year : 2020 3454 results

WHALES: Two groups of orcas, two directions

11:13 AM: Two groups of orcas are heading in our direction, from opposite directions, according to Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch: Transient orcas are northbound, passing Three Tree Point a little while ago, while Southern Resident Killer Whales from J-Pod are reported to be southbound, off mid-Bainbridge Island at last report. Let us know if you see any of them.

12:15 PM: See comments for updates – thanks to everyone providing them!

UPDATE: West Seattle Food Bank’s special pre-Thanksgiving food distribution at South Seattle College

(WSB photos)

11:10 AM: Second major pre-holiday food-distribution event of the day in West Seattle, and it’s going fast. The West Seattle Food Bank has staffers and volunteers in the north parking lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) with turkeys and other food for those who need it. This too is a drive-up event – approach the entrance from northbound 16th.

Within the first 40 minutes, they told us, they had already given out half the 500 turkeys (and boxes of fresh produce and dairy) that they brought.

But if you missed it, you’re not out of luck – the Food Bank also has pre-holiday distributions at its High Point HQ (35th/Morgan): Monday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Tuesday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, and Wednesday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, with available food including turkeys and chickens.

11:32 AM UPDATE: The Food Bank was down to the last 25 turkeys but is getting a few more – Eastridge is bringing over its 40 remaining turkeys since its event in The Junction has ended.

P.S. If you are fortunate enough not to need help this holiday season, you might consider helping the WSFB continue to do this work – it’s handling more need than ever, especially after merging with the Helpline, helping people with emergency aid to prevent homelessness – here’s how to donate.

UPDATE: Eastridge Church’s pre-Thanksgiving turkey-giving

(WSB photos)

9:58 AM: Every year, Eastridge Church offers free turkeys and groceries on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This morning, the annual event is happening pandemic-style – drive-up.

The church is giving out 500 turkeys and bags of other food here (and 1,000 more at its Issaquah campus), plus gloves while they last.

About 30 volunteers are here to help. The line of cars is northbound on 39th (where the church’s entrance is just south of Oregon), approaching from westbound Fauntleroy, and backing up onto SB 38th within 15 minutes. This is the first of three food-distribution events in West Seattle today, as listed in our daily preview.

11:32 AM: Eastridge just wrapped up and had 40 turkeys left, so they’re taking those over to the West Seattle Food Bank distribution at SSC, which had almost run out.

Remembering John J. Jackson, 1928-2020

Family and friends are remembering John J. Jackson, and sharing his story with the community:

John was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 29, 1928 to George and Elizabeth Jackson. He was third oldest of 15 siblings.

In 1943, at the age of 15, he enlisted in the United States Navy. John saw action in the battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. When the USS Baxter sailed into Bremerton to be decommissioned, he thought Seattle would be a good town in which to settle. He went back to Chicago, and took a job selling magazines, where he met Alma Guthrie. They married and in 1954 their daughter, Colleen, was born. They moved to West Seattle six months later and made Alki Beach their home. He became known as the “Cool Dad” because he cooked dinners for Colleen and her friends, drove then to sports activities, movies, and concerts. He even helped them sell Girl Scout cookies.

John was truly one of a kind, and lived his life with flair and ambition, always wearing fine suits and a fedora. He was a creative businessman with unique ideas and enjoyed helping others find ways to help their business’ prosper.  He defended those who needed protection and was incredibly generous. John always had a warm greeting for old friends, had a joke at the ready, and was able to make everyone feel special. He always left an impression on those he met.

He worked in the marketing and promotion business. He promoted many different products ranging from perfume to pudding to kitty litter. He then founded the North American Dinner Club for which he traveled all over the United States and Canada. He could recite all the highways one would use to drive into any area of this country or southern Canada. He was a very creative man and always had a new idea. He loved deeply and had friends all over the US and Canada.

In September of 2007 John married his longtime companion, and love of his life, Patsy Bechtold. They moved to Bonney Lake to live with Patsy’s daughter and son-in-law, Angie and Ryan, where he loved to spoil his two granddaughters. He was a good man, a kind man, and he enjoyed his life.

