West Seattle, Washington
Eight months ago tonight, King County announced its first COVID-19 case. Here’s where we are now:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*26,817 people have tested positive, 196 more than yesterday’s total
*803 people have died, 3 more than yesterday’s total
*2,561 people have been hospitalized, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*530,067 people have been tested, 3,243 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 25.554/787/2,516/514.434.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
STATEWIDE SITUATION REPORT: The state reports:
Today the Washington State Department of Health released the latest statewide situation report on COVID-19 transmission, which shows a general rise in the intensity of the epidemic in both western and eastern Washington.
Report findings include:
*Transmission is increasing in western and eastern Washington. The best estimates of the reproductive number (how many new people each COVID-19 patient will infect) were 1.34 in western Washington and 1.12 in eastern Washington as of October 10. The goal is a number well below one, which would mean COVID-19 transmission is declining.
*From mid-September to mid-October, case counts and hospitalizations have risen in both western and eastern Washington. Some of the increase in early October appears to be due to more testing. However, case counts increased during the week ending October 15 despite decreases in testing.
*Increases in western Washington are widely distributed geographically and across ages. Growth is particularly high in the 25 to 39 and 40 to 59 age groups and in the Puget Sound region (Snohomish, King and Pierce counties). This wide distribution suggests increases are due to broad community spread, not driven by a single type of activity or setting.
HALLOWEEN, PANDEMIC STYLE: Still adding more no-contact trick-or-treating (some happening Friday as well as Saturday) and decoration locations to our Halloween page. This display, incorporating the virus, may be the prize-winner so far (thanks to Lynda B for the photo):
GOT INFO? Email us at email@example.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
During this morning’s City Council budget-review meeting, Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s proposal to add potential defenses to city misdemeanor criminal law – covered here Monday night – got about half an hour of discussion (starting at 1:46:50 in the video above). End result: At Council President Lorena González‘s request, the proposal is being pulled out of the budget process and shelved until the council gets back to regular business in about a month. González said that council staffers are already more or less maxed out on the work they can do during the intensive budget-review process, and also noted that this isn’t purely a budget matter anyway. In her initial remarks about it, Herbold said, “This is really about creating some transparency about the conditions of the lives of people who have been accused of offenses … The proposal does not require a dismissal or acquittal – it simply allows the defense.” The other councilmembers who spoke during the discussion expressed support for the concept, including González and Councilmember Andrew Lewis, a former assistant city attorney. He noted that no legislation has been drafted yet but he would expect some (unspecified) changes in the version posted by public defenders: “There’s a lot more work that needs to be done, a lot more discussion that needs to happen.” González said she supports the goals of the proposal – “I continue to believe that it’s time to stop the criminalization of poverty, addiction, and mental illness.” Though shelving the proposal until after the budget process wasn’t described during the meeting as a done deal, we confirmed with Herbold later that it is – and she adds, “Consequently, I’ll be taking the issue up in December.”
10:03 PM: SFD has a “scenes of violence” response headed to the 9200 block of 17th SW. According to the dispatch, a man is reported to have been assaulted with a baseball bat. No other details yet.
10:16 PM: Officers were reported to be talking with possible suspects. No update on the victim’s condition; SFD medics were treating him.
9:26 AM: SFD says they took a 25-year-old man to the hospital “in stable condition.”
3:23 PM: We’ve obtained the report narrative from SPD. The original 911 call was “two males, one female” fighting, and one man being hit with a bat. The victim had facial injuries and possible abdominal injuries, and could not or would not tell the officers anything but his name. A witness said the attacker got away on a bicycle; the possible suspects located by police did not pan out, and no arrests were made.
That’s another artwork by Ruthi Winter of West Seattle Beach Drive Art Studio, encouraging early voting – which is still going strong. As of tonight, King County Elections has received ballots from almost 65% of Seattle voters. Countywide, it’s 59 percent. If you’ve already put your ballot in the mail or in a drop box, you can go here to see whether it’s been received and counted. If you’re using USPS Mail, even though our state requires only that the ballot be postmarked by Election Day – next Tuesday, November 3rd – early is still better. Same if you’re using a drop box, though they’re open 24 hours a day until 8 pm Tuesday – even if you’re usually a procrastinator, get your ballot in now so the one-and-only Election Night results drop can be as complete a report as possible. West Seattle’s three boxes are on the list/map here; so far, those three boxes have accounted for more than 27,000 ballots. If you’re not registered, you can do that in person up until, and even on, Election Day; one way to do it – or update your address – is at one of the Vote Centers that will open starting Saturday – closest one is the CenturyLink Event Center on the south end of downtown.
