West Seattle, Washington
Here’s tonight’s roundup of virus-crisis news:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: On to today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*44,406 people have tested positive, 666 more than yesterday’s total
*859 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total
*3,227 people have been hospitalized, 37 more than yesterday’s total
*627,074 people have been tested (note: the dashboard continues to cite the state’s pause on reporting negative results and says this number is “frozen,” but it’s up 639 since yesterday)
One week ago, the totals were 40,065/835/3,020/622,741.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
WA NOTIFY: Centerstage when the governor held a briefing today – the new smartphone feature WA Notify, meant to provide an anonymous notification if someone you’ve been close to tests positive for COVID-19. It’s an app to download if yuu use an Android phone; for iPhones, it’s a feature to activate in your settings (provided your software’s up to date!). P.S. The governor also talked about vaccines and the outlook on removing restrictions in mid-December.
WHEN WILL SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS REOPEN? Logistics were the heart of the discussion at a School Board work session tonight.
COFFEE SHOP REOPENING: After being closed since Thanksgiving because a staff member tested positive, Realfine Coffee is reopening tomorrow morning.
NEED FOOD? On Friday, food boxes will be available 2-5 pm at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th).
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Seattle Public Schools has already said they’ll definitely stay in all-remote mode at least through late January. Now they’re mulling extending that until March. That’s part of what emerged from a School Board work session tonight.
District staff updated board members on possible options and logistical challenges regarding potential re-opening before the school year’s over. The primary factor remains health/safety, and the current King County infection rate is far above the level considered safe.
Since tomorrow is December 1st – once the targeted date to have enforcement cameras operating on the West Seattle low bridge, with a month of warnings followed by official ticketing – we checked with SDOT about the status.The cameras are not installed yet; installation is now expected “the week of December 7th,” according to SDOT communications director Michael Harold. (Back when automated enforcement was first mentioned publicly in June, they were hoping for August, but the timeline has slid at a couple spots along the way.) Activation is now expected in “late December/early January,” so at this point it looks like the “real” camera ticketing, with $75 fines, is unlikely to start before February. Harold says they’ll have a “more in-depth Low Bridge automated enforcement update” later this week, including a briefing when the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meets at noon Wednesday (December 2nd); here’s the link for viewing that meeting.
4:37 PM: Avoid Delridge/Holden for a while – Seattle Fire has arrived to deal with a vehicle fire and has alerted dispatch that some help will be needed directing traffic for a while. The fire, however, is already out.
4:50 PM: Adding a photo sent by Kersti Muul, showing it’s a commercial van. No reports of injuries, but we’ll be doublechecking with SFD.
5:12 PM: SFD has closed out the call.
Click above to watch/listen – Gov. Inslee is presenting a pandemic update with media Q&A, centered on the newly unveiled WA Notify app, which can tell you – without revealing anyone’s identity – whether anyone you’ve been near tests positive for COVID-19. He’ll also likely be asked about the state of the current restrictions, midway through the initially announced four-week period. Notes as it goes …
2:41 PM: He starts by saying he was on a conference call about COVID vaccines today, and distribution is expected to start soon. He asks providers to sign up ASAP – those who sign up by December 6th could be among the first to get supplies.
Then on to WA Notify. He stresses that the app is anonymous, not revealing or sharing identities or locations. It’s entirely voluntary to activate or download. He says 200,000 people already have downloaded or enabled since it went live this morning. So what does closeness – making you eligible for an alert – mean? It uses the CDC definition – within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. But it’s “not a failsafe for whether or not you’ve been exposed to COVID-19,” he warns – it’s “another tool.”
Joining him is University of Washington president Ana Mari Cauce, talking about the UW’s role in developing and testing WA Notify, and stressing its privacy protections.
2:52 PM: Inslee notes that applications will open soon for the new small-business grants and urges businesses to be ready to apply via coronavirus.wa.gov. Then it’s on to Q&A. When will we know about a Thanksgiving spike? Probably not for another week or so, Secretary of Health John Wiesman says, while adding that hospitalizations are still increasing.