John peacefully passed on November 5, 2020, with Patsy at his side. He is survived by his daughter, Colleen, his wife Patsy, her daughter Angie (Ryan), two granddaughters (Savannah, Saveya), and six siblings (Patsy, Muffet, Gregory, Francis, Lewis, and Tim). He will be missed by all who knew him.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

6 notes for your West Seattle Saturday

(Photo by David Hutchinson)

Welcome to the weekend! We start with three events offering free holiday food to whoever needs it:

EASTRIDGE CHURCH’S TURKEYS-AND-GROCERIES EVENT: Starting at 9 am, outside the church at 39th/Oregon, Eastridge’s annual distribution of turkeys and groceries, but this time, drive up instead of lining up. Approach NB on 39th, and they ask that you NOT be there early – they have hundreds.

WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK AT SSC: Special distribution:

The West Seattle Food Bank, partnering with South Seattle College, will have a drive-thru distribution at 10 am at South Seattle College, North Lot #1, 6000 16th Ave SW. Each family can receive a turkey along with a box of fresh produce and dairy. Everyone must wear masks and remain in their car.

GREATER SEATTLE FIL-AM SDA CHURCH’S HOLIDAY MEAL BOXES: The church at 2620 SW Kenyon will, starting at 2 pm, have 50 boxes to give out, with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, brownie mix, and fruit. This also is drive-up/no-contact.

Also happening:

DRIVEWAY ROCK AND GEM SHOW: 10 am-4 pm, you’re invited to take a look. (2009 SW Dakota)

LOCAL WINE: The governor’s new restrictions mean no tasting, but you can still stop by Viscon Cellars (WSB sponsor) 1-5 pm today to buy wine. 10 percent off 6 or more bottles. (5910 California SW)

VIRTUAL FAUNTLEROY FINE ART & HOLIDAY GIFT SHOW: Not happening in person this year, but you can see/shop online, here, for another week-plus.

CORONAVIRUS: Friday 11/20 roundup

38 weeks now since the Friday night announcement that King County had its first case of COVID-19 – now, we’re dealing with a surge, and here’s the latest:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily summary:

*37,435 people have tested positive, 638 more than yesterday’s total

*835 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*2,914 people have been hospitalized, 13 more than yesterday’s total

*612,290 people have been tested, 4.135 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 33.368/828/2,791/587,735.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 57.5 million cases, 1,372,000+ deaths – see the nation-by-nation numbers here.

IF YOU’RE STILL PLANNING A HOLIDAY GATHERING: Please don’t, local and state authorities said again today. King County’s public-health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin held a media briefing and outlined various troubling trends, including a current positivity rate of tests around 7 percent (South/Southeast King County are the major hot spots). Current COVID-19 hospitalizations are more than twice what they were earlier this fall. Overall, Dr. Duchin said, “There’s way too much contact going on in every area of our lives.” Watch his briefing here.

FINANCIAL HELP Gov. Inslee had a briefing today too. He announced more financial relief in the works:

$70 million in business support grants.
$30 million for the recovery loan program.
$20 million for rental assistance.
$15 million for energy bills for low-income households.

In the Q&A, he was grilled again about the newest business restrictions. He insisted that the state is “on fire” with the virus and as a result “it’s beyond risky to be in a restaurant right now,” among other places. You can watch his briefing here.

REOPENINGS: After weeklong COVID-related closures, Supreme and Ma’ono in The Junction (which share owners) reopened tonight.

SPEND LOCAL: Another tool to help you do that was launched today by the city – Shop Your Block.

FREE CHILD CARE: The city is making it available to income-eligible families through year’s end.

NEED FOOD? Three one-time pre-holiday distributions are happening in West Seattle tomorrow.

GOT INFO OR PHOTOS? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

DELRIDGE PROJECT: More closures on the way

(SDOT photo)

The Delridge road-work crews that are paving the way for RapidRide H Line will take next Thursday/Friday off for the holiday, but otherwise it’s full speed ahead through fall and winter. More closures are ahead, SDOT says – from the weekly update, the status of side streets:

Side street closures on the east side of Delridge Way SW during demolition and paving

Currently closed (timing is weather-dependent and may change):
SW Alaska St (reopening date not yet determined; thank you for your patience)
SW Hudson St (through the end of November)
23rd Ave SW (through the end of November)
Puget Blvd SW near the Delridge P-Patch Community Gardens (through the end of roadway paving)

Closing soon (timing is weather dependent and subject to change)
SW Brandon St (closed when SW Hudson reopens)
SW Willow St (closed when 23rd Ave SW reopens)
SW Thistle St (beginning of December)

Paving between Edmunds and Hudson may move to an additional lane as soon as tomorrow. Then next week, paving will start between Hudson and Puget. The full update for the week ahead is here.

