West Seattle, Washington
Next time you go to The Junction, you might see orcas. These are newly painted outside Flying Apron (4709 California SW) by West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen. Earlier this month, he painted another nature-celebrating mural in a less-visible spot:
You can see that along the western section of the Thistle Street stairway, between Gatewood and Lincoln Park.
The latest pandemic-related local news and numbers:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*27,038 people have tested positive, up 221 from yesterday’s total
*803 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total
*2,565 people have been hospitalized, up 4 from yesterday’s total
*533,550 people have been tested, up 3,483 from yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 25,740/789/2,518/517,636.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 45 million cases worldwide, 8.9 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
NEED FOOD? Free emergency food boxes are available again 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline HQ (815 S. 96th).
CAN YOU GIVE? Highland Park Elementary PTA‘s donation drive will help kids and their families stay warm and fed through the tough winter ahead.
SCHOOL PLAYFIELDS/PLAY AREAS: Update from Seattle Public Schools:
At this time, use of SPS fields and play areas has only been approved for child care providers and other groups with permits and with health screening and safety protocols in place. Play areas and fields remain closed for public use due to limited staff resources to monitor all the playgrounds and play fields and ensure visitors are following health and safety protocols. We will keep families updated on any changes.
SAFER HALLOWEEN: Decorated homes you can admire while walking or driving by … no-contact trick-or-treat events/locations … check our West Seattle Halloween page for a safer holiday.
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or email@example.com – thank you!
During a media briefing today, Seattle Public Schools superintendent Denise Juneau gave props to the district’s nutrition-services staffers, who, she said, are “knocking it out of the park” – serving about 25,000 meals a day. Today we heard from one of them, Denny International Middle School‘s renowned Lunch Lady Doree, who sent the photo and a special invitation for families to come get food tomorrow: “We will be offering Somali Stew and an assortment of salads and sandwiches by Fare Start, fruits and vegetables. We will all be dressed up for Halloween and we will be passing out treats to the kids. All the food is free to families. Lots of spooky fun for all. We are open M-F 11 am to 1:15 pm.” Denny IMS is at 2601 SW Kenyon.
Four items in West Seattle Crime Watch:
STOLEN CAR, GUN, DRUGS FOUND: Via SPD Blotter, police report an arrest on Puget Ridge. They got a call reporting three men stripping a gray sedan in the 1700 block of SW Holly. They found two gray sedans upon arrival, one a Ford Fusion without plates, with a VIN that revealed it had been stolen. Searching the car with its registered owner’s permission, officers found a loaded revolver with a scratched-off serial number. They booked a 23-year-old convicted felon for unlawful gun possession and possession of a stolen vehicle; detectives later found what the blotter report describes as “a loaded pistol-grip shotgun [SPD photo above] with a sawed-off barrel and a ski mask (and) 31 grams of methamphetamine and a plastic baggie full of gold-colored jewelry.”
USPS VEHICLE BROKEN INTO: Thanks to the three readers who told us about this so we could follow up with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. They are investigating a USPS vehicle break-in that happened while the letter carrier was out on their walking route. The vehicle was parked on SW Dawson west of Camp Long. USPIS spokesperson John Wiegand tells WSB that no mail was taken; the thief/thieves took personal items belonging to the carrier (one tipster says it was a backpack). Wiegand says they’re still investigating, so they’re interested in talking with any witnesses or anyone who might have the break-in on security video. This is potentially a federal crime – breaking into the vehicle could be prosecuted as destruction of federal property. If you have any information that might help, call the USPIS hotline at 877-876-2455 and refer to case 231-2553-MT.
FIREFIGHTING GEAR STOLEN IN CAR PROWL: From Rachel, who says this happened at 41st SW/SW Holden in Gatewood:
I came out this morning to find my SFD firefighting bunking gear & SFD Paramedic uniform shirt, $150 stethoscope, & other personal items stolen from my car.
If you find any of it, let us know and we’ll connect you.
POSSIBLE STOLEN ITEMS FOUND: The photo and report are from Rich:
Found a red and black bag dumped in front of the park entrance to Pelly Place (6700 block of Murray Ave SW), which contained many personal items, some of which were also scattered on the ground nearby. This location is often used for parking overflow from the apartment complex next door, but car prowls are also a sadly routine experience around here, so this may have been stolen elsewhere and dumped. Sharing this in case the owner recognizes these contents and would like to recover them.
The items include a canceled out-of-state driver license and a funeral program indicating the person named on the license was a pallbearer. With this too, we can connect you if any of this might be yours – just email us.
