiring, he said, while the ones with 5 to 10 years of experience tend to make “lateral” moves – to another law-enforcement agency – though some are just quitting to start another career.
In addition to Capt. Grossman’s updates, this morning we have new numbers from SPD, released toward the start of what could be another budget battle between the City Council and Mayor. Her office went public with a look at current and projected staffing – a report that West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold told WSB she had been requesting for a month, as chair of the Public Safety Committee.
The headline from the mayor’s office, which circulated the information to local business leaders before going public, is that SPD lost more than twice as many officers in September as it’s lost in any single month in department history – 39, including 3 who were in training:
6:16 AM: Welcome to Friday – the 207th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD WORK, ETC.
*Delridge project: The SW Oregon closure is on for today-Sunday, closing SW Oregon on the east side of the intersection (photographed pre-closure, Thursday evening):
*Southbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge: Short closures for “temporary repairs” are continuing, between 6 am and 3 pm.
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.
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.