West Seattle, Washington
Here’s the latest pandemic news:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*46,173 people have tested positive, up 362 from yesterday’s total
*886 people have died, up 8 from yesterday’s total
*3,305 people have been hospitalized, up 58 from yesterday’s total
*628,862 people have been tested (this number still described as “frozen” – though it’s grown.a bit daily – while state resolves a results backlog – could get caught up tomorrow)
One week ago, those totals were 42,103/853/3,064/624,846.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 65.2 million cases worldwide, 14.1 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
COVID CLOSURE: El Chupacabra on Alki says an employee tested positive, so it is temporarily closed.
VACCINE PLAN UPDATE: From the state Health Department:
DOH is hopeful we will have a vaccine to begin administering by mid-December. The federal government has given us an estimate of 62,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for our initial allocation. They have also told us we should receive an estimated total of around 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December. Regular weekly shipments should begin in January. Read the full news release here.
QUARANTINE GUIDELINES: Also from the DOH today – our state is adopting the new CDC quarantine guidelines.
HELPING: That’s what this traveling neon sign – seen in The Junction today – is about.
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or email@example.com – thank you!
Two West Seattle Crime Watch items tonight:
HATE-CRIME ARREST: From the SPD Significant Incident Reports file:
On 12-01-2020 at 2142 hours, officers were dispatched to a hate crime offense at an apartment complex in the area of 35 Av SW and SW Avalon Way. The complainant was calling to report that a tenant there had assaulted another tenant in the common area of the building and had also been calling the victim racial and derogatory names. Officers arrived on scene and developed probable cause for a hate crime. The suspect had returned to her apartment and refused to open the door for officers. The Hostage Negotiation Team was called to the scene, several CIT officers were on scene, and a search warrant was applied for while officers attempted to convince the suspect to leave her apartment. Ultimately, the warrant was signed and SWAT assisted in forcing entry to the apartment. The suspect was taken into custody without incident and booked into the King County Jail.
We don’t know the suspect’s status yet. Meantime – hate crimes are another category of crime that’s up this year, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which said earlier this week that it’s filed charges in 51 hate-crime cases this year, compared to 38 last year, and 30 in 2018.
PACKAGE THEFT: From Monica:
We had some packages stolen off our front porch (Monday) afternoon off 46th Ave SW & Hudson. We have video from our front door camera. Sounds like he may have hit several houses in the area … A good reminder to grab packages quickly. They were not out there long, but he was obviously scouting the area.
Other neighbors caught that he was driving a white van – seemingly alone. He was driving and hopping out of the van to grab packages.
A police report was filed. (P.S. As we got ready to publish this, a White Center community-group crime briefing also featured discussion of a white van involved in package thefts.)
Out on rounds tonight, we noticed El Chupacabra on Alki was dark, on a night when most food/drink establishments are usually open. So we stopped to investigate.
We learned the restaurant/bar had announced earlier this week that a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, so they are “temporarily closed to take the necessary steps to safely reopen.”
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: As commenter Tina points out, they’ve reopened today.
Stewart L. photographed that portable neon sign at Don Armeni Boat Ramp last week. We couldn’t figure out what it was for, but tonight we caught up with its minders after Mike sent word it had shown up late today in the parking lot at 44th/Edmunds. They explained that it’s promotion for the Gates Foundation-led initiative PowerOf, encouraging volunteering and donating to help people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The sign is scheduled to move on shortly; the online schedule says it will be in Columbia City the next three days.
A month and a half after Matthew Hazelbrook‘s arrest, with hundreds of sick or dead animals found on his Delridge property, the survivors are still in the care of the Seattle Animal Shelter. Though – as we reported last month – Hazelbrook is charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty, SAS spokesperson Melissa Mixon tells WSB, “The animals are in the custody of SAS but still the property of the defendant and are not available for adoption at this time. Until we have an owner-surrender, or a court order, the animals cannot be put up for adoption. However, we will be working with our incredible community of foster parents to eventually move some of these animals into foster care.” Meantime, she adds, “We are seeing significant improvement in the health and wellbeing of the more than 200 animals in our care. This includes guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, chickens, and chinchillas.” If Hazelbrook is found guilty, restitution will be sought to cover what the SAS is spending to care for the animals. The case is making its way through the courts; he has another status hearing next Monday, after pleading not guilty last week.
