West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s toplines in the pandemic:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, from the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*55,212 people have tested positive, 363 more than yesterday’s total
*954 people have died, 6 more than yesterday’s total
*3,765 people have been hospitalized, 17 more than yesterday’s total
*703,210 people have been tested, 2,619 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 50,970/920/3,523/699,809.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
VACCINE UPDATE: Hundreds of people have been vaccinated, and tens of thousands more doses are on the way. Here’s the state Health Department‘s update.
GROCERY-STORE CASE: Checking grocery-store websites, we found news of another infected worker at Metropolitan Market-Admiral (WSB sponsor):
One of our Admiral Metropolitan Market team members tested positive for COVID-19 on December 16th. The team member last worked in the store on Saturday, December 12th. We are following the recommended response guidelines from public health authorities, including the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the King County Department of Health. In addition to the rigorous sanitation protocols we already have in place, the store undergoes a commercial-grade, electrostatic disinfectant service twice a week, and we are able to safely remain open at this time. All team members who came into close contact with the person who tested positive have been identified, notified, and are required to self-quarantine for 7-days and may return pending a negative COVID-19 test.
The store had a case last week too.
EVICTION MORATORIUM EXTENDED: The city has extended the moratorium on residential, nonprofit, and small-business evictions through March.
GOT INFO? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Eight days until Christmas Eve, but Santa Claus made an early appearance today at Providence Mount St. Vincent, which sent the photo and report:
Nucor’s Walter Reese and Melody Sarkies were greeted with gratitude today by Santa and team members at Providence Mount St. Vincent, when dropping off gifts to fulfill resident wishes this Christmas.
The team at Nucor has been fulfilling wishes from The Mount’s Giving Tree for the last ten years. The Mount sent a special request for Santa to help thank all of the Nucor team members for their generosity, compassion, and for being wonderful neighbors to so many here in West Seattle. They in turn received a special proclamation from Santa himself, who was determined just Monday by the World Health Organization to be immune to COVID-19 and approved for travel worldwide!
“By the Power Vested in me as Santa Claus, I hereby grant the Nucor Team all of their Christmas wishes for…. Health & Prosperity, Joy & Peace, and a year of blessings and beyond! From our hearts to yours, we wish you the Merriest Christmas!”
Thanks to Ron and Marie for tonight’s photo! This display is on 50th SW between Hudson and Edmunds [vicinity map]. Lots of friendly characters in the yard! Adding to the list in our West Seattle Holiday Guide – thanks for the continued tips, with or without photos – email@example.com – and see everyplace we’ve shown by scrolling through our archive.
The Seattle Public Schools board decided tonight to wait until a special meeting tomorrow to vote on its proposed reopening plan, so board members and staff could review what the governor announced this afternoon. Gov. Inslee said lessons learned elsewhere suggest students and staffers could return to in-person learning safely, sooner – all students, if cases are below 50 per 100,000 population, phased in (starting with the youngest students) if cases are between that point and 350 per 100,000.
(For reference, King County is currently at 420 cases per 100,000.) As the governor pointed out, while he has the authority to close schools, he does not have the authority to order them to reopen, so these are recommendations, not requirements. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, also participating in the briefing, urged districts and their labor organizations to sit down ASAP and start talking about reopening plans. Read more about today’s announcement here; see the briefing video here.
Back to Seattle Public Schools – what they’re considering, unless there’s a major change before tomorrow’s vote, is a plan to bring back preK through first graders, plus some special-education students, starting March 1st. The board was told at tonight’s meeting that the plan would affect about 11,000 students, roughly one-fifth of the current enrollment. The safety plan enabling that would cost $18 million, the board was told. Parents who don’t want to send their children back would have the option of staying with online learning; they would survey parents of potential returnees in January and February to find out their plans. Tomorrow’s meeting is at 4 pm; find the agenda here.
If you can give blood, now’s the time. You can do it right here in West Seattle. Here’s what we just received from Bloodworks Northwest:
Bloodworks Northwest is back at The Sanctuary in West Seattle (2656 42nd Ave SW) next week!
The Sanctuary will host its 2nd pop-up donor center in the Grand Room on December 23, 26, 28 & 29.
All donors will automatically be tested for covid-19 antibodies through (at least) Dec 31. Result mailed within 2 weeks of your donation. More info here.
Give the best gift of all this holiday season – the gift of life! We have lots of open slots! Please sign up here.
Donation is by appointment only. Masks required. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-398-7888.
