West Seattle, Washington
Last virus-crisis update of a most unusual year:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: The Public Health daily-summary dashboard has yet to post the 12/31 daily update as of this writing. There are King County numbers on the state dashboard, but we don’t know if those usually match the ones on the county dashboard, so we’re not going to substitute. .
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 83.4 million cases worldwide, almost 20 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
TESTING: The city’s West Seattle test site is closed tomorrow for the New Year’s holiday.
VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE: The state published this progress report today. The table below is an excerpt:
SMALL-BUSINESS GRANTS: The state has announced that 7,800 more small-business grants are being awarded, prioritizing businesses “such as full-service restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys.” See the full announcement here.
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or email@example.com – thank you!
We started this season of spotlighting West Seattle Christmas lights with a home in Fauntlee Hills … so tonight for the final night we went back to that neighborhood, which might be the peninsula’s closest thing to a “Candy Cane Lane.” We found this house on SW Concord, between 40th and 41st [vicinity map].
Whether you’re taking your lights down soon or keeping them up, thanks to everybody for making the season bright.
One of many New Year’s Eve traditions … nonprofits inviting you to donate one more time before the calendar turns. If you still have giving capacity, the West Seattle Junction Association is inviting you to consider the Small Business Relief Fund, It was launched last spring, and donations through the fund have brought more than $120,000 in support to local independent businesses working to keep serving the community safely. The WSJA explains that “you can make a donation through the Junction (501c3) directly to your favorite business or to the Junction fund where the money is used for special programs and grants that support the small-business engine. It’s kind of a perfect note to end the year.” Scroll down this page for the donation form.
4:30 PM: SPD and SFD are checking out multiple reports of what sounded like an explosion near Delridge Community Center/Playfield. So far, though, they haven’t found anything.
4:37 PM: SFD has closed the call.
What a year! With hours to go until 2021 arrives, it’s time for our annual lookback, with the 10 most-commented WSB stories of the year. As you can probably guess, the pandemic and the West Seattle Bridge closure loom large on the list; those two ongoing emergencies also made this a record year for WSB readership, averaging almost 2 million pageviews a month. Thanks for reading, commenting, sending tips, and huge thanks to the local businesses and organizations whose sponsorships cover our costs (which increase along with traffic, as we work to increase reliability and our server’s ability to handle big breaking news). Now, on to the countdown!
#10 – GOVERNOR EXTENDS STAY-HOME ORDER
May 1, 2020 – 190 comments
Gov. Inslee announced the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order would be extended another month, and also outlined his plan for reopening in phases.
#9 – CITY COUNCIL GETS BRIDGE BRIEFING
April 20, 2020 – 195 comments
Four weeks after the West Seattle Bridge was closed, five days after SDOT announced the closure would last until at least 2022, the City Council got a briefing.
#8 – SEATTLE EVENING MARCH COMES TO ALKI AND ADMIRAL
July 30, 2020 – 196 comments
Their demonstrations weren’t the biggest seen in West Seattle, but the Seattle Evening March protesters’ visits here were among the most memorable, as they marched along many residential streets on their way to visit officials including City Councilmembers and, on this night, King County Executive Dow Constantine.
#7 – ‘STAY HEALTHY STREETS’ ADD ALKI POINT
May 7, 2020 – 215 comments
As part of the city’s pandemic response, some streets were closed to through traffic to give people more space to walk, run, and roll. When Beach Drive’s northern end, alongside Constellation Park, was added, many were thrilled, many others were not.
#6 – ALKI POINT ‘STAY HEALTHY STREET’ EXPANDS
May 10, 2020 – 230 comments
Shortly after the aforementioned stretch of Beach Drive was closed to through traffic, it was suggested that adding Alki Avenue west of 63rd would make sense too – and that happened quickly.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes this midday:
ROAD-RAGE ARREST, GUN SEIZED: This happened just after 5 pm last night. Here’s the SPD summary: “Officers responded to a road-rage incident in the 3200 block of SW Morgan St. The caller reported a male in a vehicle blocking the roadway, and when the caller asked him to move his vehicle, the driver pointed a handgun at her. The male fled the scene but was located a few minutes later when he returned to his residence. The suspect was arrested for Felony Harassment and for DUI.” A subsequent search turned up this gun:
The photo is from SPD. We’re checking on the suspect’s status.
