West Seattle, Washington
Tonight marks 41 weeks since the Friday night announcement of the first King County case of COVID-19. Here are the latest local updates:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily summary:
*52,575 people have tested positive, 904 more than yesterday’s total
*932 people have died, 12 more than yesterday’s total
*3,588 people have been hospitalized, 45 more than yesterday’s total
*678,220 people have been tested, 3,117 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 46,931/894/3,347/650.564.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 71 million cases, 1,594,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.
SOME GOOD NEWS: While the numbers of new cases, and some other stats, are still high, Seattle-King County Public Health leader Dr. Jeff Duchin said in a briefing today that there’s some leveling off.
VIRUS-DELAYED ROAD WORK: SDOT disclosed today that its contractor stopped work on the Delridge RapidRide preparation project because of COVID cases.
WA NOTIFY: A week and a half after this “exposure notification technology” – a feature on iPhones, an app for Androids – was released, 1,350,000+ users have enabled it.
GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? email@example.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The family whose members lived at 1123 Harbor Avenue SW for decades called it the “Rock House.”
Now, as the “Stone Cottage,” the quirky little unofficial landmark has inspired a fight for its future..
We’ve been reporting for almost two years on local preservation advocates’ hopes of saving it, now that a redevelopment project on its site is about to begin.
Today, the West Seattleites leading the Save The Stone Cottage campaign formally launched a crowdfunding effort to cover the cost of moving it twice – first to a holding site, then to its yet-to-be-determined permanent new home.
They held two media briefings for the launch – one outside the 90+-year-old Stone Cottage, one online.
West Seattle will celebrate another form of holiday lighting next weekend. As part of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays, you are invited to be part of the “Spirit of West Seattle” illumination on Saturday, December 19th, at 7 pm:
“The Spirit of West Seattle” is a celebration and reminder that while we may not be together in-person, we are together as a community.
On Saturday, December 19th at 7 PM light a candle, get a flashlight or light a luminaria as you take an opportunity for a moment to share your own holiday light.
The Junction is offering free luminarias at select stores that Saturday. The list will be revealed soon!
You can share your picture of your light using our #spiritofwestseattle hashtag or tagging the Junction (@westseattlejunction).
“The Spirit of West Seattle” can grow into an annual event, evoking the spirit of our community.
To surprise and delight, play the Accidental Island Christmas 2020 playlist too, curated by West Seattle neighbors on Spotify.
One day we’ll be together again – until then shine a light upon December 19th (7 PM).
Luminarias are what line the path around Green Lake during the “Pathway of Lights” most years (not this year, though). They’re also traditions in Southwest neighborhoods, like the one where we lived in San Diego before coming here 30 years ago. You can make your own, with paper lunch bags, sand, and tealight candles (or battery-powered versions).
Two weeks until Christmas, and we are continuing to showcase West Seattle lights displays nightly. Thanks to Wyatt for tonight’s photo, showing his corner display at 3729 40th SW [map]: “I love doing this every year, and this was a wild year; I wanted to start early and go bigger than ever! Thank you to everyone that has come by to enjoy, and all the wonderful compliments! Be sure to check out my neighbors as well! Happy Holidays!” So many bright and beautiful displays this year, we’re happy to be able to share some of them with you – and we’re still happy to get tips, with or without photos, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you! The list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide includes what we’ve shown so far, and you can also scroll through our archive here.
If you’ll be shopping for a Christmas tree this weekend – it’s your last chance to check out the Holy Rosary lot. Here’s the update we received:
Holy Rosary School’s tree lot will close Sunday evening for the season. A fresh load of trees was delivered for the weekend.
Wreaths, garland, and Seattle Lutheran High School’s poinsettias are also available for sale. Come to the lot, located behind the school, Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM-9 PM. This tree lot benefits Holy Rosary School, as well as three local nonprofits: Hickman House (a domestic violence shelter), Seattle Lutheran High School, and West Seattle Food Bank.
The lot is off 42nd between Genesee and Dakota. It’s also open until 9 tonight. Your options include shopping from your car (or stroll the lot, masked and distanced) as well as getting a tree delivered – details here.