This case is part of a troubling trend this year; the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office convened a media briefing today to talk about that trend. So far this year, KCPAO has filed charges in 19 animal-cruelty cases, double the number of recent years – 9 in 2019, 10 the year before that. (Recent cases include another in West Seattle, a Sunrise Heights man accused of duct-taping his dog’s head to try to quiet the dog.) A prosecutor who specializes in those cases, Tali Smith, said the nature of the cases also has evolved – previously, they primarily involved neglect, but now there’s increased violence. Violence against animals often accompanies violence against humans; police and animal-control officers are cross-trained to look for signs of one when investigating allegations of the other.
The Hazelbrook case originated with a tip, according to court documents. If you suspect animal cruelty, we asked, what’s the best thing to do? If it seems to be an urgent life-safety issue, SAS executive director Ann Graves replied, call 911. Otherwise, you can report it to her department, 206-386-PETS (7387). They do investigate, but it often takes time. And their enforcement team isn’t any bigger than it was when she began work 20+ years ago, she said when we asked about its size: 14 animal-control officers for the entire city. If you call to report a possible situation, provide them with as much information you can – what you saw, where you saw it,
The SAS’s other role, of course, is caring for animals if their owners can no longer do so, or need help, reminded Victoria VanNocken from the City Attorney’s Office. Added Graves: “Animal cruelty is not an animal problem, it’s a people problem.”
Thanks to Pete for the tip. Seattle Public Utilities has been notifying residents of Pigeon Point and Puget Ridge about a planned water outage for about 6 hours next Tuesday night, December 8th, 6 pm until midnight or so. The SPU outage map – which displays planned outages as well as emergencies – shows 200+ homes will be affected, but has no details of the reason for the outage. We asked SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register, who replied: “Seattle Public Utilities water crews will be installing a 12” isolation valve on a nearby water main. This work requires a temporary water outage for some customers in the area. Isolation valves allow smaller sections of a water main to be shut down (impacting fewer customers) when repairs and maintenance are needed in the future. They also provide an additional safety measure should an emergency water main shutdown need to occur.”
Two more West Seattle holiday notes today, in case you haven’t already seen these in our Holiday Guide:
DRIVE-BY SANTA: Gretchen at Circa (2605 California SW) says, “Santa will be in front of Circa from 5-7 pm this Saturday [December 5] for people to drive by and wave and let kids toss their wish lists into his big red wish box. There will be music and fake snow. The most socially distant Santa!! Heading south on California past Circa will be the best way to enjoy seeing him.” (Gretchen says they’ve been doing the fake snow many evenings, weather permitting, minus Santa, between 5:30 and 6 pm.)
FREE HOLIDAY PHOTOS: Gail Ann Photography will be offering free holiday photo sessions – in exchange for food (or pet-food) donations.- at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW), 9 am-3 pm December 12-13. No Santa, but lots of holiday cheer. You need to make an appointment – all the info is in our calendar listing.
Just announced by the mayor’s office:
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced new steps to further electrify buildings using clean energy and ban fossil fuels for most building use. By updating its energy code, the City will ban the use of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating in order to cut down on the significant emissions contributed by the building sector. Space and water heating account for most building gas use according to City and national data. These actions come as new City data show building emissions have been steadily increasing in past years. …
After years of notable progress in reducing climate pollution, Seattle’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory shows that Seattle’s overall core greenhouse gas emissions – emissions from our waste, transportation, and building energy sectors – increased 1.1% since the last report. The largest greenhouse gas emissions increase was the buildings sector, which increased 8.3% between 2016 and 2018, a significant jump. Major factors contributing to the increase in building emissions are new buildings with fossil gas space and water heating, colder winters, warmer summers, and a growing population and workforce. Residents and businesses will be able to view additional data and visualizations by visiting the Office of Sustainability and Environment site. ….