ROBBERY FOLLOWUPS: We reported briefly last night on two street robberies reported in West Seattle. Police tell us today they’re still investigating whether these might be related. From the initial SPD summaries, we have a few more details. In the first one, around 8:10 pm, “two juveniles were walking at 30 Ave SW/SW Thistle St and a dark 4-door sedan pulled up next to them. The sedan was occupied by four males. One of the males exited the vehicle and began asking the juveniles questions. The male pulled out a handgun, and demanded items from the juveniles. A couple of the occupants exited the vehicle and talked the suspect out of committing the robbery. The sedan fled the scene. The juveniles walked home,” and called police. In the second one, about 8:25 pm, “the victim was driving in the alley at 16 Ave SW/SW Barton St. (One suspect) was in the middle of the alley and the victim stopped her vehicle. (He) displayed a handgun, and (the second suspect) approached the victim in the driver?s seat and punched her in the face. The suspects took the victim s purse and wallet. The suspects fled the scene, possibly in a vehicle.” No further descriptive information in either case.
LAUNDRY-ROOM BURGLAR: The photo and report are from Beverly:
Apartment storage/laundry room break-in on 9th and Holden:
On Monday (12/27/) morning, this man broke into our secured apartment building and then broke the locks off the washer and dryer to take the very small amount of change, then proceeded to break into our shared locked storage room. He was clearly rummaging around in our storage locker as he had a few tools inside the door ready to take. My husband confronted him while I called 911. He ran out the back door just minutes before police arrived.A report has been filed, case # 2020-355004. If you have any info on this man, please contact SPD 206-733-9800.
As reported here last weekend, Save The Stone Cottage is almost halfway to raising the funding needed to move the iconic beach bungalow off its to-be-redeveloped site, putting it on the path to preservation. Next step: Four events for you! Here’s the announcement:
In a race to beat the wrecking ball, throughout January 2021 the “Save The Stone Cottage” committee is putting on a series of educational, entertaining and inspiring events called “Finding the Story Stones,” to raise awareness about the GoFundMe Charities fundraising drive. Four fun activities will be held over the course of the next 30-day period in which individuals, virtual teams of friends, and families with children all can participate. Finding the four “Story Stones” will unlock elements of the unusual stories surrounding the Stone Cottage, Eva Falk and the early history of Seattle and Alki.
The first of four family-friendly events launches this weekend!
Finding Story Stone #1: ‘Count the Stones’ Begins January 1, 2021
The first contest begins with the onset of the New Year. From January 1st to January 6th you and/or your team can be one of the first to “Count the Stones” on the front façade of the Stone Cottage at 1123 Harbor Ave SW. Participants who correctly guess the number of stones (within a 50-stone range) will earn bragging rights and help unlock the “Story of Eva,” the free spirit who built the Stone Cottage. Submit your team’s name, contact information, and single best guess at: savethestonecottage.org/storystones
Finding Story Stone #2: ‘Search for the Lost Stone’ launches January 9, 2021
This second contest is a clue-based Twitter search in which clues to the whereabouts of the second Story Stone will be tweeted out over six hours. Finding this Story Stone will unlock stories and secrets about the Stone Cottage itself.
Finding Story Stone #3: ‘Walking in Eva’s Shoes’ January 16, 2021
This third contest highlights the story of Eva Falk when, during the early 1930s, she enlisted the help of her children to tow wagon loads of beach stones from the Alki Lighthouse to where the house was being built on Harbor Avenue more than two miles away. Participants will be encouraged to complete the trip from the Alki Lighthouse to the Stone Cottage and symbolically re-enacting the journey of Eva and her children. Finding this third Story Stone will unlock the story of “Building the Stone Cottage.”
Finding Story Stone #4: ‘Stone Cottage Karaoke Rock Concert’ January 23, 2021
We will hold a live “Stone Cottage Karaoke Rock Concert” in which participants can choose from a list of songs to perform. Songs can be performed as an individual or a team. The winning Karaoke performer will receive the final Story Stone and unlock the “Story of the Duwamish.”
A few notes for the last day of 2020 ….
LAST DAY BEFORE CLICK! BREAK: Shop at longtime WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits today, 11 am-4 pm, before the shop’s annual winter break. (4540 California SW)
DEMONSTRATE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: The twice-weekly sign-waving event organized by Scott happens again today, 4-6 pm. Signs available if you don’t have your own. (16th/Holden)
PUGET RIDGE EDIBLE PARK VIGIL: As announced earlier this week, PREP volunteers welcome you to visit the park – one small group at a time – between 6 and 8 pm, to say farewell to 2020. (18th/Brandon)
SPACE NEEDLE: No fireworks, no lasers, just a virtual light show you can only see via streaming or TV.