P.S. If you can’t get to this lot, the full list of West Seattle sellers is in our Holiday Guide.
2 pickup-truck thefts in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
STOLEN PICKUP REPORTED NEAR JUNCTION: Shown in that photo is a silver 4-door Ford F-350, bought by Alyssa‘s dad yesterday and stolen hours later from the Southcenter shopping-mall parking lot. Here in West Seattle, she explains, “It was spotted this morning on a friend’s security camera where the thieves were trying to steal another car and stole a bunch of their neighbors’ packages.” Here’s a grab from that video:
Maybe it’s still in the area, so she’s asking you to be on the lookout. The truck has “a black front tow kit, black fender flares and it had a black tool box in the trunk.”
PICKUP THEFT REPORTED AT GAS STATION: We’re checking on the status of this one, since we haven’t heard directly from the victim, but we heard this via police radio this morning: A 1985 gold Chevrolet pickup was reported stolen from a customer who was doing business at Admiral Chevron (California/Admiral). It was described as having a trailer with a small boat, and a plate starting with C153. SUNDAY UPDATE: The owner contacted us with more information – the boat was actually in the pickup bed, not on a trailer; the boat has “Lily Ann” on its back. The truck also had a black canopy; its full plate is C15345B
If you see either one or any other known/suspected stolen vehicle, call 911.
Separate from this morning’s news that the RapidRide H Line launch is again being pushed back, there’s word that SDOT’s contractor paused road work this week because of a virus outbreak:
Out of an abundance of caution and with the utmost concern for the safety of the crew and community members, our contractor on the Delridge Way SW construction project voluntarily suspended work this week after learning of an increase in COVID-19 by people scheduled to report to the jobsite. Work is expected to resume next week after further testing, quarantining, and reporting to the City is complete.
This work suspension is not expected to impact the overall project schedule at this time. We have already begun working with individual residences to address access issues. Solid waste collections will resume on individual residence’s next service day, and all extra solid waste will be collected at that time. We are aware of the impacts this pause has had on sidewalk, side street and driveway closures along the corridor. Thank you for your patience as we work to safely resume construction.
So far, SDOT projects the restart is likely to happen on Monday. Here’s the weekly update of what’s now scheduled for the week ahead.
The (distanced) line stretches north along California to the corner of Oregon as of our visit a few minutes ago.
The truck is here as one of its first five stops because of an online vote – it’ll be here until 2 pm.
6:31 PM: After the truck left, we emailed Dick’s to ask how many burgers and shakes were sold today. The reply: “We don’t actually provide those specific numbers but I can share that we sold completely out of shakes and burgers today in West Seattle.”
Another West Seattle transportation-project delay has just been announced. First, as we reported earlier this week, it was an extra year added to the schedule for Sound Transit light rail; today, King County Metro has sent word that the RapidRide H Line won’t launch until 2022, instead of the previously planned 2021. This is actually the third delay – the conversion of Route 120 was originally projected for 2019, then that was pushed to 2020, then to 2021, and now to 2022. Here’s how Metro explains the latest delay:
The revision in the service launch schedule is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on reaching 100% project design. The RapidRide program also was impacted by King County Metro’s budget revenue shortfall and the difficult decision was made to suspend some RapidRide lines at this time. RapidRide H Line remains a priority to Metro and will be fully funded.
As drivers, riders, and pedestrians are well aware, an extensive road-rebuilding/repaving and utility-upgrade project is under way along much of Delridge Way to prepare for the H Line. We’re checking with SDOT – which is leading that part of the project – to see how this will affect that schedule.
ADDED: From SDOT’s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth: “Major construction for SDOT’s portion of the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line project is still scheduled to be completed in 2021. We are committed to upgrading the roadway, sidewalks and utilities on Delridge Way SW and we want to limit the duration of construction impacts to the community to the extent possible. King County Metro’s service launch revision does not impact our delivery timeline and we will continue working as quickly and safely as possible.”
