West Seattle, Washington
An extension for the latest restrictions tops tonight’s roundup of pandemic news:
THREE EXTRA WEEKS: Gov. Inslee opened his media briefing this morning with news that he would extend the newest restrictions – no indoor dining, movies, fitness, and more – until January 4th. But he also said there’s a chance he could end them earlier, depending on how the next few weeks go. The restrictions were originally set to expire in about a week. He also announced more money for business-assistance grants. Here’s his news release; here’s our coverage, with video.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now, on to the numbers, as shown in today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals:
*50,326 people have tested positive, 587 more than yesterday’s total
*905 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*3,486 people have been hospitalized, 37 more than yesterday’s total
*662,486 people have been tested, 4,483 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 45,138/868/3,235/627,813.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 68.2 million cases worldwide, 15.1 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health experts continur their weekly Wednesday afternoon briefings. You can watch at 2 pm tomorrow – here’s the link.
SAFETY GRANTS: SDOT is reminding nonprofit organizations, Seattle schools, and school-oriented community organizations that they can apply for $1,000 grants to help kids get around safely.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
A Habitat for Humanity homebuilding site near Westwood Village is the only West Seattle project on a list of new affordable-housing investments announced today by the city. The “additional investments of $55.8 million to support 840 low-income and affordable rental and homeownership opportunities” touted by the mayor at a media briefing include $400,000 for the four-house project at 2117 SW Trenton [map]. The Habitat for Humanity project webpage describes the plan as:
-4 units, three 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1130 sq. ft.; one 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 1300 sq. ft.
-Homes will be owned by families earning <80% AMI [area median income] -Homes will be resale-restricted to provide for permanent affordability -Buyers must be willing to partner and complete sweat equity hours -Buyers must meet lender requirements and secure financing to meet minimum mortgage amount -Buyers must reside or be employed in King County for 1+ years
Another webpage for the project says they expect to start taking applications from prospective buyers next spring.
Tonight’s spotlighted Christmas lights are simple but powerful. Catherine sent the photo taken somewhere “near Lincoln Park” – as she notes, it’s a “message for the season.” (For the year, really.) Thanks to everyone who’s been sending tips, with or without photos, so we can continue featuring lights each night through Christmas (and maybe beyond) – email@example.com.
5:27 PM: Thanks for the tips. SDOT says there’s a crash at Delridge/Findlay; we have reports that Delridge is blocked further north, at Hudson. One report is a possible driver-vs.-pole crash – on our way to check. Avoid tbat section of Delridge in the meantime.
5:50 PM: Delridge is blocked north of Brandon.
6:10 PM: The crash is by the P-Patch. Closure starts at Hudson. SPD tells us the car was stolen; the driver is not seriously hurt, and is in custody. Adding photo. They’re awaiting City Light to deal with the pole, so this might be closed a while.
7:43 PM: As noted in a comment below, Delridge is still closed. Metro also is continuing to reroute the 120 off Delridge between Oregon and Orchard.
8:35 PM: City Light is there now – a reader texted this photo (thank you!):
By the way, this isn’t the first driver-vs.-pole crash SCL had to deal with today/tonight – on Capitol Hill, a crash is reported to have taken out TWO, and caused an outage (which this did not).
1:03 AM: Metro has texted/tweeted that the 120 is back to its normal Delridge routing, which means the road has reopened.
Spend local! Not only can you support local independent businesses that way, you can also support local students, families, and PTAs with your holiday-shopping dollars:
HOLIDAY EMPORIUM: The Alki Elementary PTA is offering online opportunities to support area businesses AND local students – plus drive-thru Santa photos:
Alki Elementary PTA is dedicated to partnering with local businesses during these unprecedented times, while offering community members the option to shop from the safety and comfort of their own homes, with no-contact pick-up and delivery available. Priority Mail Shipping available for the “Best of Seattle” curated gift pack. Order here. (That’s where you will see what’s offered – candy, coffee, candles, more.)
In addition to no-contact pick-up offered in West Seattle (Genesee & 54th), we are offering photos with Santa Claus! Santa will be taking holiday photos with families at the North Pole Express FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18th! (Kids/families in car windows, Santa outside.) Santa’s bright red mailbox will also be available for drive-thru letter dropoff for all. Please do not hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Our Holiday Shop is currently open and runs through December 13th! Shop at >alkipta.square.site.
Quantities are limited, so make sure to shop early while supporting locally!