Family and friends will gather virtually Saturday to remember Jonathan M. Hetzel. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing with the community:
Jonathan Mark Hetzel died peacefully at 8:44 pm on 12/15/2020 at St. Anne Hospital in Burien. He was 35 years old. He was surrounded by family, including his parents who were bedside, and siblings virtually. Jon is survived by many friends and family including: parents Mike and Anna Louise Hetzel; siblings Charlene McRae, Dave Hetzel, Michelle Hetzel, and Steve Hetzel; many cousins, including Stephanie Stone; and five nieces and three nephews.
Jon was a hard and diligent worker. By trade, Jon was a marine pipe fitter with U.A. Local 32 Plumbers and Pipefitters. He worked at Foss Maritime for almost 14 years until mid-2020, when he became too ill to work. He was a valued employee and his colleagues in the shipyard will miss him. Jon specifically enjoyed going out on Puget Sound for test runs after making fixes to tugboats or other marine vessels.
Jon was active in his union and appreciated the support and collective-bargaining strength that came with union membership. Because of his work history and union protections, his health insurance was maintained for months after he wasn’t able to work due to health problems. When he wasn’t able to work, he was concerned his health insurance would run out. We are deeply relieved, and grateful to UA Local 32, that he had continuous health insurance until his death.
Jon was a beautiful combination of extrovert and introvert. He could talk your ear off and very much enjoyed the company of others. He could make friends with almost anyone and specifically enjoyed the company of those who were older than he was. He also enjoyed his own company and often kept to himself. In the last several years, Jon’s health deteriorated and he suffered the loss of several friends who passed away. He felt the loss of his friends deeply. Jon was notoriously private and kept his friends and family separate; only in his passing are we beginning to meet each other.
Jon was an incredibly kind, compassionate, and gentle soul with a variety of interests. Jon was an avid reader and had boxes upon boxes of paperback novels. Jon particularly enjoyed learning about history and regularly watched the History Channel. He was knowledgeable about electronics and had many computers; he had a penchant for disassembling and repairing or upgrading them. Jon had a special relationship with puzzles – he found them particularly cathartic when he was going through treatment for his illness. Jon enjoyed traveling to far-off places. His most notable trips included Europe; Central America; Southeast Asia; and the Mediterranean. He loved learning about other cultures and was an adventurous eater, with a willingness to try local cuisine and apt enthusiasm for spicy foods.
Jon loved to barbecue with friends and was a regular when cookouts were held at Big Al’s Brewery; beer Mondays and BBQ Wednesdays were standing commitments on his calendar. Stubbs barbecue sauce was a mainstay in Jon’s fridge and pantry, along with meats and cheeses; chips and sour cream; fried chicken; gummy bears; and Jolly Ranchers. Jon chose fruit over vegetables and meat over anything else. His only foray into cooking was meat and jalapeño poppers. For dessert, he preferred ice cream or the occasional slice of apple pie.
Jon was active in the local White Center community. He was an enthusiast for small businesses, specifically restaurants including: Full Tilt; Proletariat Pizza; Itto’s Tapas; Young’s; Super Deli Mart; and Beer Star. He enjoyed White Center Art Walks and Jubilee Days. Jon made frequent trips to Lincoln Park, where he’d bring his breakfast and soak up the views.
In the last couple years, Jon became an active member of the White Center Eagles Club. He was there almost daily, socializing with everyone. The club members became like a surrogate family for Jon, making sure he had holiday plans and checking on him when his absence was noted. Since his passing, club members have stepped up to support the family and honor Jon’s memory. He was valued as a kind and caring member of the club.
A Zoom memorial for Jon will be held on Saturday, January 2nd, at 2 pm. A celebration of Jon’s life will be held this summer at Lincoln Park and will include a display of Jon’s favorite sarcastic T-shirts. Friends, coworkers, and others are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in either or both events.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
6:16 AM: It’s Thursday, December 31st, the 283rd morning without the West Seattle Bridge – and New Year’s Eve.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: Crews are scheduled to work today but not tomorrow (New Year’s Day), SDOT says.
Metro – Regular schedule today, running a Sunday schedule for New Year’s Day tomorrow.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule today, but no service New Year’s Day.
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
West Marginal Way (substitute camera since the one at Highland Park Way has been out of alignment):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Restricted-daytime-access (open to all 9 pm-5 am, with camera enforcement starting 1/11/21) 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.