LAST DAY TO ORDER DELRIDGE GROCERY GIFT BASKET: Our original announcement explains what’s in the basket and how to order it.
DICK’S FOOD TRUCK VISITS: When Dick’s Drive-Ins launched a food truck (burgers and shakes, no fries), they invited votes on where its first stops should be, and West Seattle made the top five. So it’s visiting today, 11 am-2 pm, California/Alaska.
(updated) TOY DRIVE: The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle says Toys for Tots is still running behind its quota, so new, unwrapped toys are needed. A bin is set up through December 17th in the lobby at (corrected location) US Bank (42nd/Edmunds) in The Junction.
NEED FOOD? Along with the regular food-bank distributions, Fridays are the day you can go to Food Lifeline HQ in nearby South Park and get an emergency box of food, 2-5 pm. (815 S. 96th)
‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: Watch the Seattle Lutheran High School Drama Club production of the radio play based on the legendary movie, 7:30 pm online. Our preview explains how to get your ticket(s).
Whenever orcas are in our area, we share the news – and today’s news is how local advocates are inviting you to be part of the virtual “Welcome the Orcas” celebration. Here’s the announcement:
The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters invite the public to celebrate the annual return of the southern resident orcas to central Puget Sound. For 2020, the annual celebration has been transformed from a 1-day event into a series of activities that anyone can do from home. The community can show creativity and support for J, K, and L pods while maintaining physical distancing. The endangered orcas return to central Puget Sound each fall and winter, following chum salmon runs that are a critical part of their diet. The recent birth of two new calves is a ray of hope for this struggling population.
How to celebrate:
Put a Whale In your Window! Children and adults are invited to download, color, and display a welcome sign in their window. Use the downloadable template, or make your own. Display the sign in your window and share on social media with #welcometheorcas.
Write for the Whales. Write a poem or share your story. Share what the orcas mean to you, and your hopes for their future. Do you have a favorite orca, or orca story? We want to hear about it! Orca-themed prizes will be awarded for the top three poems or stories in each category: K-2nd grade, 3-5th grade, 6-8th grade, 9-12thgrade, adults. Limit of 3 submissions per person. Submission accepted on The Whale Trail’s website. Prizes are non-monetary. Winners will be announced in January 2021.
Snap a Selfie! Take a picture of your welcome sign. If you live near a Whale Trail site, show us what you see. (Wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and follow all other COVID restrictions.)
“There’s nothing like seeing J,K or L pods in our own backyard, an urban fjord where they have thrived for thousands of years,” says Whale Trail director Donna Sandstrom, a former member of Governor Inslee’s Orca Recovery Task Force. “In one human generation we’ve brought them to the edge of extinction, through threats that are all human-caused. Join with us to welcome the orcas with heart and art and commit to making the Salish Sea a place that can sustain them again.”
From a high of 98 animals in 1996, the southern resident population has declined precipitously, to a current near-historical low of 74 individuals. In 2019 Governor Inslee’s Task Force recommended 49 actions to recover the southern residents by increasing prey availability, reducing toxin accumulations and reducing noise and disturbance. Welcome the Orcas offers a creative way to celebrate our connection to the orcas and confirm our commitment to protect them.
Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network was founded in 2007 to protect marine mammals and to educate the public about our shared environment. “The Whale Trail is a natural ally in this work, said Lynn Shimamoto, Co-Investigator of Seal Sitters. “We are thrilled to join with all our partners in welcoming the orcas back to Puget Sound.”
Welcome the Orcas is co-sponsored by The Whale Trail, Seal Sitters, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
6:16 AM: It’s Friday, December 11th, the 263rd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
SPEAKING OF BRIDGES
Low Bridge: Camera installation continues today, which could mean lane closures, though SDOT says none were required Thursday.
Terminal 5 Bridge: The Port is live-load testing, continuing today. This weekend, that will affect part of West Marginal Way. Details, with maps and times, are here.
OTHER ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: Here’s what’s happening this week.
Metro – Regular schedule.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule.
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) – see the closure advisory above. 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.