Alki Elementary is also offering a way for individuals to sponsor local families in need this holiday season through purchasing a gift card with our Giving Garland at alkipta.square.site/giving-garland. Gift cards will be provided to families in need to help supply groceries, household items and toys.
VIRTUAL BOOK FAIR: Lafayette Elementary‘s PTA just launched this opportunity to buy books online. Through December 21st, you can shop here and support the PTA. As with all online shopping/shipping, the sooner you do it, the better the chance your order will arrive in time for holiday gift-giving.
Another high-profile departure announcement today – Seattle Public Schools will be looking for a new superintendent, again. After 2 1/2 years, Denise Juneau has just announced her plan to leave after her three-year contract is up next year:
It has been the greatest honor of my professional journey to serve Seattle Public Schools students, families, school leaders, educators, and staff.
While the past two and a half years have been extraordinary and deeply fulfilling, I am today announcing that I am leaving Seattle Public Schools. I will not seek a new contract and will not be serving the district beyond the conclusion of my current contract, which finishes at the end of June 2021.
Her statement continues with a mention of the pain caused by the pandemic – including losing her father to the virus recently. And she seems to acknowledge recent calls for her resignation, as well as a report that the new school board president was not certain the board would support renewing her contract:
And now, there has never been a more important time for unity and healing. For progress to continue in Seattle, the full-throated support of a united school board is essential. This school board must choose a superintendent with whom they can co-lead and move forward together.
The board approved Juneau’s hiring in April 2018. She succeeded Larry Nyland, who had been superintendent since 2014, following José Banda, who had the job for two years. Juneau had previously been state superintendent in Montana, before an unsuccessful run for Congress.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Even before its “realignment” decision, Sound Transit has slid West Seattle-Ballard light rail back a year, telling the Avalon Neighborhood Group that WS is now set to open in 2031 instead of 2030, Ballard in 2036 instead of 2035.
This neighborhood group has been meeting regularly with ST, and invited us to cover its online meeting last night. We previously reported on the group in July, when they held a fact-finding meeting to learn more about the Yancy/Andover Elevated option added relatively late to the list of options being studied.
Last night’s meeting began with a status report from ST’s Zack Ambrose, going through where the planning process stands. In addition to the pushed-back launch date – pending “realignment” decisions for the entire ST3 plan next year – they’re saying that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) won’t be released until mid-2021, and the final EIS won’t be out until 2023.
One attendee asked if the timeline always had called for two years between the DEIS and final EIS; ST said yes, but past presentations we’ve covered (such as this one in February) suggested otherwise, with the DEIS due in 2021 and the final EIS in 2022.
10:39 AM: At a media briefing that’s just begun (click into the video above), Gov. Inslee says he’s extending the newest restrictions – originally set to end in mid-December – for three more weeks.
He says there’s a chance they could “recalibrate” before that time, though. But he says the pandemic is currently presenting a “dire situation.”
He’s joined by Commerce Department leader Lisa Brown, who says they’ve already had 16,000 applications for the newest round of business grants (Working Washington), with prioritizing planned for the most-hard-hit businesses, such as restaurants and bars (which now will not be able to resume indoor service before early January). The state will now offer $100 million in grants – apply here ASAP.
10:53 AM: The governor says the extension does not include any new or changed restrictions – just the ones in place now, lasting three weeks longer. It’s “the right thing to do’ to keep hospitals from being “overwhelmed,” he says. He also says that if Congress doesn’t take action to help with extending pandemic-related unemployment benefits beyond their December 26th sunset, the state will.
In Q&A, the governor is asked whether schools will be able to open in January “for the youngest students.” Inslee says they have “increasing confidence” that some of that will be possible – if. among other things, “strong hygiene protocols” are in place. … He’s also asked if any new non-business restrictions are being considered. Short answer: No. He says the recommendation against travel appears to have gained a significant amount of voluntarily compliance, for example. “Washingtonians are really making good decisions,” he says. … He vows enforcement for the scattered scofflaw businesses, but stresses that the “vast majority” are complying, and adds that “what we do in our own homes” remains a key factor in “our ability to restrain this pandemic.”
11:14 AM: Several questions regarding the vaccines – the state is expecting to first get 62,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine (which requires two doses, 21 days apart) and 182,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine (which requires two doses, 28 days apart). Certain health-care workers, and long-term-care patients, are at the head of the line. … What proof does the governor have that the restrictions are working? He says it is a “scientific reality” that fewer people are infecting each other because fewer people are sitting across a table from each other “for an hour, hour and a half.” He says again that “this extension could end up shorter if there is significant improvement, or it could end up longer if there is deterioration.”
