West Seattle, Washington
Ten months ago tonight, King County’s first COVID-19 case was announced. Here’s the latest:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the toplines of today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*60,632 people have tested positive, 513 more than yesterday’s total
*1,056 people have died, 13 more than yesterday’s total
*4,066 people have been hospitalized, 26 more than yesterday’s total
*736,574 people have been tested, 9,233 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 58,107/993/3,893/717,680.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
NOTIFICATION TOOL UPDATE: The WA Notify tool is now being used by 1.57 million people.
NEED HELP PAYING UTILITY BILLS? The city is reminding residents of the Utility Discount Program.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
10:49 PM: Chris sent that security video clip on which you can hear what was called in as suspected gunfire in the 16th/Holden area around 9:30 pm. No word if police found any evidence of gunfire; no shooting victims reported, so far.
TUESDAY UPDATE: Police officially classified the call as “drive-by shooting, no injuries.”
Christine is still looking for the owner of a pink Huffy kid-size bicycle found in Puget Park – and now she’s looking for the owner of this bicycle, too, found in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Well, more like a bicycle frame, but it’s in good shape, Christine says. She has this black and blue Schwinn for safekeeping, too, so if you recognize it, let us know and we’ll connect you.
P.S. For smaller items likely to have been truly lost/misplaced, you can post/look in our Lost/Found (nonpets) Forum.
Thanks to Al for tonight’s photo, as we continue showcasing lights through New Year’s – this is at 46th and Admiral [map], it’s a message both seasonal and timeless – peace on Earth. Since Thanksgiving week, we’ve shown more than three dozen West Seattle displays, large and small, and you can scroll through them all here!
More than two years after clearing the first phase of Design Review, the redevelopment proposal for 3201 SW Avalon Way – site of the Golden Tee Apartments [map] – is back on the front-burner. We dug into the file after a tip from C that the city put up new signs today. Documents show the project has gone through some changes since that 2018 meeting (WSB coverage here) – including a new architect (Public47 has replaced NK) and a change in toplines (now 8 stories, 144 units, 70 offstreet-parking spaces, previously 7/150/85). The new signage mentions a “grocery store and restaurant” but the new documentation shows two retail spaces only totaling 3,600+ square feet on the building’s north side. The project still needs to go before the Southwest Design Review Board at least one more time, but that’s not yet on the board’s calendar (which currently is wide open for 2021).
ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: We first reported more than three months ago about the plan to open Allyum in the former Duos Lounge space at 2940 SW Avalon Way. Now the sign is up and opening plans are set – Allyum has announced that this Friday, New Year’s Day, will be its first day, open 11 am-3 pm for takeout. Chef Ally Rael told us in September about her plan for an upscale, local-focused plant-based menu, also spotlighting beverages. You can now preview the menu online – including a “New Year’s Nosh” featuring latkes, matzo-ball soup, and a Reuben sandwich centered on “pastrami-marinated mushrooms.” Allyum also plans to soon be part of the trend of restaurants offering “markets” – describing their intention to offer “an array of housemade, farm fresh and specially procured items for your enjoyment at home. From fresh pasta and signature sauces, to ‘off the beaten path’ bottles of wine and local farm-fresh veggies.” Post-holiday hours are on the Allyum website.
ADDED TUESDAY: In response to our inquiry, Allyum confirms it’s takeout TFN: “We do have a limited amount of outdoor furniture but our rain gear isn’t quite ready. We will do online orders from our website and walk-in orders. No delivery (yet).”
In the past few days we’ve been getting inquiries about whether the annual West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on or off. We asked longtime organizer Mark Ufkes, and here’s his answer, with a preface:
The Year of Perfect Vision; 2020 is finally over. What a ride indeed!
Before we discuss our annual Alki Polar Bear Swim, held on January 1 each year, may I ask a favor; When you go for a walk outside, please wear a reflective SAFETY VEST when you walk. Please! And one for your DOG too!
If Drivers cannot see you or your dog clearly, especially at dusk, they might hit you and hurt you. Pedestrians who wear dark clothing are much more likely to get hit by a car. Death rates are even higher in winter and when it is raining. We can help keep walkers and pedestrians safer; wear a reflective SAFETY VEST every time we walk. I did a Master’s thesis on traffic safety issues (M.A.Ed. at Washington State University), so these observations are backed by scientific research. Improving visibility reduces pedestrian deaths. Wear a safety vest. Thank you.