SATURDAY: 3 pre-holiday food-distribution events in West Seattle

One more reminder – tomorrow brings three chances for you to get holiday food at no charge if you need it:

EASTRIDGE CHURCH’S TURKEYS-AND-GROCERIES EVENT: Starting at 9 am Saturday, outside the church at 39th/Oregon, Eastridge’s annual distribution of turkeys and groceries, drive-up-style. They have hundreds to distribute (plus gloves, while they last) and ask people not to arrive early so as not to jam traffic in the area; please approach the church headed northbound on 39th. No-contact – pop your trunk – but keep your mask on, please.

FROM THE WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK: In addition to what they’re doing at the food bank, they also have a special distribution on Saturday.

The West Seattle Food Bank, partnering with South Seattle College, will have a drive-thru distribution Saturday, November 21st at 10 am at South Seattle College, North Lot #1, 6000 16th Ave SW. Each family can receive a turkey along with a box of fresh produce and dairy. Everyone must wear masks and remain in their car.

Open to all, not just people who are ongoing WSFB clients.

GREATER SEATTLE FIL-AM SDA CHURCH’S HOLIDAY MEAL BOXES: The church at 2620 SW Kenyon has been doing periodic food distribution and on Saturday, starting at 2 pm, they will have 50 boxes to give out, with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, brownie mix, and fruit.

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Delridge man charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty

(WSB photo, October 15)

We’ve been watching court records for a month, and charges were finally filed this week against Matthew A. Hazelbrook, the man arrested after hundreds of neglected or dead animals were found at his Delridge home. (Our original coverage is here and here.) Hazelbrook, 54, is charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty. From the charging documents:

The defendant often travels out of State and has kept properties in other jurisdictions. The defendant was in possession of at least 211 live animals of different species on two adjacent properties that were living in deplorable conditions-ammonia, feces, lack of food, lack of water, lack of space; and there were deceased animals in cages, on the ground, and in cages with live animals. The animals were suffering from medical conditions that were being untreated. In addition to the various animals that were located as deceased on scene, at least seven animals have died since being seized due to the defendant’s neglect. The defendant poses a risk for acquiring and neglecting more animals as he runs a transport business across state lines, is involved in 4H groups, has unknown properties, and the condition of this property and the animals likely developed over a significant period of time going unnoticed and unreported. Hoarding situations such as this are complex and the defendants are prone to recidivism.

The charging documents say that the mid-October search warrant that led to Hazelbrook’s arrest followed a complaint about dead animals on the property two months earlier. Investigators say they found more than 100 dead animals and 222 live animals, most with no access to food, more than half with no access to water – 128 guinea pigs, 77 rabbits, 7 chickens, 3 guinea fowl, 3 dogs, 2 chinchillas, and 2 mice. More than half the impounded animals needed some kind of medical care, investigators say. The 17 charges are based on the number of animals assessed as being in “critical” condition, some of which did not survive.

(Seattle Animal Shelter photo from last month – one of the rescued animals)

Hazelbrook has been out of custody since posting bond on $7,500 bail one day after his arrest in mid-October. He is scheduled for arraignment – to enter initial pleas to the charges – next Wednesday (November 25th). The documents note that his only conviction record is for third-degree theft 33 years ago.

BUSINESS UPDATES: Click! Design That Fits, Head to Toe, Seattle Dive Tours

Spend local! We’re continuing to get West Seattle businesses’ updates in the wake of this week’s statewide rule changes, and we’re sharing them along with updating our ongoing lists. Here are three more:

CLICK! DESIGN THAT FITS (4540 California SW): From this longtime WSB sponsor:

We’re open with lots of options on how to get your Click! fix.

