West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s pandemic updates begin with some context before you see what otherwise will seem like startling stats:
DATA CATCHUP: It’s been about two weeks since the state reported a data backlog that had affected local-level stats too. Tonight, the state announced the catching up has begun:
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is announcing 6,972 new cases of COVID-19 today, a number that reflects both a backlog of COVID-19 positive lab test results received over the weekend and approximately 1,800 duplicates that have not yet been resolved.
DOH has caught up with processing most of the backlog in positive COVID-19 test results created by temporary system slowdowns last week. Those slowdowns occurred as a result of upgrading servers. The high number of new cases reported today partially reflects the backlog created by these delays.
We estimate there are up to 1,800 duplicate cases in today’s total case counts. These duplicates will be removed from the dataset in the future as we catch up on our deduplication process.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: So keep that in mind as you look at what’s in today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*49,739 people have tested positive, 2,121 more than yesterday’s total
*903 people have died, 9 more than yesterday’s total
*3,449 people have been hospitalized, 49 more than yesterday’s total
*657,903 people have been tested, 6,628 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 44,406/859/3,227/627,074.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING: Gov. Inslee will talk with the media about the COVID-19 response at 10:30 am Tuesday. His guests will include Department of Commerce director Lisa Brown, so economic impacts will be a focus. You can watch the livestream here.
HOW COVID-19 IS AFFECTING SPD: Updates are back on SPD Blotter.
JAIL OUTBREAK: 16 people at the King County Jail have tested positive. The announcement notes, “This is the first time we have confirmed cases of COVID-19 from coronavirus exposures that occurred within our jails. In earlier cases of inmates or staff testing positive, it is considered likely that infection occurred outside our facilities.”
NEED FOOD? On Friday (December 11th), food boxes will be available 2-5 pm at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th).
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Almost two weeks ago, the Southwest Precinct warned that auto theft was spiking. Today, precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman sent the numbers with a renewed alert:
West Seattle Neighbors: The Southwest Precinct has seen a dramatic spike in auto theft in West Seattle over the past 28 days: A 62% increase (that’s 31 more stolen cars than at this time last year). Most of those thefts were of vehicles parked on the street. The neighborhoods that have been hit hardest this year are as follows:
Cars stolen in 2020
Morgan Junction – 94
Roxhill/Westwood/Arbor Heights – 80
Highland Park – 77
Alaska Junction – 75
South Park – 74
This line graph illustrates the steadily increasing number of auto thefts starting in May (the orange line is 2020; the gray line is 2019):
To prevent auto theft, please follow this link for tips. Chief among them:
-Use an anti-theft device (like “The Club”) whenever you leave your car, and
=Don’t leave your car running and unattended (for example, when warming it up in the morning)
Please contact Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many stolen cars are eventually recovered – though not always in driveable shape (example, today’s North Shorewood crash).
Time for tonight’s West Seattle Christmas Lights spotlight. The photos are from Lina Rose, who’s in High Point on SW Holly – of course! – between Sylvan and 31st [map]. She tells us, “Our block is off the hook this year! Most houses have great displays. It’s brought a lot of joy for us and our neighbors who walk by to enjoy.” So you’re invited to come look, too.
We’re adding Lina’s block to the growing list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. Thanks to everybody who’s sent tips, with or without, photos, so far; email@example.com is how to let us know about your lights, or lights you’ve seen. To see what we’ve already featured, visit the Holiday Guide or scroll through our archive, here.
More generosity to report on – this time, the results of Sunday’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Coat Drive. Above, many of the 100+ bags holding the 500+ coats that were donated!
That’s Denis Sapiro from the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, partnering in the drive, which brought in hundreds of other clothing items, along with a few sleeping bags and blankets. They all go to the Clothesline, part of the merged West Seattle Food Bank/West Seattle Helpline operation; after a seven-day “quarantine,” they’ll be available to Clothesline clients. The message for all donors and helpers: “We are very grateful for your support and dedication to helping our neighbors.”
3:14 PM: Two Crime Watch reports:
NORTH SHOREWOOD INCIDENT: Avoid the 26th/107th [map] intersection for a while. King County Sheriff’s Deputies are swarming the area after a crash (updated) that followed gunfire from a car a short time ago; the intersection is blocked off. One person is reported to be in custody and another possible suspect is being sought. The Guardian One helicopter has just arrived in the area to help look. We have a crew on the way and will add more information as we get it.
3:27 PM: The helicopter involvement was short-lived. Deputies have described the car from which someone was shooting as a white BMW sedan. … We’re at the scene now, added a photo, working to find out how the injured people are doing. … 3:43 pm: The newly arrived helicopter is TV, not law enforcement. … 4:29 pm: The KCSO public-information sergeant is now at the scene so we should be able to get some updated info soon. The intersection is taped off, so that’s not likely to reopen for some time.
4:41 PM: We just talked to KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer. He says the car that was being shot at is a Toyota Corolla carjacked in Seatac (updated) on Saturday; it collided with two other cars at 26th/107th.
Two people were in the Corolla after the crash, 1 ran, and was subsequently found. All three plus two people from the other cars were hurt, but none by gunfire so far as authorities can tell. No major injuries. The car from which someone shot at the Corolla, after some kind of dispute, is still at large. The three people in the Corolla are described as in their teens. KCSO expects the intersection to be closed for at least 2 more hours. We have all this on video and will add that when our crew’s back. (added) Here it is:
7:35 PM: Nearby resident Jim says the vehicles are being towed, so the intersection might not be closed much longer.
Also in Crime Watch:
FREEWAY ATTACK: Andrew, who lives in Gatewood, sent the photos and report after an incident on I-5 southbound this past Sunday:
A chunk of concrete was intentionally thrown at our windshield. It was I-5 southbound carpool lane [north of the West Seattle Bridge]. I was going 50 mph.
