West Seattle, Washington
Here’s tonight’s roundup of virus-crisis news:
FROM THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT: First a warning: “We are in a very dangerous time of this pandemic—health care workers, other essential workers, our elders, persons with chronic diseases, and our family and friends all need your help staying safe.” Then a note that the backlog of test results, first mentioned Saturday, has been cleared as of today, but the numbers are high statewide as a result, and that goes for the local stats. Here’s the full statement from the Department of Health.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: On to today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*40,065 people have tested positive, 1,393 more than yesterday’s total
*835 people have died, unchanged from Friday
*3,020 people have been hospitalized, 47 more than yesterday’s total
*622,741 people have been tested, 2,065 more than yesterday’s total++++
One week ago, the totals were 35,209/829/2,867/598,646.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
COVID RELIEF RESOURCE REMINDER: Applications are open through next Monday for the next round of Small Business Stabilization Grants, and other programs continue, the city wants you to know.
NEED FOOD? Pre-Thanksgiving distributions continue at the West Seattle Food Bank (35th/Morgan) again tomorrow and Wednesday, 10 am-2 pm. Also on Wednesday, food boxes will be available 2-5 pm at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th).
AND IF YOU CAN GIVE … WS Food Bank needs turkeys.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Looking for a Christmas tree in West Seattle before Thanksgiving? First, we showed you Junction TrueValue‘s early arrivals a week ago; now, more options. On Alki, Trees by the Sea is back at 2538 Alki Avenue SW (photo above):
We still are getting trees in weekly to ensure people get a great fresh tree for their holiday season. We will have our pop up shop open daily as well with products from our Shipwreck Honey line of products and gifts from the hive. We also decided that since everyone has had a pretty crazy year we would not be raising our prices. Same great quality for the same reasonable price.
No delivery yet – they’re working on it. … Trees also have arrived at West Seattle Nursery, open 9 am-7 pm daily (except they’ll close this Wednesday at 5 pm and be closed on Thanksgiving Day) … We noticed trees at Tony’s Market (35th/Barton) on Sunday but it wasn’t open when we went by today, so no specifics yet … And if you’re wondering, Holy Rosary School‘s tree lot opens this Friday; details are in our calendar listing.
P.S. This will all be in our forthcoming pandemic-modified West Seattle Holiday Guide, launching tomorrow.
Two recent parking changes in West Seattle:
RITE-AID LOT ADDS PAID PARKING: When we reported recently on the new contract-holder for vehicle licensing in West Seattle, he mentioned that one strike against the old location (he’s moving into Westwood Village instead) was that paid parking was going in at Rite-Aid across the street (5217 California SW). We hadn’t confirmed that until noticing this past weekend that it’s now in place. While there are still free spaces for customers in front of the store, and some on either side, the rest are now controlled by Diamond Parking, $2/first hour, $1 subsequent hours, and they’re selling monthly parking too ($30). The free spaces are marked 60 MINS. in white paint, while the paid spaces say PAY, in yellow paint. Diamond’s other lots around West Seattle (and elsewhere) are mapped here.
DUWAMISH HEAD GOES BACK-IN: Stewart L. sent this photo recently, noting the “back-in only” sign was new:
We asked SDOT about it. While they didn’t explain why they decided to add the signage now, spokesperson Ethan Bergerson explained why the department prefers it for angled parking:
All back-in angle spaces follow the guidelines outlined in the Institute of Traffic Engineers Handbook. Traffic safety and crash data analysis showed a 3-1 ratio of collisions occurring with head-in parking spaces as opposed to back-in parking spaces. Back-in angle parking is safer than head-in for several reasons:
· Traffic is already stopped when the driver is backing into a parking space, rather than backing out into a moving traffic lane when visibility is limited.
· When leaving a parking space it is easier and safer to drive into a travel lane than back a vehicle out of a space into a travel lane.
· People on bicycles are better able to avoid a vehicle backing into a parking space than a vehicle backing out of a space into a cyclist’s path.
· The time required to back into an angle space requires less time than to park parallel or to back out of an angle stall, therefore traffic delays are reduced.