Visit our brick and mortar shop in the heart of West Seattle’s Junction. We’re open 6 days a week, our regular hours will be updated at this link throughout the holiday season. Our capacity is 4 customers in-store at a time with a 20 min limit. If we’re at capacity a crew member will ask that you wait to enter. Face masks are required and we have a number of sanitizing stations throughout the store. Please mind the floor markers to keep distance from others.

We’re also are open for Private Shopping Appointments (in-store or virtual) during the afternoons + evenings on Tuesdays and Sundays. Learn more and book your appointment here.

Our Gift Helper Service is the perfect non-scheduled (and discreet) way to get personalized gift suggestions sent straight to your inbox! Just fill out this form and we’ll be back to you shortly.

Most of the shop is also online – click though our virtual Click! (ha!) by exploring current window displays and featured collections from the home page or perusing categories in the menu bar above. All web orders over $75 ship free within the US and we’re taking the show on the (local) road with free West Seattle delivery on orders over $50!

HEAD TO TOE: From the day spa in The Admiral District:

Head To Toe Day Spa is open for services as well as retail & gift certificate purchase. We encourage anyone wishing to purchase products or a gift certificate to call & pay in advance so we can have their order ready for curbside pickup. We also accept retail & gift-certificate orders through our website which can then be mailed or picked up. Appointments can also be requested online.

When we reopened in June after a three-month closure, we took extensive measures to ensure the safety of all guests & staff including:

Reducing spa capacity for staff & guests
Mandatory hand sanitization & temperature check for anyone entering the spa. Masks required at all times.
Mandatory sanitization in treatment rooms between all services as well as hourly spa wide sanitization.
HIPPA air filters & LED sanitizers in all rooms.
We encourage bi weekly COVID testing for all staff (no staff members have tested positive since March).
All service providers wear KN95 masks as well as face shields during all services.
Where possible all cloth surfaces have been removed or covered & single-use products are used whenever possible.
We will soon have an outdoor open air cabana with space heaters for guests to wait under to ensure social distancing in our lobby.

We care deeply about our spa guests, each other, and our families & friends. We will continue to do all that we can to support this amazing West Seattle Community we call home.

For appointments
M-F 8:30 am-7:30 pm
SAT 8:30 am-5:30 pm
SUN 10:30 am-6:30 pm

For retail
10:30 am– 5:00 pm Daily

SEATTLE DIVE TOURS (4217 SW Admiral Way): Not just tours!

Offering scuba-diving tours, training, and travel.
Small retail shop/training space. What we don’t have in store – we can get from our vendors including Aqualung, Diving Unlimited, Light and Motion.
Owned and based in West Seattle. PADI 100% AWARE, Green Star Dive Resort. Member of 1% for the Planet

Offering:
Curbside service
West Seattle Delivery
Discount Code for online store and booking system ‘WSI’ – 10% off any item for West Seattle residents
We’ve also added a specific ticket on our booking system for new divers to complete their Open Water E-learning and Pool work with us here and you can do your Open Water check-out dives in your warm-water location.

Got a business update? westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

115-apartment plan for 3417 Harbor SW passes final phase of Design Review

(Rendering by Atelier Drome Architecture)

The Southwest Design Review Board voted last night to give its final approval to the 115-apartment proposal for 3417 Harbor SW, just north of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. All five board members were there for the online meeting – eight and a half months after the first review at the board’s last in-person meeting – along with the city’s assigned planner Crystal Torres and architect Michelle Linden from Atelier Drome Architecture. Board members agreed that the architects had done a good job of followup on the recommendations from the first meeting. Most of the board thought the east side facing Harbor could use more balconies. Linden said that the current design reflects SDOT‘s rules on how to use space above streets, but she would see if it is possible to add balconies.The board also wanted the architect to rethink the materials for the southeast-entrance area. Public comment came from neighbors on 30th behind the building. One said they appreciated meeting with the developer and architects, but the building just isn’t in keeping with the overall character of the neighborhood. The others also said the building wasn’t what they thought should be in the space, again because it is out of character. Design Review boards, however, only have say over the design (see the meeting packet here), not veto power over projects. You can still comment on other aspects of the proposal, though, through the planner – email crystal.torres@seattle.gov – as it continues to go through other reviews for land-use and construction permitting.

