West Seattle, Washington
40 weeks now since the Friday night announcement of the first King County case of COVID-19. Here’s what’s new:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily summary:
*46,931 people have tested positive, 758 more than yesterday’s total
*894 people have died, 8 more than yesterday’s total
*3,347 people have been hospitalized, 42 more than yesterday’s total
*650.564 people have been tested (the county still says this number is “frozen” but it’s going up a bit each day; the state had said they hoped to be caught up by today)
One week ago, those totals were 42,903/853/3,129/(unavailable).
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 65.8 million cases, 1,518,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
KEY INDICATORS: If you’re interested in more data, this is an additional King County dashboard to watch, updated each weekday. Today another of its indicators flipped over into the danger zone – we’ve checked regularly and only now has hospital occupancy gone above the critical 80 percent mark; it’s now at 85 percent.
WA NOTIFY: In the first five days since this “exposure notification technology” – a feature on iPhones, an app for Androids – was released, 1,000,000+ users have enabled it.
MORE CITY AID: The city says 1,100 restaurants and bars were among the applicants for the latest round of small-business grant, and it will be making $2.5 million more in grant awards among that group. It’s also allotting an additional $2.5 million for cash grants to hospitality workers; watch for word on how that will be administered.
REOPENED: El Chupacabra on Alki and Mission Cantina in Admiral both reopened today after COVID closures.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Tomorrow night (Saturday, December 5th), the biggest West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays event of the year happens online, starting at 7 pm. The community Christmas tree lighting is part of it – but there’s more! First of all, Santa Claus will welcome you. You’ll hear a few words from King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, recorded today at Easy Street Records in a chat with Junction Association executive director Lora Radford:
Wouldn’t be a tree lighting without the Endolyne Children’s Choir, who will seasonally serenade you. Then West Seattle’s Mr. Christmas, Jack Menashe, has something to say about the season, before Santa joins him for the countdown to light the tree. You can watch it all here. Right after that, Santa reads children’s stories live (watch here or here) – with elves helping out by reading your Christmas wishes and answering questions.
P.S. Hometown Holidays continues Sunday with a way for you to give gifts to neighbors in need – donate coats, gloves, and/or scarves at the Kiwanis booth at the south end of the Farmers’ Market, 10 am-2 pm.
Austin Street Lights is back. Mark Bader sent the video, photo, and an invitation to come enjoy the music-synched show:
Our Christmas light display on Austin Street is up and running! This will be our 5th year with our lights set to music. We enjoy putting this together each year, and hopefully this helps put a smile on your face during these difficult times.
The best way for you to experience the lights is from your car – tune your radio to 99.5 and listen to a number of songs synchronized to the lights. Please be respectful of the neighbors and of course, if you feel the need to dance in the street, make sure you social-distance.
The songs will play from 4 pm to 10 pm through New Year’s Day. We are easy to find, on SW Austin Street and 37th Ave SW [map], at the top of Gatewood hill.
This might be West Seattle’s only music-synched light show this year, since West Seattle Lights is no more and West Seattle Yuletide is taking a pandemic break. We’re adding it to the list in our West Seattle Holiday Guide and welcome suggested additions, with or without photos/video – firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Thanks to Stewart L. for the photos! We mentioned back in October that the heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star would be heading to the Arctic – and today, it departed. As the Coast Guard noted in October, Polar Star usually goes to Antarctica to resupply McMurdo Station, but a “limited resupply” was planned by air this year instead “due to COVID safety precautions.” In the Arctic, the USCG says, the 44-year-old Polar Star will “help protect the nation’s maritime sovereignty and security.”
P.S. Stewart L. also shared this photo of other Coast Guard work in Elliott Bay today – as Aids to Navigation boat 55107 visited the navigational marker off Luna/Anchor Park:
Thanks to Susan Weir for the photos and report from atop Genesee Hill:
You’re never too old to clown around! That’s the motto of Patricia (Pat) Nelson, age 93, and Elaine Katz, age 68. If you’re out in the sunshine and happen to be driving by the intersection of Genesee and 55th Ave. SW, you may see these ladies waving, smiling, and putting smiles on the faces of those who drive by. Pat and Elaine routinely clown around on this corner. Please smile, honk, and wave back!
Thanks for the tip! The Chase Bank branch in Admiral (2610 California SW) is open again after being closed for some weeks, and a Chase spokesperson confirms that the branch has a new manager – Jeff, who previously managed the West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) in-store branch that’s closing at year’s end, is now running the Admiral branch. (Image: Google Street View)
Quick reminder of two major West Seattle events happening online tonight:
SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY GALA/AUCTION: 7 pm tonight is the official virtual champagne gala and auction, but you can bid even sooner – go here to register. You can go here for a look at the auction items – which include an autographed Pearl Jam poster, a chance to create your own Husky Deli ice-cream flavor, even a chance to have Desmond Hansen paint a signal box for you! (Added: If you’re not bidding, you can watch here.)