Thanks to Mike Burns for the photo from Alki Beach this morning, when high tide was a “king tide,” charted at 12.9 feet, which will be repeated tomorrow morning at 7:37 am, shortly before dawn. That’ll be a big swing from another late-night low-low tide, -2.9 feet at midnight tonight. The weather likely won’t be terribly conducive to beachgoing, but we wanted to let you know anyway. P.S. If you photograph king tides too, here’s our November story about how your photos can help scientists and planners.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
CAR BREAK-IN: From Ashley:
My husband’s car was broken into early Tuesday morning sometime between 2 am and 6 am. We live on 48th right behind Aegis. It was parked in our driveway but unfortunately he accidentally left it unlocked. They destroyed the ignition when they were trying to steal his car. After that failed, they grabbed what they could including his gym bag out of the trunk. Even though it’s a long shot, we’re hoping it might have been dumped somewhere. It’s a small black duffle bag with red trim and strap and has a cobra on it in white.
If you find it, let us know and we will connect you.
ANOTHER CAR BREAK-IN: From Jozie:
In the early hours of Tuesday, December 15, there was a car break-in on 39th and Stevens in the Admiral Junction. The “grinch” stole EVERYTHING in the vehicle. Please be advised that the thief was able to disable the car alarm in a way so that it did not activate. Also, a neighbor had a package stolen off their front porch during that same time frame. ’Tis the season. :/
SPEAKING OF PACKAGE THEFT: This photo and report are from Nancy:
I live in the 2200 block of upper Alki. This person stole my Amazon package at 5:35 pm Dec.15th. He looks like ha is dragging some heavy objects. Maybe other homes got hit as well. Anyway, hopefully he enjoys his 2021 Star Trek Original Series wall calendar.
Winter break is almost here. Young writers might consider planning/writing an entry for a new contest that the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is launching. We’re happy to play a small part in it, too. Read on for details in SWSHS’s announcement:
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is pleased to announce its first history essay contest for students in partnership with Paper Boat Booksellers. The theme of our competition is: WOMEN HISTORY MAKERS OF THE DUWAMISH PENINSULA. We encourage students to write an essay that explores the contributions of a specific woman from the Duwamish Peninsula who has made a historical impact on the community, past or present, famous or not-yet-famous. Tell us how the woman you choose to write about inspires you.
This contest is open to all students. Winners will be selected in each grade category outlined below:
● Grades: 3 – 5 250 words maximum
● Grades: 6 — 8 500 words maximum
● Grades: 9 – 12 750 words maximum
Essays will be judged by a panel of SWSHS staff, volunteers, and community partners based on the following criteria:
● Demonstrated understanding of the woman as a person and the role she has played or is playing in the history of the Duwamish Peninsula
● Effective use of descriptive language.
● Correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar
● For grades 6 and up, appropriate citations in any reference style.
Students should include a cover sheet that outlines: the title of the essay, student’s name, grade level, and an email address or telephone number where the student can be notified of the contest results.
Submissions will open 9:00 am on Monday, January 4, 2021 on our website at www.loghousemuseum.org. We encourage students to make use of the Historical Society’s archives and historians. Email Maggie, the museum Programs and Interpretation Coordinator at email@example.com.
Winners will receive a special certificate and gift from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Paper Boat Booksellers. Winning essays will also be published on the Historical Society’s blog and West Seattle Blog. Winners also will be honored at a special event hosted by the Historical Society and have the opportunity to read their essay at the event!
The city is extending the eviction moratorium for residences, nonprofits, and small businesses until the end of March. Mayor Jenny Durkan has signed a new executive order (read it here). Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:
While the residential eviction moratorium is in place in Seattle, property owners may not issue notices of termination or otherwise initiate an eviction action with the courts unless there is an imminent threat to the health and safety of the community. Along with halting evictions, the order also prevents tenants from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment of rent during the moratorium. However, tenants are still legally obligated to pay rent during the moratorium and landlords are encouraged to offer flexible payment plans. Residential tenants who receive any eviction notice during the moratorium should contact the Renting in Seattle hotline at 206‐684‐5700 or go online to submit a complaint. The City of Seattle has committed $18 million to rental assistance in addition to state and King County resources for landlords and tenants. The City of Seattle is closely following any action taken at the state and federal level regarding moratoriums.
The moratorium on eviction of nonprofit and small business commercial tenants apply to independently owned businesses with 50 employees or fewer per establishment, state nonprofits, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Along with halting evictions, the order also prevents eligible small businesses and nonprofits from incurring late fees, interest, or other charges due to late payment during the moratorium. For additional questions, please see the Office of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Lease Amendment Tool Kit.
The mayor’s order also extends other pandemic-relief measures including suspension of the 72-hour parking rule and continuation of temporary loading/pickup parking zones for restaurants and retailers. The announcement also notes that with City Council approval earlier this week, utility-payment late fees remain suspended.
We took that photo along Alki Avenue SW after a reader tip that those yellow bags had appeared on multiple bus stops that served Route 37, suspended since March. Do they represent a permanent shroud for the route? We asked Metro. Spokesperson Jeff Switzer says sign-covering started last weekend and is part of a bigger project:
Countywide, we have 7,800 bus stops. Beginning with the September service change we planned a several-fold approach for handling stop level information for suspended routes.