OK, Now let’s talk Alki Polar Bear Swim:
The New Year’s Day Alki Beach Polar Bear Swim has been going on for almost two decades. It started with 15 adoring friends and family. We then invited all of you, and last year, about 700 mildly-insane folks lined all along Alki Beach, held hands, and, after counting down, went running and screaming into 47-degree Puget Sound. As anyone who participates can attest, it is a great way to “wash away the complexities of the previous year (we had many in 2020), and bathe in the unlimited opportunities that the New Year provides.” And with all the laughing and smiles, it’s great fun too.
For January 1, 2021, we do not want this to become a Trump Super-Spreader Event, so:
There will be no single Polar Bear Swim event on January 1 like we usually do.
Instead, there will be 30 sites along Alki Beach, each separated by 25 feet. Sites will be marked with tall, pink-ribboned stakes (see photo).
All day long, groups of no more than 5-6 each, all wearing masks, can head to Alki, find an open site, social distance as they walk to a site, and hold their own personal Polar Bear Swim.
At any one time along the 1,200-foot-long beach (almost four football fields), the stakes will limit Polar Bear swimmers to no more than 30 small groups, spread out from the Beach House towards beautiful downtown Seattle.
You and your group/family decide on a time (remember, you will have all day), drive along the beach, watch how many sites are open, if a site is open, park and head out to the beach. Everyone reading this has good judgement, so please use it. Don’t participate if you are uncomfortable. If you do participate, wear your mask, stay in your small group, and social distance on the way out and on the way back from the beach.
As soon as your swim is over, promptly towel off and head toward your car so that other small groups can safely access the Polar Bear Swim sites.
An announcer, wearing all pink, will be at the beach all morning, from 9-11:30 am, with the Polar Bear bullhorn, if a small group needs help with a countdown to get up the courage to run into the water. I, for one, could not do this event without the countdown!
Remember, bring and wear a mask, wear water shoes, bring a towel and change of clothes and your hopes and dreams for the New Year!
If you’d rather skip it this year, everyone will understand. But if you participate, you are acknowledging that the benefits of Polar Bear swimming exceed the risks, and that you are in good health, show no symptoms of Covid 19 and have not tested positive. And you agree to wear a mask at the event, practice social distancing, stay in your small group of no more than 5-6 folks, and use one of the properly separated sites on the beach. And if all the sites are taken when you arrive, you agree to return to your car and wait until a site opens up. And finally, you promise to bring a food donation for the local food bank that can be left along the sidewalk at the provided collection bins.
No Spectators! Usually, we have hundreds of spectators watching us, and we love our spectators. Many become swimmers later in their lives. But this year, we respectfully ask that spectators stay at home!
Good luck next year. Make 2021 the best year of your life!
Mark L. Ufkes (Alki Polar Bear enthusiast and optimist extraordinaire)
West Seattle’s only “edible park” invites you to stop by on Thursday night and bid 2020 farewell. Stu Hennessey sent the invitation on behalf of Puget Ridge Edible Park volunteers:
With our sights set on new hope in a new year, many of us feel the need to reflect on the struggles and losses of the past year and the 1.7 million souls we have lost. We also may want to say a swift goodbye to 2020 as well.
Therefore, the volunteers at Puget Ridge Edible Park thought it would be a good idea to invite our friends and neighbors to a Covid Candlelight Vigil and Say Goodbye to 2020 New Year’s Eve at the community garden. We have a luminaria-candlelit pathway to bring up to 5 people at a time to our New Year’s Eve fire to toss out the old year by throwing into the fire a written message or any symbol of bad memories over the last year.
The vigil will take place Thursday, New Year’s Eve, from 6 pm to 8 pm at 5265 18th Ave. SW. Be prepared to wait your turn to enter the park as we are limited to 5 people at a time. Wear warm clothes and bring some warm drinks. Parking will be available along 18th Ave. SW and SW Brandon St. Heavy rain will cancel. The volunteers at Puget Ridge Edible Park would like to offer you a healthy and happy New Year!
We’ve added this to the New Year’s section of the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
6:12 AM: It’s Monday, December 28th, the 280th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Another cold night, so beware of frosty streets, paths, windshields.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: SDOT’s contractor expects to have “full crews” back on the job today. Here’s the plan for the week. No work planned Friday (New Year’s Day).
Metro – Regular schedule today through Thursday.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule today through Thursday.
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). 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.)
To check 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.