HOLIDAYS: OLG’s Ethical Trade Sale goes online

(Photo from past, in-person OLG Ethical Trade Sale)

In pre-pandemic years, we’d have a long list of local holiday bazaars/one-time sales, where you could do some of your gift shopping while supporting artisans/makers both local and global. This year, some have canceled, but others have gone online, like Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Ethical Trade Sale, happening right now:

Ethical Trade Sale: Get Your Chocolate Advent Calendar, Gifts, and Coffee Today!

Our Lady of Guadalupe’s annual Ethical Trade Sale is online this year! Many of the artisans, farmers, and communities we support through the sale are struggling this year as COVID spreads and sales slow. Through our virtual sale, you’ll find a large variety of unique, quality gifts, AND 20% of sales come back to OLG! Win, win, win! Simply shop through our custom parish page. Bonus, you can get a $10 gift card on 11/21-22 (code: SEGC20). This year, we are also selling Pura Vida coffee. Pura Vida has been VERY generous every year, donating 100% of sales (sometimes even more!). Their business is struggling with COVID and now we can return the generosity. To order their delicious ground or whole bean coffee, contact Erin at erinpedras@centurylink.net by November 30. We’ll have coffee ready to pick up at OLG on December 12 from 11 am-3 pm. Interested in products from our other annual vendors? Visit our website for their links!

Is your bazaar/fundraising sale/other holiday event happening online this year? westseattleblog@gmail.com – thanks!

Remembering N. Richard ‘Rick’ Ream, 1955-2020

Family and friends have said goodbye to Rick Ream – and are sharing what he wanted you to know:

N. Richard “Rick” Ream
August 1, 1955 – November 13, 2020

N. Richard Ream made his exit on Friday the 13th. He wanted to pass along the following:

As a longtime reader, first-time contributor to these pages, I struggled on where to start. Knowing you are dying should make it easier to write an obituary… and yet. Way back in June of 2010, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, which presented a sizable but not insurmountable hurdle to the best-laid plans. It went into remission, but before I was able to get a good look in the rear-view mirror, the cancer came back in my lungs. The official diagnosis of metastatic stage four renal cancer and a fresh wave of “science experiments” (avenues of treatment to control but not reverse the spread) slowed but didn’t stop me. I probably should have revisited my obituary, but after retiring from Boeing on April Fool’s Day after 32 years, I found myself with too much to do to bother with that. I threw myself back into house projects, restoring classic cars, and the celebration of the marriage of my only daughter with not one but two ceremonies and lots of family and friends. Despite my own health battles, I visited my father five times a week at the nursing facility he resided at for two years until his passing.

Safe to say, putting off the inevitable has never been a problem. As a jack of all trades, master of none, I enjoy helping out my large extended family with their own projects. I was born on August fool’s day, as the third of four children to Norm and Virginia Ream (Lisa, Don and Mike rounded out the family). I took apart my first car engine at age twelve, and went to work part-time as a mechanic for Stromberg’s Chevron in West Seattle as soon as I could, in addition helping my father’s construction company with projects all over the Pacific. After graduation from West Seattle High School, I enrolled part time at Seattle Central Community College where I met my future wife. I received my Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics License, and hired on as a machinist with Boeing. Over the years, I got to do some pretty cool things there. Among my favorites was selective-etch titanium chemimilling and later integrating robotic arms with six degrees of freedom to improve drilling efficiency on the Boeing 787 assembly line. Initially, the robots weren’t particularly accurate, but they were deathly consistent. Problem solving to consistently produce parts within thousandths of a meter was fun stuff.

In my free time, I’ve always been a fan of racing. In my youth, I ran my ‘57 Ranch Wagon, two-door station wagon far faster than the posted speed limit, tearing up the ski slopes and skies, as well as diving around Puget Sound. With age came wisdom that drag racing might not be the healthiest activity, so I started helping others go fast; first as a crew member for unlimited hydroplanes and then later as pit crew and biggest supporter of my wife, daughter, and niece’s inline speedskating careers as they competed both nationally and internationally.