3:04 PM: More questions about the vaccines – yes, the state is still planning an independent review, but that’s expected to be quick; the governor says he has “more and more confidence” in the federal review. Secretary Wiesman says they’re still finalizing the prioritization of who gets it when.
In response to another question, he says there are no “imminent announcements” regarding restrictions, and the most important thing people can do is continue to behave safely. Regarding whether the restrictions will lift in mid-December or continue, “There’s no imminent decisions in that regard, nor can we make them today” – it all depends on what course the pandemic takes, and personal behavior can affect that in a big way.
3:17 PM: Back to the app. It’s a complement to existing contact tracing. For more on how it works and how to use it, go here…. And another vaccine question: The governor stresses it will take months of vaccinations before enough people are vaccinated “to break the chain of transmission.” … The state is seeking the Moderna vaccine as well as the one it’s slated to get first, the Pfizer vaccine, and expects to get both, Secretary Wiesman said.
3:36 PM: The briefing ends with the governor noting that WA Notify is another way to have some power over the pandemic. (The video window above should convert to the archived recording of the briefing soon.)
Thanks to Tom for the tip! With dry weather expected most of the week, West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) is getting some parking-lot work done. The back entrance (off 42nd SW) is closed today while they’re repaving the lot on that side, proprietor Paul Kapioski tells us, but it will reopen tomorrow; also tomorrow, they’ll work on the north side of the main lot, and the central part on Wednesday. There’s still parking and the store’s still accessible.
Reader report from Ellie: “Our 2009 Toyota Prius had its catalytic converter stolen when parked on the street at 25th and Hudson. It’s normally in a garage but we had to leave it out due to the Delridge road work closing driveway access. Apparently these have been on the rise recently, as it is fairly easy to remove in under 2 minutes from below the car and it contains precious (metals). … It’s happening to more Priuses than other cars, and there are guards that can be installed to help prevent it. It was a bit of a nightmare to discover as the repair costs are more expensive than the car itself. Fortunately for us we have comprehensive coverage that will cover it but there’s still a hefty deductible.” Earlier this fall, the Southwest Precinct issued an alert that these thefts were spiking; they’ve been a problem off and on for years – our archives include reports going back to 2008.
Even if we don’t see snow or ice, we will see an abundance of polar bears in West Seattle this season – thanks to the West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge. It’s all sorts of good things bundled up in one, according to the announcement we received to share with you:
The mission of the West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge is to:
*Create holiday fun for the West Seattle community – A Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt
*Collect food for the West Seattle Food Bank at polar bear locations
*Build awareness about “supporting local” and drive business into local stores and restaurants for takeout
The West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge is a scavenger hunt with a cause.
There are already 40 participating homes and businesses around our community, and the numbers are growing every day. You can view the interactive Polar Bear Scavenger Hunt map here. Big or small, an inflatable or simple picture in your window, the more polar bears and bins the merrier.
The West Seattle Polar Bear Challenge begins on December 1, 2020 and will run through January 1, 2021. On January 1, 2021, our Polar Bears will be down on Alki, the famous location of the Polar Bear Plunge, for one final opportunity to contribute to the West Seattle Food Bank.
Learn more and get involved here:
To make it easy to participate, the website includes a form to submit your address to be included on the map, downloadable signs and donation bin labels, and more.
Organizers tell us this is simply an “effort of several families and friends that have come together to make it happen.” (We’ll of course be adding it to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – anything this season that you want the community to know about and/or be part of, let us know!)
Four things to know about this post-holiday-weekend Monday:
LOCAL CYBER MONDAY SHOPPING: With the pandemic-fueled boom in online shopping, the designation of today as “Cyber Monday” has been a bit eclipsed, but – if you’re going to shop online, please spend local. We have a list of more than 40 local retailers/makers offering online shopping, with direct links, is in the SHOPPING SPOTLIGHTS section atop our West Seattle Holiday Guide. Please explore! The list will be there all season. (We’re still adding, too! Email suggestions to email@example.com – thank you!)