OLG’S VIRTUAL ‘LIGHT UP THE NIGHT’: The first Friday of December is always the night Our Lady of Guadalupe lights West Seattle’s highest-elevation Christmas tree, in front of the church at 35th/Myrtle, and tonight it’s still happening – music and all – but don’t go in person; this time, it’s livestreamed! 7 pm is when to watch, here.
12:25 PM: Two incidents of note this midday:
GATEWOOD: That tipped forklift at a construction site in the 3700 block of SW Ida briefly led to a rescue callout – but it was downsized before most of the units arrived. We talked to a supervisor at the scene who told us the forklift driver lost footing and went sideways. The driver was not seriously hurt. (added) SFD says he’s a 62-year-old man taken to the hospital by private ambulance, in stable condition.
HIGHLAND PARK WAY: An incident logged as a medical response brought out fire and police near the bottom of the Highland Park Way hill. Police have just reopened westbound lanes, and Metro Route 131 has resumed service on the hill, but we’re waiting for word back from SFD to see what the incident was about. (added) SFD says it was a crash (though not logged that way), with two people taken to the hospital by private ambulance, in stable condition – a 30-year-old man and 28-year-old woman.
ADDED 5:40 PM: From SPD, the rest of the story on the Highland Park Way incident:
Officers arrested a woman and recovered a stolen vehicle in West Seattle this morning after struck another motorist while trying to flee from police.
Around 10:45 AM officers responded to the 800 block of SW Trenton Street for a report of two people passed out in a gray Honda, which was partially blocking traffic.
Officers approached the car — which had no license plates — saw a man and a woman asleep inside, and knocked on the female driver’s window.
The driver awoke and quickly sped away, colliding with another driver in the 6800 block of Highland Drive SouthWest. The female suspect then fled on foot into a wooded area nearby, where police found her a short time later.
Police learned the Honda had been stolen in Renton and its driver was in possession of a modified key, commonly used by auto thieves.
The suspect and her passenger were taken to Harborview Medical Center for injuries sustained in the crash. Police also sought a warrant to draw the suspect’s blood to investigate whether she was intoxicated.
Officers interviewed and released the male passenger and booked the female suspect inot the King County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle and felony hit and run.
The driver struck by the suspect, was injured and checked out at the scene of the crash, but declined to be transported by medics.
As we’ve been reporting, the pier at Seacrest is closed today, and West Seattle Water Taxi afternoon/evening service is canceled, because of dock work. American Construction‘s big floating crane got busy right after the morning commute.
The crane is there to replace a section of the floating dock, the one that holds the passenger ramp to/from the dock. King County Metro explains, “This float is listing to one side, likely caused by water retention from failing pile guide mounting bolts. This listing is causing further issues with the passenger ramp connection, the ramp’s rollers on the float end, and the float’s connection to (another float).” The problem factored into a recent WT service interruption when emergency repairs were needed
The old float is 320 square feet; the new float is 448 square feet, and three kayak floats are also being taken out to make room for it. Metro says $300,000 was budgeted for this and it’s expected to be $60,000 under that. The pier itself isn’t being altered but it’s closed for safety, since the crane is hoisting items over it. Seattle Parks, which owns the pier, is hoping to reopen it Saturday afternoon.
The Water Taxi is expected to be back in service Monday morning; Metro will confirm that on Sunday.
Family and friends are remembering George Susnar, and sharing this with the community:
George Joseph Susnar
October 16, 1927 – October 17, 2020
We miss his engaging smile, twinkling eyes, sense of humor and friendly disposition.
George was born to Steve and Mary Susnar, immigrants from Croatia. Pre-deceased by infant brother Joseph and sister, Ann (pictured at right with George).
Lifetime Seattle resident, George grew up in Rainier Valley (Garlic Gulch) and lived on Beacon Hill for many years. He attended Colman Elementary School, Washington Junior High, and graduated from Franklin High School in 1945.
He served in the US Army (1946/1947) with the occupation forces in Japan.
George was a proud member of Union Local 66, Sheet Metal Workers. He worked in many Pacific Northwest locations and Alaska, and was a dues-paying retiree.
George was a huge sports fan, and in his early years he loved playing, especially basketball and baseball. He said he knew every pebble on Colman Field. He even had a job during school, shagging foul balls from the roof of Sick’s Stadium and delivering beer and hot dogs to the broadcasters and press. He was also recruited to play soccer for a Seattle City team even though he said he knew nothing about soccer. When that team won the City championship, the local paper noted his play, stating: “George ‘Stonewall’ Susnar, goalie, whose spectacular stops of impossible shots has been uncanny.” He was tracking baseball stats until the day before he died.
He walked at Alki Beach nearly each day and made many friends along the way. Fondly referred to as the “Mayor of Alki” by some of these friends, his presence there is missed.
George seemed to know everyone by name and was always interested in engaging with other people. He was friendly, independent, feisty, opinionated, and loved by many. We miss him.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:16 AM: It’s Friday, December 4th, the 256th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: The work to get ready for RapidRide H Line continues; see the current plan here.
Highway 99 tunnel: Southbound closure tonight into tomorrow (Saturday) morning, 10 pm-7 am, for maintenance.
Metro – Regular schedule.
Water Taxi – Reminder – no afternoon/evening service TODAY 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.