Time flies when you are having fun, and the rest of the time too. For those of you whose paths I have crossed, I’d like to thank you for making it a fun ride. Realizing I’m not going to be around forever has been somewhat of an inconvenient truth, but I’m survived by my wife of 42 years, Catherine Ream, my daughter Micki Alapati (Jay), my sister Lisa Chamberlain (Clark), my sisters-in-law Annie Wedlund, Deenie Olleman (Ed), my brother in law Steve Cross (Billie), my nieces Tara Wedlund, Natalie Robinson, and Cybil Burnside (Tony), and my nephews Andrew Davis (Mary Ellen) and Nic Cross (Charliann), as well as numerous cousins, second-cousins and friends.

Preceded in death by my father (2019), mother (1983), brother Mike Ream (1983), brother Don Ream (1983), brother-in-law David Cross (2013), niece Julie Davis (2005), cousin John King (2017), and cousin Eric King (2019). I wish to be cremated, and my ashes laid to rest on my family’s beloved Vashon Island home. At some point in the future, there will be a celebration service. In lieu of flowers, I request donations to Seafair. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC, TRANSIT: Friday 11/20 watch

6:16 AM: Welcome to Friday, the 242nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. (Maybe another ~540 to go.)

ROAD WORK

Delridge project: Paving and utility work continue. Here’s the bulletin for this week, with next week’s update expected later today.

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.)

Checking for bridges’ marine-traffic openings? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed is working again.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

MetroFare collection has resumed.

Water Taxi – Also charging again.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 11/19 roundup

One week before a Thanksgiving we’re urged to spend at home, here’s where the pandemic stands:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*36,797 people have tested positive, up 804 from yesterday’s total

*834 people have died, unchanged from yesterday’s total

*2,901 people have been hospitalized, down 2 from yesterday’s total (“data correction” per PHSKC)

*608,055 people have been tested, up 4,247 from yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 32,570/826/2,772/583,480.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 56.8 million cases worldwide, 11.7 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.

CAMPUS CASE: A staff member at Denny/Sealth tested positive, the district says.

SENATOR EXPLAINS LETTER: Late last night, a reader sent us this link to an Everett Herald story about nine state legislators sending a letter to Gov. Inslee opposing his ban on indoor dining, Among them, our area’s State Sen. Joe Nguyen. We talked to him about it today. He said the letter was drafted before the governor’s announcement, mostly out of frustration that they hadn’t been briefed on the criteria for the drastic decision. Sen. Nguyen says they’ve learned more since, and he fully supports the action now, adding that the focus has turned to what can be done for workers, particularly lower-income workers bearing the brunt of pandemic-related job losses. He told us about getting takeout from a worker who was in tears, expecting to get laid off for a second time. He said there should be some news about economic help soon – and in the meantime, he supports raising “progressive revenue” such as capital-gains tax or a high-earners tax to raise money to help.

URGING FEDERAL HELP: The governor, meantime, sent the feds a letter urging them to get back to work on pandemic relief.

LOCALS HELPING LOCALS: The next two days bring four events distributing free food – the weekly 2-5 pm distribution at Food Lifeline tomorrow (815 S. 96th), and three in West Seattle on Saturday.

GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or westseattleblog@gmail.com – thank you!

REPAIR DECISION: West Seattle Bridge NOW vows to ‘watch this process carefully’

(Photo by Tony Welch)

Continuing our coverage of today’s big news – the West Seattle Bridge repair decision – we have reaction from the community coalition that formed in response to the bridge’s sudden shutdown eight months ago: West Seattle Bridge NOW. The group has been advocating for choosing the repair pathway, and now it’s happened. Here’s their reaction, sent by WSBN’s Kevin Broveleit:

The West Seattle Bridge NOW team is very happy with today’s announcement by Mayor Durkan to repair the West Seattle Bridge.

This is a decision that we celebrate with everyone affected by the Bridge’s closure. As a community, we rallied together to raise our voices up to be a part of this process and to not just sit by while others decided our fate. To the thousands of people who added to our call to repair the bridge, we say THANK YOU!

We also want to thank Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold for their leadership in getting us moving again. They listened to the experts and to the community. Now we should have our bridge back sooner, rather than much later.

The process of getting the Bridge reopened can now truly begin. We intend to watch this process carefully and will continue to advocate for our communities’ best interests as the repairs are completed.