LETTER CARRIER SENDOFF: If you’re in the west Alki area, Marc sent this note:
All right, Alki community, let’s celebrate a staple of your community, especially those who live west of 64th Ave SW. Today is your USPS letter carrier Dado Gabut‘s last day. He has been with the post office for more than 36 years and has worked many areas of the 98116 zip code. Bring your dogs and your smiles in congratulating such an amazing man, letter carrier, and staple of your community. His route is down by the Alki Lighthouse and ends at the end of the west part of Alki’s walkway (around 2 pm). Thank you Dado for being a glowing example of the services USPS provides to the community. Let’s celebrate!!!
NEW APP & OTHER PANDEMIC NEWS: Governor Inslee has a 2:30 pm media briefing at which he’ll talk more about a new app just announced today, the “anonymous exposure notification tool” WA Notify. You will be able to watch the briefing here. (We’re also two weeks from the initially announced end of increased restrictions, so he’ll undoubtedly be asked about that too.)
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ REOPENING PLAN: Will in-person learning resume this school year? The SPS School Board has a work session on in-person learning, starting at 4 pm this afternoon. The agenda includes info on how to watch.
During this pandemic-altered school year. PTSAs and PTAs are focused on helping students and families with the most basic of needs, as the economic crunch leaves more struggling than ever before. Here are three ways you can help another local school community:
‘Tis the season for giving! Please help our Chief Sealth International HS students and their families.
There are many ways to help CSI; please consider giving to one or both of these important crowdfunding campaigns below. Please share these links with your friends and family that would also be able to support our CSI community.
CSI PTSA General Fund
We are not able to hold our annual auction. Help us replenish our annual PTSA budget to provide needed essentials for our students.
Gift Cards for Sealth Families
This campaign will help our CSI families that are in need of basic supports, many for the first time. If you are able, we would appreciate your donation.
Another way to help Sealth is by using our Amazon link for all of your Amazon Cyber Monday shopping! We get a greater percentage of your sales by entering the site through this link. Bookmark it and help all year by doing your usual shopping. Or just enter the site through the link on our CSI PTSA website.
Thank you, Sealth supporters! We appreciate every one of you. Wishing you all the best through the holidays and cheers to a less chaotic 2021!
The Chief Sealth PTSA
6:07 AM: Welcome to Monday, November 30th, the 252nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Delridge project: Work is scheduled to resume today; here’s this week’s plan.
Highway 99 tunnel: Southbound closure this Friday night-Saturday morning, 10 pm-7 am, for maintenance.
Metro – Back to regular schedule
Water Taxi – Back to regular schedule
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am) low bridge:
The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here are two cameras:
The other major bridge across the river – 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.)
Checking for bridges’ marine-traffic openings? See the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.
The long holiday weekend’s ending – hope yours has been safe and healthy. Just a few notes tonight:
KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard – keep in mind that testing availability was reduced during the holiday weekend:
*43,740 people have tested positive, up 356 from yesterday’s total
*858 people have died, up 2 from yesterday
*3,190 people have been hospitalized, up 26 from yesterday’s total
*626,435 people have been tested (the state backlog of negative results hasn’t been resolved yet, so King County calls this number frozen, but it’s still changing – up 340 from yesterday)
One week ago, the King County totals were 38,672/835/2,973/620,676.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 62.7 million cases and 1,459.000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation breakdown here.
PARKS PROGRAMS, AT HOME: Seattle Parks is out with a brochure for December’s virtual programming, since in-person programs are still on hold.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT? OR? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
After the long holiday weekend, work resumes tomorrow on the Delridge project (re)paving the way for RapidRide H Line. Here are the toplines from SDOT:
*SW Hudson St and 23rd Ave SW may reopen on the east side of Delridge Way SW as early as this week
*SW Willow St and SW Brandon St may close on the east side of Delridge Way SW as early as this week
*Vehicle-detection loop installation at SW Oregon St and Delridge Way SW rescheduled, to begin as early as December 7
*Pipework to resume at SW Juneau St as early as December 4
*Demolition on the west side of Delridge Way SW between SW Holly St and SW Willow St to begin as early as Monday.
*Electrical work happening in the sidewalk between SW Orchard St and 21st Ave SW. Pedestrians are encouraged to cross Delridge Way SW at SW Holden St or SW Orchard St.