For these reasons, it has been the preference of SDOT to install back-in angle parking since at least the late 1960s. The only locations where we continue to consider head-in angle parking are on one-way downhill streets.
(WSB photo, 2014)
Six and a half years after it opened, the South Park Bridge is getting its first full mechanical/electrical inspection. King County Road Services announced today that the bridge will close for that inspection on two nights in December – Wednesday, December 9th, and Thursday, December 10th, 10:30 pm to 6 am both nights. The main detour those nights will be the nearby 1st Avenue South Bridge, but the West Seattle low bridge also will be open to all traffic as usual for all but the last hour of those windows.
Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
PARK ASSAULT: Robin emailed to report what happened to her high-risk teenager one week ago:
My 14 year-old son was out last Sunday biking in Schmitz Park. He’s been told to distance by his nephrologist and the Mayo Clinic physicians who monitor his rare kidney disorder, so this is one of the only outdoor activities still available to him. Sadly, he’s not allowed to see friends or family outside of our “pod,” who have been required to observe pretty extreme distancing measures to keep him from contracting COVID. Three people came up on the trail with “rock crawler” RC cars, and he asked for a second to move; they said they wanted the space and he tried to move, explaining he needed to stay socially distanced because it would be very bad if he was exposed to COVID, due to his condition.
At that point, one of the ADULT MEN then got in my son’s face (as my son left his bike behind, trying to escape up the side of a hill) screaming at him that the COVID pandemic is a hoax, that my son was a “liberal retard” for wearing a mask and staying distanced from others; then proceeded to breathe hard on my kid, following him in a menacing manner, to drive home his (rather asinine) point about the pandemic.
Moms are amazing, and one who had heard about this experience sent us video of them back in the park. We’d like to identify the man (wearing the black coat and camo backpack) who accosted my child, as well as the other two “men” (to use the term loosely) who looked on and did nothing.
Anyone who has heard about this has been disgusted, and the response has showed us that West Seattle isn’t this guy. For our kid, this really, really was rough. He has literally not seen a friend face to face since March. Not hung out, not been with peers. So “breaking quarantine” with this guy was just terrible.
They have filed a police report – 20-326928 – so if anyone has tips or encounters the same people/behavior, please call police and reference that number.
PACKAGE THEFT: Elisa emailed to report: “Just want to give the Arbor Heights community a heads up on this porch pirate hanging around a little before 1 pm today. The box he was trying to steal was an empty treat box for the postal workers so he threw it up on the lamp post and drove off.” Here’s a photo of the person and car.
1:33 PM: Last Saturday, the West Seattle Food Bank gave out hundreds of turkeys, and distribution at their HQ continues through Wednesday – but they need more, ASAP. We just received the request:
You can help your neighbors enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Please donate turkeys today!
The West Seattle Food Bank is in need of turkeys to give out to our neighbors this week. As we approach Thanksgiving, there has been record numbers of neighbors coming to the West Seattle Food Bank for holiday groceries.
While we bought several hundred more turkeys than usual, we are at risk of running out! We’ve served over 700 families thus far and are still distributing food another 3 days. We need your help to ensure all our neighbors can enjoy a delicious meal with their family.
Monday until 3:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
West Seattle Food Bank
3419 SW Morgan St.
The WSFB has a garage entrance off Morgan where you can pull in to deliver donations.
4:17 PM: WSFB says frozen small or medium turkeys are preferred, but reader Christine reported trouble finding those at several local stores, so they say they can accept fresh turkeys too, as they have an industrial-size freezer for storage.
Today marks exactly eight months since the West Seattle Bridge was closed to traffic. As reported last Thursday, the mayor has decided that it will be repaired rather than staying closed until it can be replaced. But first, stabilization work has to be completed. Here’s what SDOT says is happening with that right now:
Earlier this month, we released the damaged bearings at Pier 18, located on the east side of the Duwamish. Pier 18’s neoprene lateral bearings were compressed and bulging, locking together two critical parts of the bridge that typically are independent of each other. This was creating additional pressure and preventing the bridge from moving as it should.