The proposed Seattle Energy Code update includes the following key changes for commercial and large multifamily buildings:
-Eliminates all gas and most electric resistance space heating systems
-Eliminates gas water heating in large multifamily buildings and hotels
-Improves building exteriors to improve energy efficiency and comfort
-Creates more opportunities for solar power
-Requires electrical infrastructure necessary for future conversion of any gas appliances in multifamily buildings …
In 2019, Mayor Durkan issued an Executive Order committing the City to new actions that will support the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal. In addition to requiring all new or substantially altered City of Seattle buildings operate without fossil fuels, City departments work with the Office of Sustainability & Environment to develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings, improve data collection and sharing on Seattle’s climate emissions and engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes achieve the goals of the Green New Deal. …
The Mayor will transmit legislation to City Council at the end of the year. City Council will discuss the legislation, and with their vote of approval, would allow code updates to become effective in the spring of 2021, along with the full suite of Seattle building code changes in line with the statewide building code updates. For more information about the proposed energy code updates, including the proposed code language, visit the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections energy code web page.
You can read the full announcement here.
Now that the newest plan for the ex-auto-shop site at 9201 Delridge Way SW has passed the first phase of Design Review (here’s our coverage from October), the project team has applied for a land-use permit, and that’s opened the next round of comments. The project is in the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin today with a different address, 9208 20th SW. The proposal is now for a 5-story, 77-unit building – 73 apartments and 4 small efficiency dwelling units, and no offstreet parking. You can comment through December 16th; this notice explains how. The project also will have to have at least one more meeting before the Southwest Design Review Board; no date yet
Here are highlights for the rest of today/tonight:
DEMONSTRATION: Organizer Scott leads the twice-weekly sign-waving for racial justice, 4-6 pm at 16th/Holden.
TONIGHT’S SUNSET: 4:18 pm – just one minute short of the year’s earliest sunsets.
EMERGENCY SHELTER: Need a warm place to sleep, or know someone who does? The emergency shelter at the West Seattle Veteran Center, 3618 SW Alaska, will be open again tonight.
If not for the pandemic, this coming Saturday would be the day that Rotary Club of West Seattle members and hundreds of other volunteers join forces for the Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree, providing fun and necessities to kids from local schools. Not this year – but the Rotary has five other ways to support kids. with your assistance:
On November 6th, The Rotary Club of West Seattle celebrated 73 years of service to the community. Through our Service Foundation, we address many critical needs of Southwest Seattle kids, from those in elementary school to those graduating from high school or a GED-granting organization.
For over 50 years, we had our Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears on the 1st Saturday in December with the goal of taking 100 children shopping to be sure they have warm winter clothing, good footwear and essentials.
Due to current and long-term uncertainties with conducting such an event at a large mall, and school counselors identifying a need for a springtime event, we have come up with “Spring for Kids”, a program offering a shopping spree, brunch, and other fun treats at a safe West Seattle location.
“Spring for Kids” is one of five major local area service programs for kids that the West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation supports through donations that come to us through our Club’s members, friends, family, and the West Seattle community:
Spring for Kids – provides high-needs elementary school kids with a springtime clothing shopping spree and a free brunch
Pencil Me In For Kids — provides elementary schools and their kids with supplementary supplies they need and can’t afford.
Youth Life Prep — Through Southwest Youth and Family Services, provides a job-seeking GED graduate with the clothing, resume, and interview skills required to find a job.
Student of the Year – provides a high-needs graduating senior with funds supplementing college/community college tuition for books, food, or housing.
Inspire Kids — Through Southwest Youth and Family Services, provides for underserved elementary school kids and their parents/guardians with extensive social-emotional health services – inspired to say “yes” to healthy behavior.
We have launched a virtual fundraising campaign to help us raise money to support these five important local programs. Please consider a gift to the West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation through our Happy, Hopeful, Kids Campaign: give.westseattlerotary.org/campaign/happy-hopeful-kids/c308750
Questions? Contact Amy Lee Derenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-932-4044 ext. 5.
6:12 AM: Welcome to Thursday, December 3rd, the 255th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: More paving and utility work; see this week’s plan here.
Highway 99 tunnel: Southbound closure this Friday night-Saturday morning, 10 pm-7 am, for maintenance.
Metro – Regular schedule. Also of note, interim general manager Terry White now has the permanent job.
Water Taxi – Reminder – there will be no Friday afternoon (12/4) service because of dock work
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 (note: camera ticketing will NOT start today):
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.