Two days until Halloween! Updates:
SKELETON THEATRE: Like so many things, the front-yard animatronic-skeleton extravaganza has had to evolve for this pandemic year. From the crew’s spokesperson Maia Low: “To protect our friends and neighbors (and ourselves!) from the hazards of gathering at a live show, the Skeleton Theatre crew decided to put our COVID-specific show online this year. The show is on the Skeleton Theatre website.” (And above, via YouTube. It’s short but fun!)
WSB HALLOWEEN PAGE UPDATE: The list of decoration locations and no-contact trick-or-treat events on our page continues to grow. Here’s one that serves as both:
That scene is from the Alki home of “Nightfall Orphanage,” presenting “Ghosts of Halloween Decorations Past” – “no contact, GRAB & GO TRICK OR TREAT on Friday 10/30 and Saturday 10/31, 5:30 pm – 9 pm.” Family-friendly. Find it on our list, along with many others – these are decorations up now, so you can also drive by or walk by most if not all locations any time through Halloween. Lots of photos on the page too, so you can see them even if you don’t go out to look. Anything to add? Not too late – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
2:55 PM: This bird has been causing a stir the past few days – and today we finally received photos. Above is Larry Gilpin‘s photo of the Snowy Owl, seen near 52nd and Charlestown around noontime. Joe K. sent the photo below from earlier in the day, on “the north end of Genesee” (might be that same roof):
The Audubon BirdWeb page for the Snowy Owl explains that it’s an “irregular” visitor to this area in winter. We published a few reader photos of sightings like this one in the early 2010s, but nothing recent – until now.
ADDED 7:15 PM: Thanks to David Hutchinson for this evening photo of the Snowy Owl:
At last report, he said, it was hanging out on a roof near Schmitz Park. And just as we were adding his photo, Kersti Muul from Salish Wildlife Watch sent this one that she had previewed in comments:
The West Seattle Water Taxi, out of service since Wednesday afternoon because of a problem at the Seacrest dock, will not be back until at least Monday. Here’s the update from King County Department of Transportation:
On Wednesday, Oct 28, a routine inspection at the Seacrest dock identified wear and damage to one of the pins and swing arms which supports the connection of the ramp to the shore. After further assessment, as a safety precaution, a decision was made to replace the entire dock-to-shore hinge and attachment mechanism. Work is underway to fabricate new attachment arms per specifications provided by the original manufacturer. A contractor will be onsite on Friday with a boom truck to lift the ramp in order to complete these repairs. Repairs will extend into the weekend and updates will be provided as necessary.
During this time, Water Taxi shuttle routes 773 and 775 will continue to operate as usual in West Seattle.
The Water Taxi’s floating dock at Seacrest was installed more than a decade ago.
P.S. Here’s a KCDOT photo of one of the problem parts:
The replacement arms were being fabricated at Pacific Fishermen & Electric.
(Archived stream of Community Task Force meeting starts 5 minutes in)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
No date yet for Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s decision on the seven-months-closed West Seattle Bridge‘s future, but she has much to consider after spending about an hour listening to Community Task Force members’ opinions.
There was no clear consensus – some are supporting repair (the fastest option), some are supporting replacement, but even those in the latter camp acknowledged that it’s conditional on whether the newly revealed “rapid span replacement” possibility really could be delivered in the relatively lightning-fast time frame that consulting firm WSP suggested.
Wednesday afternoon’s discussion started with a technical Q&A that included more clarification about the feasibility of repairs. Here’s how it all went, and what’s next:
One big event for tonight – The Dusty 45s, in concert, online. Leader Billy Joe Huels and two other band members are West Seattleites, and in pre-pandemic times, have played here often, from nightlife venues to events like West Seattle Summer Fest. 7 pm tonight, it’s the annual “Gimme Shelter” benefit concert for housing/services provider DESC – Billy Joe explains in the clip above why it’s personal for him. You can register to see tonight’s concert – free! – by going here.
Winter is approaching and times are tough for many families. As we’ve reported before, local PTAs are trying to help their students and families get by. Broader community help is appreciated when possible. If you can help, here’s what the Highland Park Elementary PTA hopes you can help with:
Highland Park Elementary PTA is hosting a non-perishable food, kids’ winter clothing, and gift card drive. Highland Park Elementary is a West Seattle Title 1 school. It has one of the most diverse student bodies in the state.
Are you cleaning out closets or are you ready to purge last year’s kid coats, gloves or scarves? If you have items to donate, please email email@example.com. Pickup of items can be arranged in West Seattle. Items that will be accepted are non-perishable food items and new and gently used kids’ winter clothing.
Donations to purchase food and gift cards for Highland Park families, can be made to PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food boxes and clothing will be distributed to Highland Park families starting next week. Gift cards will be made available throughout the school year for those in need.
6:03 AM: Welcome to Thursday – the 220th 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. (Same goes for the other detour-route neighborhoods, like Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge.)
Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.
Metro – Fare collection has resumed.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.