This past week, we finished breaking down the concrete that held the damaged bearings in place and removed the concrete from the site. We also finished drilling to set new rebar [photo above], which will secure the concrete joints once they are poured to hold the new bearings in place.
We recently started on a new (and the last) round of carbon fiber wrapping. We’re on track to complete the wrapping by mid-December. Carbon fiber wrapping helps support the now stable and strengthened bridge. This is the last step in Phase I of stabilization, and once it’s done, we will lower work platforms. …
We’re on track to complete Phase I of stabilization work by the end of this year. By the end of December, all work platforms will be lowered onto barges and temporary work structures will be removed. We’ll continue monitoring and inspection activities after stabilization work is complete.
After Thanksgiving, we’ll pour concrete to hold Pier 18’s new bearings in place, setting the stage for Phase II of the two-part repair process.
No public meetings related to the bridge are planned this week. The next one announced so far is the Community Task Force‘s meeting on Wednesday, December 2nd.
Here’s what’s happening in the hours ahead:
PRE-HOLIDAY FODO DISTRIBUTION: Now through 2 pm is the window for today’s distribution at the West Seattle Food Bank (35th/Morgan), which has turkeys and chickens available for holiday meals.
UR WEST SEATTLE: As announced on Sunday, purchases at unique West Seattle businesses, starting today, make you eligible for this discount program kicked off by West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor).
FLEURT GIVEAWAY: Another business-supporting-business initiative – Fleurt in The Junction is giving away two $50 gift cards to people who have made purchases at Fleurt or other Junction businesses/restaurants, from this past Saturday (November 21st) through tomorrow (Tuesday, November 24th). Entries are via comments on this Instagram post by Fleurt (which has all the rules).
CITY COUNCIL’S FINAL BUDGET VOTE: 2 pm online. The meeting starts with a public-comment period; you can register to speak starting at noon. Info on commenting and viewing, plus all the budget-related documents, can be found here.
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 7 pm online, with an agenda including a conversation with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. Email email@example.com for the link to watch/participate.
Earlier this month, we reported that Jack Block had died. Today, we have this remembrance from his family, including plans for a summertime memorial:
Legendary former Seattle Port Commissioner Jack Block died of cancer on All Saints Day, November 1, 2020.
Jack was 86 and born on September 17th, 1934. Jack graduated from West Seattle High School, attended the University of Washington, where he pledged Sigma Chi, and received his BS in International Trade, then into the US Navy to complete his military service for several years.
Jack ran and lost four races for public office in 1965, 1966, 1969, and 1971. Jack won his 1973 race to become a Seattle Port Commissioner and served for 28 years, the longest-serving Seattle Port Commissioner. The Jack Block Shoreline Park in West Seattle was named for him as a tribute to his service by the Port of Seattle.
Between 1974 and 2001, Block’s leadership helped transform the Seattle waterfront into a world-class port, wooing shipping lines to Seattle, bringing cruise ships to Elliott Bay, and modernizing cargo handling with huge cranes. As a longtime fisherman, environmental issues were close to his heart. Expanding public access along the waterfront, cleaning up toxic sites such as Terminal 5 and 18, and along the Duwamish River shoreline, were priorities for him.
Block is survived by wife Vicki Schmitz-Block, daughters Joey Mabe, Natalie Ramelow, and Heidi Wallace, and son Jack Block Jr., plus eight grandchildren and three greats! He was preceded in death by Fran Block, his first wife.
A public celebration and memorial will be held at the Jack Block Park in West Seattle on the 4th of July, 2021, COVID rules permitting.
Donations can be made in Jack’s name to the Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation, the Seattle Seafarers Center; or Long Live the Kings, a salmon restoration nonprofit.
Please share memories of Jack and condolences with his family at emmickfunerals.com/obituary/Jack-Block.
Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:16 AM: Welcome to Monday, the 245th morning without the West Seattle Bridge, which closed exactly eight months ago today.
Delridge project: More paving and utility work, and no work on Thursday and Friday this week. Here’s the preview for this week.
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? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed is working again.
Metro – Fare collection has resumed.
Water Taxi – Also charging again.
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.