The full preview of the work plan for the coming week is here.
Our West Seattle Christmas lights spotlights continue, starting earlier than usual this year because we need a little extra brightening these days: Out looking for lights tonight, we noticed that well-decorated house at Walnut/Hinds [map]. What we also noticed after stopping for a photo – many neighbors on that block of Walnut, south of Hinds, have lots of lights up already too. So we’re adding it to the list in our West Seattle Holiday Guide – we welcome tips, with or without photos = email@example.com – your own lights or someone else’s – thank you!
A two-sided sky show at the end of this long holiday weekend – a deep pink sunset to the west, as the full moon rose in the east.
And to the south – Mount Rainier was sporting a.cap:
(AKA, a lenticular cloud.) Looking to the northeast, a sunset reflection and the returning fog:
And one more look at the full sunset colors:
Thanks to everyone for the photos!
If you haven’t yet answered Seattle University‘s sixth annual Public Safety Survey – tomorrow’s the last day. As noted when we published this year’s announcement last month, the goal is to collect “qualitative and quantitative data about perceptions of crime and safety from those who live and/or work in Seattle.” (Here’s how local 2018 results were described in 2019, for example.) Seattle U does the survey independently of SPD, but provides the department with a report on the results, which are used to shape/update micro-community policing plans, among other things. The survey is available in 11 languages, linked here.
12:44 PM: Police and SFD are responding to 60th/Stevens [map] for a reported shooting. They’re searching for a suspect who’s described as (updated) a white man, 30s, brown hair, beard, green jacket, black (possibly camo) pants. The victim is reported to be a 42-year-old man. Updates to come.
12:53 PM: Police are still searching and will be joined by a K9. Sounds like they may know who they are looking. No word on the victim’s condition yet.
1 PM: The suspect is reported (via police radio) to be in custody. (added) Our crew just arrived in the area and verifies an arrest.
1:07 PM: The victim is being taken to Harborview Medical Center by SFD medic unit. (added) At the scene, we’re told he was transported in critical condition. (added) The suspect is reported to live nearby and police were checking his residence.
5:32 PM: More info from SPD:
Police were dispatched to the 6000 block of Stevens Street SW after multiple callers reported shots had been fired in the alley.
Officers arrived and found a man seriously wounded with multiple gunshot wounds. Witnesses said the suspect had left the scene on foot walking towards the beach. Additional officers flooded the area and found the suspect a few blocks away where he was taken into custody. Police found a 40 caliber handgun partially submerged in water at Alki Beach.
Detectives believe the suspect shot at the victim as the victim drove down the alley. The suspect then fled between some nearby apartment buildings, entered an apartment, struck a resident with the pistol, then fled toward the beach. Detectives are now interviewing the suspect and attempting to determine what led up to the shooting.
Reader Diana sent a photo of the aforementioned beach gun discovery:
Police say the victim was still in critical condition at last report.
6:48 PM: And we have a few more details from the Southwest Precinct incident summary filed by acting Sgt. Tammy Frame, forwarded by precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman, lauding the second-watch team for Really good work in saving a life, arresting the shooter, and locating evidence”: The victim was shot seven times and the first officer on the scene “administered life-saving first aid which included applying two tourniquets, one one on each of the victim’s arms.” The suspect allegedly tried to bury the gun in the sand at the beach. He and the victim are described by police as neighbors.
The darkest month of the year is almost here, with the earliest sunsets and shortest days, and – this year – COVID-canceled festivities. But Seattle Parks & Recreation has a plan to brighten some of those days.
It’s out with a brochure for virtual programs in December – from a free “family fun night” to classes and workouts (here are a few examples). You can browse the brochure here. The registration portal is here.
Full moon tonight, rising just before sunset, at 4:10 pm. But first – here’s what’s happening today in West Seattle and vicinity, online and in-person:
TODAY’S ONLINE CHURCH SERVICES: The list of more than 20.churches’ Sunday online services (with a few also offering in-person options), with updated links, is here.