As mentioned in our morning preview, the Planters “Nutmobile” visited West Seattle this morning. Didn’t get much advance notice on this, so you might have missed it, but we have since gotten word of another West Seattle stop: It’ll be at The Sanctuary @ Admiral (42nd/Lander) on Friday (October 30th), 9 am-2 pm, in conjunction with a Bloodworks Northwest donation drive. If you come visit, there’s swag, like these stickers:
Today’s stop was in celebration of Meals on Wheels volunteers at the Senior Center of West Seattle, which is led by executive director Amy Lee Derenthal:
She says 65 people are (corrected) receiving Meals On Wheels right now, from volunteers delivering frozen, ready-to-heat meals to seniors around the area;.
Just three days until Halloween. Thanks again to everyone who continues sending info for the West Seattle Halloween Guide – we weren’t sure we would have one this year, but a reader suggested a list of decorations, so we started with that … added the no-contact trick-or-treat event announcements … and it’s a lively list. Most of the decoration listings have photos, so you can enjoy them even if you don’t go out to drive by or walk by. Some are from locations where Halloween is a big production every year, only modified this year – for example, above is a scene from “Meeds Manor” at 45th/Stevens – no haunted house this year, but decorations you can check out day or night (they’re collecting West Seattle Food Bank donations as always, too). Got a decoration location or trick-or-treat event that’s not on our list? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
3:12 PM: Just announced by King County Department of Transportation:
The West Seattle route of the King County Water Taxi has been canceled tonight due to a maintenance issue at Seacrest Park. We will update the status of the West Seattle Water Taxi service as more information becomes available. The Vashon route will continue to operate normal service.
During this time, Water Taxi shuttle routes 773 and 775 will continue to operate as usual in West Seattle. While Water Taxi service is suspended, riders are encouraged to use one or more of the following options:
Metro’s RapidRide C Line and routes 21, 55, 56, 57, 120 & 125 connect West Seattle to downtown Seattle – close to the Pier 50 passenger only facility located at Alaskan Way and Columbia Street.
Route 128 connects the Admiral District, Morgan Junction, High Point, Delridge, South Seattle College and White Center areas with the West Seattle
Water Taxi shuttle routes 773 & 775 will continue to operate their regular routes and schedules during this time, connecting West
Seattle riders to the West Seattle Junction and Alki Beach via Harbor Avenue, Alki Avenue and North Admiral.
Link light rail
Metro Route 50 connects West Seattle – including North Delridge, the Alaska Junction, the Admiral District and Alki Beach to Link light rail at SODO
We are following up to ask about the problem at Seacrest and whether it’s likely to be fixed by morning.
6:05 PM: From spokesperson Jeff Switzer: “A quarterly inspection identified that a steel pin where the gangway is connected to the shore is damaged. Out of an abundance of caution, until further evaluation and a possible temporary repair can be completed, service on the West Seattle Water Taxi route is canceled until further notice. We expect service will remain suspended Thursday and customers should consider travel alternatives.”
10:03 PM: West Seattle Water Taxi service is officially canceled for Thursday morning. We’ll include any updates in the morning traffic/transit watch.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this afternoon:
STOLEN VEHICLE: Via text: “My blue 2002 Jeep Wrangler (TJ) was stolen from my house Tuesday around 4 pm. It was by the 5400 block of 49th and Findlay. Had black rins and bigger tires with a brown soft top. 187ZPV was license #,” Call 911 if you see it.
STORE ROBBERY: From the SPD “significant incident” file, another shoplift-turned-armed-robbery, this time at 35th/Barton early Tuesday:
On 10-27-2020 at 0041 hours, a suspect stole items in 7-11 and left the store. The clerk approached the suspect after he entered a vehicle. The suspect then produced a gun and pointed it at the victim clerk. The victim backed away and the suspect drove away from the scene.
(Rendering by Atelier Drome Architecture)
One of the biggest development projects on the West Seattle drawing board right now is the 5-story, ~115-unit apartment building planned for 3417 Harbor Avenue SW, just north of the bridge. As noted here, it’s scheduled to go back before the Southwest Design Review Board at 5 pm November 19th, online. In advance of that, project neighbors have arranged a neighborhood meeting with the development team and property owners to address “a lot of unanswered questions.” They sent us the link “in the event anyone else in the West Seattle community would like to attend.” That meeting is set for 5 pm next Monday (November 2nd); go here to register so you can get attendance info. Meantime, here’s the draft design packet posted on the city website in advance of the mid-November review.
