West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s pandemic-related local news and numbers:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals – and this time, unlike last night, no disclaimer for the first number:
*29,465 people have tested positive, up 517 from yesterday’s total
*810 people have died, up 1 from yesterday’s total
*2,629 people have been hospitalized, up 8 from yesterday’s total
*558,794 people have been tested, up 8,163 from yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 27,038/803/2,565/533,550.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 48.6 million cases worldwide, 9.6 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).
TESTING & REOPENING SCHOOLS: A new report exploring what role testing could play in reopening schools is out. This summary, among other things, “reaffirms the importance of reducing community transmission prior to reopening K-12 schools for in-person learning and implementing school-based countermeasures.”
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
That’s Ella, an Aussie/Border Collie mix, 5 months old when she was rescued from 2011 storms in the Midwest, given a new home by Stefanie. After 9 years as “amazing companions,” Stefanie has lost Ella … and she has a message for others, in hopes of saving their dogs from her fate:
WARNING: Immunize your pet against Leptospirosis. It is lurking in West Seattle.
I lost my dog suddenly/unexpectedly 6 weeks ago. She got a bacterial infection contracted from wildlife urine that is preventable if an “optional” immunization is given. The vets need to counsel all owners about this horrible disease, which causes the dog’s organs to fail, and to strongly advocate and recommend it. By the time you see any symptoms, it is very late to reverse and is miserable for the patient. With all the knowledge of this infection and the increase of wildlife in our parks and neighborhoods, it is critical to protect your pets. I would not want anyone else to have to go through this.
Ella was “fit and healthy and happy” when she got sick, Stefanie says. As for where she contracted the disease, Stefanie doesn’t know: “I took her on walks in all the local parks and even have wildlife in my backyard garden.”
7:18 PM THURSDAY: The northeast corner of Junction Plaza Park is empty tonight. That’s where, for the last six months, a city-placed “hygiene station” had stood. The West Seattle Junction Association had long been asking the city to remove it, saying – as we reported in September – a small park in a struggling business district wasn’t the right place for it. Both residents and businesspeople said it had created dangerous conditions and spoke of being harassed or threatened by people hanging out and camping in the park because of it; police were summoned to the park many times to deal with disturbances.
The city had remained noncommittal about potential action, even at an online community meeting three weeks ago (WSB coverage here). But today, the portable toilets and sink were removed. We didn’t hear about this in time to ask the city Human Services Department for comment (which we’ll do tomorrow); WSJA executive director Lora Radford says she was told it’s been moved elsewhere in the city. Her reaction to the removal: “This was never about criminalizing homelessness, but more about the quality of life that was diminished for people experiencing chronic drug and mental health challenges. No one belongs in a tent as a permanent shelter, or in parks, or on sidewalks. To use public green space as an acceptable form of housing is shortsighted and dangerous. Thank you to all the West Seattleites who took action; together communities can force change.” The city placed another “hygiene station” in West Seattle, in the parking lot of the Salvation Army center in South Delridge, but to our knowledge there’ve been no complaints about it. The Junction, meantime, still has a permanent city-funded portable-toilet installation about a block west of the park, on SW Alaska just east of 44th SW.
Side note: The Junction removal comes one day after the mayor announced a proposal to expand programs to clean up trash in parks and on streets.
8:26 PM FRIDAY: Our inquiries to the city were answered late today – primarily, what happened to the hygiene station components removed from Junction Plaza Park. The lead department is not Human Services, but rather Seattle Public Utilities, whose spokesperson Sabrina Register tells us:
The handwash station located at Junction Plaza Park was relocated to 44th and Alaska to enhance hygiene services at the existing sanican. Both the sanican and the hand-wash station will receive daily cleaning and re-stocking by City vendors. In addition, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff will conduct daily visual inspections to ensure the station is in good working order.
The two sanicans at Junction Plaza Park were removed and will be relocated to another location which has yet to be determined. The siting team maintains a list of locations requested by other City departments and community members. The new site will be chosen following the same siting criteria as past hygiene stations. These criteria include high need, absence of redundancy, on or adjacent to City property, does not pose access barriers for facilities or private property, and ease of closing post COVID-19 response.
Last Saturday, we reported on an incident in which a man was taken into custody after an incident that left broken glass at Caffe Ladro in south Morgan Junction. Today, we have learned the suspect is the same man charged with an even-more extensive window-smashing rampage at the Junction QFC in September. 33-year-old Aikeem L. Roberts. He is charged with malicious mischief, assault, and harassment. The court documents have more details of what happened at the coffee shop last Saturday:
As with the QFC incident, this one began, police say, with Roberts bringing bags into the business. In this case, he had “large shopping bags” that were blocking customers’ access to the sanitation station. The manager asked him to move them; after repeated requests were not honored, she asked him to leave. He refused, so she said she would call police. He then started yelling and threatened to kill her. One customer who tried to intervene told police Roberts punched him in the face; another one said Roberts hit him in the ribs with a chair. The court documents say Roberts then began breaking things in the shop and went outside and – after one of the customers he had hit locked the door behind him – threw rocks and a signboard at the shop’s windows and doors, as well as at a parked car belonging to an artist who was there to put up a display. Police arrived shortly thereafter and took Roberts into custody.
