West Seattle, Washington
A vaccine is on the way – that tops tonight:
GOVERNOR’S VACCINE ANNOUNCEMENT: “We are ready to go,” said Gov. Inslee in his briefing this morning, announcing that the first to be vaccinated in our state could get their first shot as soon as Tuesday. The FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine was followed by the green light from a group of 17 experts assembled by four Western states, including ours. Two of those experts were part of today’s event. The first to get vaccinated will be health-care workers at highest risk; plans for where everyone falls in the prioritization plan are not finalized yet. Watch the briefing video here.
KING COUNTY’S NEWEST NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:
*54,017 people have tested positive, up 671 from yesterday’s total
*935 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total
*3,674 people have been hospitalized, up 57 from yesterday’s total
*685,369 people have been tested, up 754 from yesterday’s total
One week ago, the King County totals were 47.618/894/3,400/651,275.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 72.2 million cases and 1,612.000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation breakdown here.
NEED TESTING? Just a reminder that one of the city’s testing sites is here in West Seattle, 8:45 am-5:30 pm Mondays-Saturdays in the parking lot at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle) – go here to sign up for an appointment. (Wondering what it’s like? Someone we know got tested there this past week. They were at the site for barely 10 minutes; the results came in 26 hours later.)
DROP-IN PLAYFIELD USE: Seattle Parks is launching a program allowing drop-in use Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11 playfields, including the north and south sides of Delridge Playfield. Details are here.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT? OR? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
As Dr. Katherine Oldfield describes her clinic, West Seattle Natural Medicine is “a West Seattle institution.” But right now, that institution is set for closure in mid-January, after 37 years of operation.
Dr. Oldfield first announced the closure to patients after Thanksgiving, She has owned the clinic for about half its life, buying it from Dr. Jeana Kimball in 2002. She is now living in Canada, but that’s not why the clinic is closing – she says in an explanation on the WSNMC website that it’s closing because the doctors are moving on. The clinic website has information about them and their future, including three who will be part of a new naturopathic clinic in West Seattle, and one who’s opening her own local clinic in February.
Having a sizable staff has been a hallmark of the clinic’s growth in the past decade and a half, including lots of mentoring, Dr. Oldfield writes, saying she’d hoped to eventually sell the clinic to members of its staff. But, she continues: “Then came 2020. The global pandemic has sickened and killed people we love, changed the way we function as a society, affected the poor, people of color and women disproportionately and it has made it very expensive to run a small medical clinic. We secured a PPP loan to keep operating, we switched to a telemedicine/in-person hybrid model and scrambled to adapt in order to keep functioning. The stress on our doctors and staff and my inability to visit and manage in person during this critical time because of the US/Canadian border closure eroded our cohesiveness as a group. That is a story of many small businesses right now. Financial stress and uncertainly are the characteristics of this year and sadly we’ve seen many small businesses close.” But that’s not the whole story – she says a change in state law regarding non-compete clauses meant there was no longer anything to keep someone from leaving and forming or joining a competing business. “Having\ no more doctors to provide care in January has made it impossible to keep the doors open and keep our front desk employees.”
So the clinic is closing January 15th, but, Dr. Oldfield tells WSB, “I am actively looking for either a renter or a doctor who may want to buy the clinic and take over the operations.” In case that doesn’t happen, she also is advertising the building (3256 California SW) for rent. Meantime, the clinic is no longer accepting new patients, and has FAQs for current patients here.
2020 is almost in the rear-view mirror. If you want to kick off 2021 with a boost to your health and fitness, you can do it with the n free Get Fit, West Seattle program, presented by West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor). The pandemic doesn’t have to get in the way. First, you can join in on the Get Fit Info Night, live online, at 6 pm Tuesday (December 15th). That’s when you’ll learn about the free training program that will start in early January, culminating in you running a half-marathon in June. WSR’s Lori McConnell reassures you, “It is a program for beginners. We will start everything virtually! You will get a training plan and encouragement!” After the Info Night, you’ll look ahead to the kickoff at 10 am January 2nd, also live online: “We can encourage one another as a group as we get off the couch and train.” GFWS will include group runs when health rules permit. Questions? Email email@example.com.
With Christmas now less than two weeks away, we’ll double up on featured light displays, while the supply lasts! Tonight, two from north West Seattle:
On Alki Avenue, by the way, many condo and apartment balconies are brightly lit, too, between California Way and the east end of the business district. Thanks again to everyone who has sent tips, with or without photos – firstname.lastname@example.org – the list of every place we’ve spotlighted is in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide; you can also see them all by scrolling through our West Seattle Christmas Lights archive.