*At suspended stops with bus stop information holders, we have replaced the stop schedule strips with a suspended route information strip.
*At large information kiosks with suspended routes, we have installed a large information strip with suspended route information.
*At suspended stops without information holders, but with more than one route, but only one suspended route, we have installed a decal on the post indicating one or more routes at this stop are suspended (this work is about 85% complete.
*At suspended route stops serving only one route, we have begun covering the flag with a “suspended” cover. Facilities crews began to install them over the past weekend. As of Tuesday morning 200 have been installed out of about 800 planned locations. The work will be ongoing.
While we realize most customers were able to figure out their route was suspended using other tools and information between March and September 2020, we decided to take this additional step to inform customers under the assumption that we potentially would see rider demand grow back over time.
So if you see these at other stops solely serving suspended routes, that’s why. The suspended routes’ ultimate future has yet to be determined. (Here’s a September recap of which routes countywide remain shelved.)
Family and friends are remembering Virgil and Carole Sheppard, and sharing their story with the community:
Virgil and Carole (White) Sheppard, longtime West Seattle and La Conner residents, both passed peacefully during this interesting year of 2020: Virgil (age 98) on February 10th and Carole (age 96) on September 5th — the day after their 78th wedding anniversary.
Both were children of the Yakima Valley. Virgil was born in Parker Heights, WA; Carole in Zillah, WA. They grew up amid fruit trees and loving families, getting to know one another in their teens before eloping to Idaho when they were 18 and 20. (By way of breaking the news, they sent a telegram to Carole’s mother, congratulating her on the arrival of a 6’3” son.)
Carole completed a year at Central Washington College, and Virgil spent a year at the University of Washington. But when WWII began he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, eventually becoming a Link Flight Training instructor in Pecos, Texas. At first Carole remained in Yakima, but she moved down to Pecos after the arrival of their first daughter, Pamela. After the war, they welcomed a second daughter, Rebecca. The young family lived in a simple garage behind Virgil’s parents’ house in Parker Heights until Virgil decided to take advantage of the GI Bill and re-enter the University of Washington to study Pharmacy.
They moved to Kirkland in 1950. Virgil completed his degree while working and supporting his family. In 1956, they purchased a drugstore at the corner of California Ave. SW and SW Admiral Way which, under new ownership, became Sheppard’s West Seattle Drug. And in 1959 they welcomed a third daughter, Megan.
For over forty years they worked together to make the store a success. Carole handled the bookkeeping, delivered prescriptions, and stocked the shelves with tasteful giftware, candles, and jewelry. Virgil (who had more of the public persona) could be found behind the pharmacy counter, in front of the store hosing down the sidewalks, drinking coffee at the Benbow, or at innumerable community meetings.
Virgil was the consummate community activist. He was proud of having won the Bowl of Hygeia award, one of the most prestigious in the pharmacy profession, given to recognize excellence in community service. He served on the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commision, worked closely with the Seattle Police Department, and was known by legions of West Seattle students for his straightforward presentations in junior highs and high schools about drug use. He was instrumental in developing the statewide methadone treatment program and, in the 1970s, was one of the first to use a computer and database system designed especially for pharmacies.
In their family life, Virgil and Carole spent time boating in the San Juans and at the family cabin at Warm Beach. As befits “farm kids,” they also enjoyed working in the yard, growing produce at their Shelter Bay home and harvesting lemons and oranges from trees in their yard in East Mesa, Arizona, where they spent some of their latter years as snowbirds. Carole was a talented seamstress, a consummate cookie baker (she loved her sweets!) and appreciated good grammar and clever word play. She also loved her Mariners, and back in the day she broke her ankle leaping out of a chair when the Supersonics won the championship. Virgil was a hugger, a teller of good (and bad!) jokes, and sucker for any baby who came into view, offering a big grin, a finger wave, and an audible, “Awwww.”
Virgil and Carole are survived by daughters Pam O’Donnell (Mike) of Burlington, WA, Becky McKinnon (Barry) of Meridian, ID, and Megan Sheppard of Normandy Park, WA. Eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren will certainly miss Papa and Gigi/Gammy and Gabump. Carole is also survived by her sister, Lois Sidie Brown of Redmond. And both will be remembered fondly by numerous nieces and nephews. Interment: Evergreen-Washelli, with a private family gathering at a future date.
The family thanks the staff and friends at Mountain Glen Retirement Center in Mount Vernon, with special thanks to Hospice of the Northwest, to which we encourage any memorials: 227 Freeway Dr., Suite A, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:21 AM: It’s Wednesday, December 16th, the 268th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: Here’s this week’s work plan.
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:
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.