He has been in jail since then, with bail set at $75,000. After the September QFC incident, Roberts spent 11 days in jail, before getting out after bond was posted on $5,000 bail. He is awaiting trial on the charges filed against himH in that case – malicious mischief and assault. He is due to be arraigned on the new charges November 18th. His record includes at least seven past felony convictions, including the case we mentioned in prior coverage, in which he stole five cars in one night on the Eastside in 2014.
3:39 PM: If you have to head this way from downtown or points north any time soon, don’t take southbound I-5 – it’s blocked at I-90 for cleanup of a semitruck crash and fuel spill. WSDOT reports “major backups all the way to the U-District.”
4 PM: The cleanup’s just been completed, and the lanes reopened, but beware of residual backups.
4:02 PM: Meantime, this has just happened as the pm commute continues: A crash at Olson Place/Cambridge, toward the east end of the Roxbury corridor. Multiple SFD units have responded. 4 people are reported injured. (Added) Thanks to Collin for the photo:
Thanks to Colin for the tip on signage for 16th SW road work this weekend near South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). SDOT says repaving by the north entrance to SSC will close the southbound side of 16th between 7 am Saturday and 5 am Monday (November 7-8). One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction, using the northbound side of 16th. SDOT says the work will probably continue the following weekend too.
SDOT also tells us that Urban Forestry crews will be in the 6000 block of West Marginal Way SW both days this weekend to do some trimming, noon-4 pm Saturday and 9 am-3 pm Sunday. They’ll take up one lane.
12:01 PM: SDOT says its stabilization contractor Kraemer North America has reached another milestone. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB, “We have completed the Pier 18 release work as planned.” SDOT detailed the Pier 18 bearing problem in April: “We discovered that one particular joint has become stuck, which appears to be magnifying the daily stresses on the bridge. Specifically, the issue is with the lateral bearings at the top of the Pier 18 support columns. This isn’t the sole cause of cracking on the bridge, but our bridge experts think it is a major part of the problem.” The bearings are pieces of rubber that “manage movement” as the bridge handles traffic and other stresses. The release is just part of the stabilization work – other parts involve strengthening the damaged section of the bridge – but it’s definitely a milestone. SDOT promises more details later today on what the Pier 18 release means and what’s next. We’ll add that information when it’s in.
2:12 PM: SDOT’s full announcement is now out, including:
… SDOT bridge engineers worked with the contractor to determine the best way to “release” the bearings so they are no longer compressed.
This involved building a temporary platform to perform the work. Then, specialized equipment was used to precision-demolish the concrete surrounding the bearings. Over the next couple of weeks, we will place the new bearings, and then pour the new concrete to hold them in place, setting the stage for future repair or replacement of the bridge.
The bearing release is part of a series of vital steps we’ve taken to stabilize the bridge since it closed in March. Within weeks of closing the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge, SDOT has had crews on top, underneath, and inside the bridge working six days a week to stabilize the center span, make it stronger and keep options open.
As the important discussion about repairing or replacing the bridge continues, crews are continuing to focus on measures that need to occur regardless of whether the bridge will be repaired now or if we will pivot immediately to replacement. This includes carbon fiber wrapping and installation of a post-tensioning system, both of which will wrap up later this month.
As colder temperatures and increased moisture can cause bridge elements to expand and contract, SDOT will continue to monitor the bridge with the intelligent monitoring system installed in May.
Three parcels adjacent to The Kenney have newly filed redevelopment proposals. These parcels were part of the package on the market recently, offered for more than $6 million, County records don’t show a sale yet – one online service shows a sale “pending feasibility” – and a spokesperson for The Kenney declined comment, but city records show Seattle Luxury Homes has filed early-stage proposals for three of the addresses: For 7150 46th Place SW, a two-unit “rowhouse” building; for 7141 Fauntleroy Way SW, five townhouses; for 7142 47th Avenue SW, five townhouses. These parcels are adjacent to the south side of The Kenney’s campus. Two years ago, The Kenney itself was pursuing plans for townhouses on part of the land, which currently holds 1950s-era multiplexes that have been rented, but those plans stalled, though at one point they were still in progress when some of the adjacent property was originally listed.
The Admiral District restaurant Copper Coin is marking its eighth anniversary today with a special. In line with its recent “reimagining” as a “burger bar,” Copper Coin is offering this combo: “All day on 11/5, we’re offering our flagship The Coin Burger with fries and a draft beer or cocktail of your choice for $8.99. For dine-in, takeout, and delivery; just enter promo code “BURGER” at checkout.” (You can order online or via no-contact kiosks at the restaurant.) They’re open 11:30 am-8:30 pm at 2329 California SW.
6:16 AM: Welcome to Thursday, the 227th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Delridge project: 23rd SW is closed at Delridge this week. The other current work is detailed here.
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
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.
The West Seattle run remains on its weekdays-only schedule. Note that there’s no service next Wednesday, for Veterans Day.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.