The past few months have shown what’s possible when we come together to support one another. Congratulations, West Seattle, you did it!

WSBN sent the mayor a letter and online petition in August, two months after an SDOT manager first said the bridge seemed fixable.

COVID-19 case at Chief Sealth IHS/Denny IMS campus

Announced today by Seattle Public Schools:

We are writing to let you know that a staff member affiliated with the Denny/Chief Sealth School site has been confirmed to have COVID-19.

We are sharing this information in an abundance of caution, as the staff member was last at the school site, which serves as a meal distribution site, on Tuesday, November 17. Individuals who came in close contact with this staff member have been identified and instructed to follow Public Health guidelines.

As a reminder, COVID-19 continues to increase in King County. We each can play an important role in reducing transmission of the virus. Please continue to wear face coverings when you leave your home, keep at least 6 feet away from others as much as possible, and wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.

If you have questions about COVID-19 or need help finding health care or a free testing site, please use the King County Testing location link below or call King County’s COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977. The call center is open 7 days a week between 8 AM – 7 PM. …

The Denny/Sealth meal distribution site will continue to be open for curbside service and meal distributions the remainder of this week.

As we often mention, one of the city-operated testing sites is in that area – six days a week at the Southwest Athletic Complex parking lot (2801 SW Thistle); you can make an appointment here (as of our check just now, it’s booked up until Wednesday).

VIDEO: Hours after announcing West Seattle Bridge repair decision, mayor talks with Community Task Force

Continuing our coverage of today’s announcement that the West Seattle Bridge will be repaired (WSB coverage here), the advisory Community Task Force is meeting with Mayor Durkan to hear/talk more about her decision. She had promised the CTF would get word first, and they indeed had a quick briefing just before this morning’s public announcement. Video is above; we’ll add notes as this goes.

3:45 PM: “We needed to have a reasonable level of certainty,” the mayor said, in recapping her decision (see our earlier story for more on the reasons). After her statement, it’s on to SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe, who reiterates that the stabilization work done so far – which had to be done regardless of which path was chosen – is “performing well.” Though the repairs will not be “complex,” as discussed at this morning’s event, they are still “challenging,” he said, and need to be designed and planned carefully – “we can’t skip steps.” But “we’ll do everything we can to accelerate (the estimated) timelines,” which as reported earlier suggest the repair work will be completed in “mid-2022.”

He also says the $50 million listed in the briefings as funding “traffic mitigation” will cover the cost of “transit investments” too.

3:55 PM: Now, task-force members get a chance at Q&A. Marci Carpenter asks about the conflict between “repaired bridge could last 40 years” and “maybe build a multimodal bridge incorporating Sound Transit,” which would be launched sooner. She also asked about federal-funding likelihood, absent a “falling-down” bridge. The mayor said she still plans to seek federal funding to.help with repairs but unlike rapid-span replacement, that won’t delay the work.She says she has confidence in “our federal delegation’s ability to get funding.” (West Seattle-residing US Rep. Pramila Jayapal sent a news release, in fact, reiterating two possibilities.)

Deb Barker asked where the maintenance/operations money will come from, and what kind of permits are needed for repairs. For the former, Durkan said they need to look “holistically” – not just at the $20 vehicle-license fee that councilmembers proposed. For the latter, Zimbabwe said they’re not sure yet but it’s “not expected to hold us up in the process we’re going through.” Diane Sosne worried about unanticipated delays and using “good money now” to do something that might not last. The mayor stressed that restoring mobility is vital to protect jobs including those that will be at Terminal 5 when its modernized berth starts operating next year. Regarding timeline unknowns, Zimbabwe said that during the stabilization they’ve hit the milestones in the predicted timelines, so they’re reasonably confident that will hold.

4:15 PM: West Seattle Bridge NOW‘s Jen Temple thanks the mayor for the decision and for not waiting any longer. Then the mayor offered a few closing remarks, reiterating that neither the repair nor “rapid span replacement” options would have allowed for incorporating light rail, but in the need for an eventual new bridge, “let’s see if we can imagine a better bridge,” maybe light rail AND transit.

What’s next for the Task Force? The mayor said ongoing involvement would be great, ‘some level of interest and accountability,” if the members are willing.