11:37 AM: The governor has just wrapped up, stressing the hope offered by the vaccines. The video window above should soon recue to the archived recording of the briefing. We’ll add links from the governor’s website when they’re available.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES: We have lists to help – we’re continuing to refresh our first-launched-in-March food/drink-businesses list here (please let us know about your current status/changes), and our Holiday Guide has a list of local independent retail businesses and artists/makers with online shopping, so that, if you don’t want to shop in person, you can still keep it local.
12:16 PM: Here’s what’s just been posted on the governor’s website.
Two development notes from the city’s latest Land Use Information Bulletin:
1606 CALIFORNIA SW COMMENT TIME: This site in North Admiral has had redevelopment plans for seven years – but they’ve changed over time, from a small apartment building, to the current plan, an 8-unit rowhouse project, 3-stories with 8 offstreet parking spaces in “basement garages.” Its developers have now applied for a land-use permit, and that’s opened a public comment period through December 21st. This notice explains how to comment.
6940 25TH SW: The city has denied a developer’s request to be exempted from a requirement “to extend the public drainage system across the full frontage of the property.” specifically, extending “a 12-inch diameter storm drainage main … from an existing 18” storm drainage main in SW Myrtle St north along 25th Avenue SW approximately 300 feet to the north boundary of the property.” A representative of the developer, who was considering buying the 22,400-sf site to build at least three houses, said the requirement would “caus(e) a severe and unexpected financial hardship.” In a written decision, the city disagreed:
Since this property has not even been purchased … it cannot reasonably be claimed to meet the test of 22.800.040.C(a) as a severe financial hardship, and as the requirement was communicated to the applicant during the City’s first notification of the proposed project on 8/5/2019, neither can it be considered unexpected.
It’s not clear whether the proposed project is still active; county property records show the land is still in the same ownership as it had since long before this proposal, and there were no permit applications since the aforementioned 2019 date.
Be on the lookout for Grayson‘s stolen motorcycle:
If you see it, call 911. (added) SPD report # is 2020-335930.
WINTER WANDER: The West Seattle seasonal scavenger hunt continues. Prizes! Clues and details are here.
MISDEMEANOR DEFENSE CHANGE? West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s proposal to change city code to expand defenses for some misdemeanors will be discussed at 9:30 am today in the committee she chairs, Public Safety and Human Rights. It has not been drafted into legislation; they’re discussing a “concept.” The agenda has info on how to view, how to comment, plus the linked memo outlining the discussion.
GOVERNOR’S PANDEMIC UPDATE: At 10:30 am, Gov. Inslee holds his next media briefing on pandemic response. You can watch here.
DEMONSTRATION: From organizer Scott:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, Dec. 10, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come show support for BLM and ending systemic racism. Hold signs, meet neighbors, and stand for racial justice. Scott at PR Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
WESTSIDE SCHOOL MIDDLE-SCHOOL INFO NIGHT: 5 pm, online. Our calendar listing explains how to get the link.
WATER OUTAGE: As previewed here last week, 200+ customers in Pigeon Point and Puget Ridge are expected to be without water for about six hours starting at 6 pm.
EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL PREVIEW: 6:30 pm online, find out more about EWMS. Our calendar listing explains how to get the link.
‘THE FUTURE OF ICE AND SNOW’: 7 pm online, a “Climate Science on Tap” presentation. Our calendar listing has info on how to attend.
LIGHTS! SHOPPING! TREES! … all in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
6:03 AM: It’s Tuesday, December 8th, the 260th 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 are planned for Wednesday and Thursday nights, 10:30 pm-6 am each night. (added) For bus riders, here’s the Metro advisory:
From Wednesday evening, December 9, through Friday morning, December 11, overnight only from 10:30 PM until 6:00 AM each night, Metro Route 60 will be rerouted in both directions due to the closure of the South Park Bridge for routine operational system testing.
During this time, Route 60 heading toward Broadway or Westwood Village will travel via alternate roadways and will not serve the stops on 14th Av S at S Cloverdale St and the stops on 16th Av S at East Marginal Way S.
Metro – Regular schedule.
Water Taxi – Back on regular schedule after last weekend’s 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.