It nearly killed me/us. My 13-year-old daughter was also with me, front passenger seat. This was a frisbee sized chunk of concrete. It went through the windshield 1″ from my right ear.
My phone was in the dash mount and was destroyed. The headliner is ruined. It went through the car and broke the tailgate glass and landed on the tailgate floor. I still have the chunk of concrete. It’s a amazing that we are alive and not injured. 5 other cars had debris thrown at them. I saw the guy on the shoulder of the road. Just behind the low concrete wall. He popped up and threw it at me from 50 feet or so in-front.
Andrew says the thrower was “wearing a black coat, black hat. He climbed up from below to stand on a ledge on the shoulder of the carpool lane. He was directly to my left when I went past him.” We have an inquiry out to the State Patrol about the investigation and other victims. If you have any information, Andrew says the report number is SP.00001131.
Southern Resident orcas are back in the area for the second consecutive day! Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch says it’s K-Pod this time, southbound, north of Alki Point. Let us know if you see them!
One item for tonight on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar that we want to remind you about – it’s free, and all are welcome: The Westside School Parent Association is presenting “Coping with Uncertainty,” so parents/guardians can learn “how to manage stress and anxiety for you and your child” in these deeply uncertain times. It’s a live online presentation followed by Q&A, with featured guest Sivie Suckerman, LMHC, who the WSPA says “has worked with youth and families for nearly 15 years in community mental health, crisis outreach, school-based mental health, private practice, as well as residential treatment.” Adults and students of all ages are invited to attend. Contact Dorothy Lemoult at dorothy.lemoult at gmail dot com ASAP for the Zoom link and questions.
It’s a special delivery that the West Seattle Food Bank welcomes every holiday season, and it happened today despite the pandemic. Employees at West Seattle’s Nucor steel mill donate food and cash. Today was delivery day.
This year’s food donations totaled 4,380 pounds – more than two tons!
US Army National Guard members Nicholas Delvaux and Shelina Lal helped food bank and Nucor staffers with the unloading.
Nucor employees also donated more than $22,000 in cash this year.
P.S. Nucor thanks Tacoma Hydraulics for its help transporting the donations every year:
WSFB has more need than ever this season, not just because of the pandemic, but because it merged earlier this year with the West Seattle Helpline, which means it’s helping prevent homelessness as well as hunger. You can help too – here’s how. (If you have nonperishable food to donate, a local student is sponsoring a drive-thru food drive this Saturday – details in our calendar listing.)
With that campaign-style video, Mayor Jenny Durkan has just announced she will NOT run for re-election next year. The emailed announcement quotes her as saying, “”We know stopping the spread of the virus, protecting jobs and focusing on the economic recovery — especially for downtown– is going to take everything we’ve got. As Mayor approaching the last year of my term, that meant a choice. I could spend the next year campaigning to keep this job or focus all my energy on doing the job. There was only one right choice for our city: doing the job. I have decided not to run for reelection because Seattle, we still have some tough months ahead.”
ADDED: Durkan, a former U.S. Attorney, beat Cary Moon in 2017 after the two emerged from a 21-candidate primary. Three candidates have registered campaigns with the city so far – Lance Randall (who filed months ago) and two recent filers, perennial candidate David Ishii and William Kopatich.
Seattle hasn’t had a two-term mayor since West Seattle’s Greg Nickels, who left office a decade ago.
Durkan has visited West Seattle for more than half a dozen walking tours and town halls since taking office three years ago. Before the West Seattle Bridge shutdown, public safety was the most-frequent topic, and she returned time and again to The Junction to talk with business owners. That’s also the topic on which she and City Councilmembers clashed last summer, with their push to cut the SPD budget leading to the departure of SPD Chief Carmen Best. But more recently, she did not challenge the cuts and changes that made it into the 2021 budget she signed last week.
Her highest-profile action regarding West Seattle, of course, was the decision announced last month to repair rather than replace the cracked high bridge, now in its ninth month of closure. Since Durkan’s term won’t end until late 2021, she’ll still be presiding as most of the repair process plays out.
We’ll update with any post-announcement developments of note throughout the day.
If you can give this holiday season, here are three ways to do that for people served by Navos, which sent this announcement:
During this unprecedented time, Navos Behavioral Health services are more critical than ever. Help make the holidays brighter for some of the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults in our community with a gift of gift cards (grocery stores, VISA or Target preferred), or new hats and gloves (for all ages). Financial donations (tax-deductible) also make a big difference!
-To make a secure donation to our holiday gift card drive, click here.
-Donations may be dropped off at Navos’ West Seattle campus at 2600 SW Holden Street through Friday, December 18th at noon. To arrange a dropoff, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
-Donations may be mailed to Navos’ West Seattle campus:
2600 SW Holden Street
Attn: Alice Braverman
Seattle, WA 98126
Together we can help hundreds of vulnerable children, youth, adults and families living in poverty have a happy holiday! For questions regarding Navos’ holiday drive, please call 206-933-7196, or email email@example.com.
The Navos West Seattle campus has inpatient and outpatient behavioral-health care as well as housing.
We continue spotlighting holiday-helping opportunities all season long – you can also check the list any time in our West Seattle Holiday Guide.
6:07 AM: It’s Monday, December 7th, the 259th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: Here’s what’s planned for this week, including closing SW Thistle between Delridge and 20th.
South Park Bridge: Inspection closures planned this week, Wednesday and Thursday nights, 10:30 pm-6 am.
Metro – Regular schedule.
Water Taxi – Back on regular schedule today after weekend 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.