Here’s what’s happening today – starting with what’s happening right now:
NUTMOBILE: Until we got the announcement about its visit to the Senior Center of West Seattle today, we were somehow unaware of the existence of the Planters Peanuts Nutmobile. It’s there until about 11 am, as part of a celebration of Meals On Wheels volunteers. Look for it in the parking lot east of the center, off 42nd SW south of SW Oregon.
BUDGET MEETING: Also happening now, the first of two City Council meetings today in which they’re continuing their review of budget proposals – including the proposed change in misdemeanor criminal defense. The agenda includes viewing information.
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Online at noon, the advisory group talks more about the Cost-Benefit Analysis that’s meant to help shape the repair/replace decision. Mayor Durkan will attend part of the meeting to hear task force members’ feedback, according to the agenda. You’ll be able to see the livestream here.
BOEING FIELD’S FUTURE: Today’s the day – as previewed here – that King County International Airport is having online “open houses” to talk about its future, aka the Master Plan. Proposed projects of note include a new airport “fuel farm” on the west side of East Marginal Way, just across the Duwamish River. Two more meetings are ahead at noon and 6 pm; if you want the attendance info, email KCIACommunityOutreach@kingcounty.gov ASAP (the county website is having trouble right now; update – working now).
TRAFFIC TALK: As previewed here, HPAC‘s meeting tonight is centered on a conversation with SDOT about calming detour traffic in Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. Find the link for attending are on the HPAC website.
One holiday tradition won’t be happening but will be replaced by something else fun. Starting today, West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) is launching a holiday-giving event in which you have a chance to get a gift as well as give one. Here’s the announcement:
Locally owned West Seattle Thriftway announced that due to COVID-19 they will not be hosting their long-running “Holiday Taste” this year. Instead they will be hosting a holiday giving event with a goal to raise at least $40,000 for the West Seattle Food Bank.
For the last 22 years West Seattle Thriftway along with its vendor partners has presented a Holiday Taste event showcasing new and specialty items for the holiday season. The event featured over 40 vendors, more than 150 items, and was enjoyed by several hundred customers each year. This year due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are forced to cancel this yearly event. In its place we have worked with our vendors to create a Holiday Giving Event to “do something big” for the West Seattle Food Bank and at the same time provide some of our customers with a unique holiday sample experience. With the help of over 60 vendors, we have compiled 50 amazing “Holiday Bounty Boxes” full of special products with an estimated value of over $500 each. Customers will be able to enter a raffle for the boxes with a $5 donation per ticket, and all ticket sales will benefit the West Seattle
With the help of our community and our generous vendors our goal is to raise $40,000 for the food bank. West Seattle Thriftway will match all donations up to $20,000. “We have an amazing opportunity to do a lot of good for our community. Use of the food bank’s services has increased dramatically due to COVID-19, and they are seeing many people who have never needed to use their services before. Their mobile food delivery service has increased by 300% alone since March. We hope that the community comes out big for this event and demonstrates what the food bank’s motto is; neighbors helping neighbors.”
West Seattle Thriftway was founded in 1988 by Paul and Connie Kapioski. The store is located at the intersection of California Ave. SW and Fauntleroy Way SW in West Seattle’s Morgan Junction.
7:06 AM: Welcome to Wednesday – the 219th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD WORK, ETC.
*Delridge project: SW Alaska is scheduled to remain closed east of Delridge all week. Here are this week’s other details.
CHECK THE TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
New cameras! In addition to the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way cameras we mentioned last week, there’s now a Highland Park Way/Holden camera too – see it here:
Meantime – 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 – Fare collection has resumed.
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.
4:58 AM: Thanks for the tips. Big Seattle Fire response right now to a residence in the 6000 block of 42nd SW. SFD says it’s a porch fire that “extended to a residence” and it’s under control. Updates to come.
5:06 AM: SFD says no one’s hurt, and that its investigator is on the way to try to figure out how this started.
5:10 AM: Our crew at the scene says smoke is still visible from the roof.
5:17 AM: Firefighters tell us three people were home and all got out OK, though they’re now being checked for possible smoke inhalation.
5 PM: We followed up with SFD about the fire’s cause. Spokesperson Kristin Tinsley says, “Cause of fire ruled accidental. Total estimated loss $300,000. Started on the porch from an energized electrical cord.”