The group will take up that topic at its next meeting December 2nd. This meeting wrapped at 4:28 pm. One more meeting tonight will include a discussion of the decision – the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, 6:30 pm, attendance info here.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white Impreza; another package thief on video

Two quick West Seattle Crime Watch notes before our bridge-decision coverage continues:

STOLEN VEHICLE: Alison reports, “I live in the Admiral District and my car (1997 white Subaru Outback Impreza) was stolen last night off California. License plate BHA1397. Small bear sticker on the back, crack in windshield.” Call 911 if you see it (or any other known stolen car).

PACKAGE THIEF ON VIDEO: The security video (see it here) is from Molly, who says the theft happened on her Gatewood porch last night, near 41st/Holden.

ORCAS: Southern Resident Killer Whales in view

2:10 PM: Time for a bit of other news before we get to the second bridge story of the day – Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch tells WSB that a large group of resident orcas is headed this way, southbound off Golden Gardens, closer to this side of the Sound, at last report, so likely in view from here soon. Let us know if you see them!

3:01 PM: Not here yet.

3:38 PM: Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales called to say they’re in view in the Bainbridge ferry lanes, from Alki. Kersti also has posted updates in the comment section below.

VIDEO: West Seattle Bridge will be repaired, mayor decides

(Above: Video of hourlong announcement event)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The suspense is over.

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced this morning that the city will repair the West Seattle Bridge, eight months after she announced its shockingly sudden closure.

The alternative – replacing its damaged midsection with a shiny new steel span – was appealing, she and SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe acknowledged in a pre-announcement media briefing, but covering its cost and achieving a “rapid replacement” timeline seemed out of reach. So, to get West Seattle moving again as soon as possible, she decided that repairing the bridge is the way to go.

Before we get to details, quick answers to 6 big questions:

WHEN WILL IT REOPEN?
Some traffic might return to the bridge in “the first part of 2022” but the projected completion is “mid-2022.”

WILL ALL LANES REOPEN?
That’s what SDOT expects, though an early-2022 reopening might have to be “phased in.”

WHEN WILL REPAIR WORK START?
Next fall.

WHO WILL DO THE WORK?
Consultant WSP is designing the repairs, and then a contractor will be sought to build/install them.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The Cost-Benefit Analysis made a rough estimate of almost $50 million but that won’t be refined until the repairs are designed.

HOW LONG WILL REPAIRS LAST?
Projected – 15 to 40 years.

So here’s the rest of the story:

Read More

WEST SEATTLE THURSDAY: Bridge announcement, Transportation Coalition, Design Review, more…

(Photo by Jerry Simmons)

Busy day/night ahead – here are the highlights:

WS BRIDGE ANNOUNCEMENT: As we reported yesterday, the mayor will make her repair-or-replace announcement today. It’s happening at 9 am. You can watch here.

WS BRIDGE COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Hours later, the mayor has a prescheduled meeting with the Community Task Force at 3:30 pm. You can watch that here.

SIGN-WAVING: Organizer Scott will be back at 16th/Holden leading the twice-weekly sign-waving demonstration for racial justice, 4-6 pm.

DESIGN REVIEW: 5 pm online, what could be the final meeting for the 115-apartment project at 3417 Harbor SW. Viewing/commenting information is here.

WEST SEATTLE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN: Online meeting at 6 pm. Spotlight topic: The Electoral College. Email wsdwomen@yahoo.com ASAP to get the attendance link.

WS TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm online, with guests from SDOT (if you have questions after the bridge announcement, be there!) and the Port of Seattle on the agenda. Attendance information is in our calendar listing.

ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm online, with the agenda including community concerns and electing board members. Viewing information is in our calendar listing.

ROAD WORK, TRAFFIC, TRANSIT: Thursday 11/19 watch

6:12 AM: Welcome to Thursday, the 241st morning without the West Seattle Bridge – the day the mayor will announce the plan for its future. (Added: 9 am.)

ROAD WORK

Delridge project: Paving and utility work continues in multiple areas. Here’s the bulletin for this week.

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.)

Checking for bridges’ marine-traffic openings? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed is working again.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

MetroFare collection has resumed.

Water Taxi – Also charging again.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.