Thanks to James Bratsanos for the photo of tonight’s peekaboo sunset. This gives us a reason to mention tonight’s milestone: This is the last night this year for the earliest sunset – 4:17 pm. Starting tomorrow, the sunset gets later, 4:18 pm, and on from there. So that’s some solace, though the days don’t stop shortening until the solstice on December 21st, and the sunrise doesn’t hit its latest moment until 7:57 am on December 26th (where it stays until January 6th).
Meantime, if we get any breaks in the cloud cover overnight, you may see what Susan Romanenghi saw at 7 am Saturday:
That’s Venus with the moon. P.S. Tonight’s the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, too!
Reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFT, AGAIN: This report is from Darin:
I started up my 2008 Prius this morning and it was really loud and I instantly knew the catalytic converter had been stolen based on all the WSB reports. I looked under the car and sure enough it was gone, wires were clipped and some tubing was left on the ground. I wanted to let you know so that WSB can keep reporting on these thefts. We are near Andover and 35th Ave SW. It will cost more to replace it than the car is worth so I have no idea what to do with the car now. It is definitely a huge bummer.
After that first note, Darin emailed to say another Prius owner nearby may have been hit too.
HOW COMMON IS IT? Recently we published a note from another victim of catalytic-converter theft, Katie, who sent this followup note: “The Toyota dealer told me they’ve replaced 500 stolen catalytic converters in the last month!”
CAR PROWLER: Jillian says this happened early Saturday:
My car was rifled through at 12:30 am in my driveway on a side street near Riverview Park. (Unfortunately, I accidentally left my wallet in the car after a hard day with my 4-year-old.) After picking through my car, he walked along 16th SW headed to 7-11, dumping my things. I was able to find some things following his trail. He made a purchase at the 7-11 before catching the bus and heading into White Center to make more purchases before I discovered that my wallet did not come into the house.
12:36 PM: Seattle Fire has a hazmat investigation under way at a residence in the 7900 block of 14th SW in Highland Park. It’s focused on a garage, and they were using robotic equipment to investigate. The on-scene crews declined comment so we don’t yet know what they’re investigating, but the residents of the adjacent house were allowed back in, and no one has been evacuated. We’ll update when we find out more.
1:59 PM: SFD told us it’s an SPD case. We subsequently inquired with SPD, which tweeted this:
Just after 10:30 am SPD & Seattle Fire responded to a possible overdose in the 7900 block of 14th Ave SW. A male in his early 40s was declared dead at the scene. An extraction lab was found at the site, but hazmat crews determined the scene is safe. Site cleanup is being arranged.
2:51 PM: Neighbors report other agencies have arrived at the scene – the King County Medical Examiner (which investigates deaths) and the state Ecology Department‘s spill responders.
Our area’s only neighborhood group with a regular community survey has a last call for participation:
If you live or work in Fauntleroy, the Fauntleroy Community Association would like to hear from you through their every-other-year community survey. First announced last month, the window is closing to participate with the deadline set for today (December 13). This year’s survey includes questions about transportation, traffic, car prowls and break-ins, police funding, and historic preservation. Survey responses help the FCA to establish priorities for action and most of all, to hear about what is important to community members. If you haven’t already participated, start the survey here.
TODAY’S ONLINE CHURCH SERVICES: The list of more than 20.churches’ Sunday online services (with a few also offering in-person options), with updated links, is here.
HOLY ROSARY TREE LOT, LAST DAY: 9 am-9 pm behind the school, at 42nd/Dakota. You can even tree-shop without getting out of your car. Details here.
ALKI ELEMENTARY HOLIDAY EMPORIUM, LAST DAY: Order online from the curated collection of local gifts, with the Alki PTA benefiting – info here.
‘WINTER WANDER’ SCAVENGER HUNT, LAST DAY: Not too late to join in and enter for prizes! Here’s just one of the fun selfies that “Winter Wander” organizer Alice Kuder shared from entrants so far:
Go here to find out how to join in.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm in The Junction. Scroll down the page at this link to find the vendor list and map for this week. (Enter at California/Alaska; pickups for online orders are at California/Oregon)
WEST SEATTLE TOOL LIBRARY: Open 11 am-4 pm – need a tool to fix or improve something? (4408 Delridge Way SW)
HANUKKAH, NIGHT 4: Sundown is at 4:18 pm.
FREE TO-GO DINNER: White Center Community Dinner Church will serve to-go meals at 5 pm, outside, near the Bartell Drugs parking lot in White Center. (9600 15th Ave SW)