FROM CHRISTMAS TREES TO CHRISTMAS LIGHTS … plus some all-weekend shopping deals … see it all in our Holiday Guide.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. Scroll down the page at this link to find the vendor list and map for this week. (Enter at California/Alaska; no pickups for online orders this week – the What’s Good system took the week off)
TOYS FOR TOTS COLLECTION: Last chance this season – 10 am-1:30 pm near the market’s entrance/exit, look for the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. (California/Alaska)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Open 11 am-4 pm – need a tool to fix or improve something? (4408 Delridge Way SW)
FREE TO-GO DINNER: White Center Community Dinner Church will serve to-go meals at 5 pm, outside, near the Bartell Drugs parking lot in White Center. (9600 15th Ave SW)
Nine months ago tonight, King County’s first COVID-19 case was announced. Now, we have news of hundreds more each night, including tonight:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:
*43,384 people have tested positive, 481 more than yesterday’s total
*856 people have died, 3 more than yesterday’s total
*3,164 people have been hospitalized, 35 more than yesterday’s total
*626,095 people have been tested (the county continues to say this number was frozen 11/21, but it’s 451 more than yesterday)
One week ago, those totals were 38,012/835/2,931/615,038.
WEST SEATTLE TREND: Here’s our weekly check of this stat, with numbers shown in two-week increments via the “geography over time” tab on the daily-summary dashboard, combining the totals from the West Seattle and Delridge “health reporting areas.” We need to note first that it’s not clear how – whether – the recent state results backlog is affecting this; the page days data is through 11/13, but still shows a sizable number for the past two weeks: 372 positive test results; 324 in the 2 weeks before that; 79 in the two weeks before that.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 62.2 million people have tested positive, and more than 1,451,000 people have died; U.S. deaths have passed 266,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, France, Russia (same as last week). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.
WILL SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS STAY REMOTE ALL YEAR? The next school board discussion of how remote learning is going and what might be next this year is set for 4 pm Monday, online. Viewing info is part of the agenda.
DONATION DRIVE TOMORROW: Last chance to donate to the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle toy drive, which has been collecting at California/Alaska every Sunday, by the Farmers’ Market entrance, 10 am-1:30 pm. New, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots are appreciated.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
It’s our second night of showcasing West Seattle Christmas lights this season. Thanks to the Baber Family for emailing to let us know their display is up and running in Admiral, west side of the 2700 block of 45th SW [vicinity map], just west of PCC:
They explain they “wanted to try and place some holiday spirit out for everyone! We have yard holiday decorations that are already in place through January 1st. Lights and a large amount of inflatable characters. Yard is on from 4:30 pm-11:00 pm daily. Please be careful and safe! If outside, six feet is required and must be wearing a mask.”
We noticed again tonight on the way to and from photographing this display, lots of lights are up already – if you want to recommend yours, or someone else’s, for our nightly feature and Holiday Guide (where we’re keeping a running list, or you can scroll through this archive), just email us – email@example.com – photo(s) welcome but not required, as we’re planning to be out nightly with our camera.
5:40 PM: After a beautiful sunset, we’re expecting the sun to return tomorrow – and much of next week, according to the newest forecast.
Right now, Monday is the only day in the week ahead when rain is predicted.
Unless it rains an inch on Monday, we’ll be finishing this month with below-average rainfall, according to the National Weather Service stats.
6:56 PM: As the sun was setting, the near-full moon was rising, and Jerry Simmons photographed it with an Alaska Airlines fly-by:
The official full-moon moment is 1:29 am Monday (after a 4:10 pm Sunday moonrise); this time, it’s the “Beaver Moon.”
Our list of West Seattle independent small businesses offering online shopping – so you can keep it local without even leaving home – has grown today: The list in the Shopping Spotlights section near the top of our West Seattle Holiday Guide now has 40+ businesses, with direct links to their online shops. Also, we’ve received a few more individual businesses’ announcements and added those – among them, Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) and Mode Music & Performing Arts, where you can sign up for lessons, classes, and camps at a discount through 9 pm Sunday. (Need instruments for your lessons? WSB sponsors Thunder Road Guitars and The Bass Shop have a sale in the Holiday Guide too – and both offer online shopping.) We’ll keep beefing up info on local businesses as the season goes; got something to add/share? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!