West Seattle, Washington
Will the current restrictions really be lifted one week from today? We could find out as soon as tomorrow:
GOVERNOR PLANS TUESDAY BRIEFING: A new “reopening plan” announcement has been promised for this week, and that might be what we hear from Gov. Inslee at 2:30 pm tomorrow. The advisory:
Gov. Jay Inslee will address the media tomorrow via streaming video and telephone to give an update on the state’s response to the ongoing pandemic. The governor will be joined by:
Dr. Umair Shah, secretary, Department of Health
Lacy Fehrenbach, assistant secretary, prevention and community health, Department of Health
Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist for communicable diseases, Department of Health
Nick Streuli, executive director of external affairs, Office of the Governor
We plan to carry the live feed here on WSB; you can also watch via TVW by going here.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the toplines of today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative countywide totals:
*64,912 people have tested positive, 334 more than yesterday’s total
*1,096 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total
*4,296 people have been hospitalized, 47 more than yesterday’s total
*759,558 people have been tested, 3,892 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 60,632/1,056/4,066/736,574.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.
TESTING, HEALTH-INSURANCE ENROLLMENT, MORE … will be offered at a Highland Park Elementary event, outdoors, 10 am-2 pm Saturday. All welcome.
ENCAMPMENT STILL COVID-FREE: So reported the site coordinator for the Camp Second Chance tiny-house encampment at this month’s Community Advisory Committee meeting.
NOTIFICATION TOOL UPDATE: The WA Notify tool is now being used by 1.63 million people (up 60,000 from a week ago).
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
TIRES TAKEN: The photo and report are from Brenda: “New Year’s Eve, someone stole the two passenger-side tires from our car that was parked in front of our house on 46th Ave SW. Ugh 2020, so glad you’re over!!!
SPEAKING OF TIRES: We’re still hearing from people who were victims in the weekend tire-slashing rampage – among them, Barbara, who tells WSB that “two cars in our driveway on Fauntleroy were slashed, as well as two cars of our neighbor to the south, and two cars across the alley to the east. We heard that the total for this last couple of nights was 30 car-tire slashings, not including the six in our immediate area. She had heard a suspect was arrested; we’re still working to confirm that.
(added moments after original publication) ONE MORE TIRE TALE: Mark just emailed tonight to report finding this:
I was out walking our dog earlier this afternoon and came across a nice Schwinn bicycle wheel from a higher end road bike (appeared to have been a carbon frame, or at least a carbon front fork). It was on the ground by the West 206 apartments at California and SW College in North Admiral. I snapped the pic attached and leaned the wheel against the SW College side of the apartment building in between some bushes. It’s really odd – there are still remnants of the carbon fork attached to the hub, and I can’t imagine how it would have ended up like that without some serious force being applied. I was guessing a thief dumped it after somehow breaking it, but honestly no idea.
LETTER CARRIER HARASSED: This happened on December 26th in the 6300 block of 24th SW but just appeared in SPD’s Significant Incident Reports file today. Here’s the SPD summary:
On 12-26-2020 at 1520 hours, the reporting party, who was a male, called police because while conducting his mail delivery route, the roadway was blocked by a vehicle. He said the vehicle was preventing him from delivering mail to several homes. The caller waited a few minutes for the vehicle to move out of his way. When the vehicle did not move, the caller then decided to honk his horn. The vehicle continued to block the roadway, so the caller decided to approach the vehicle and make contact with the driver to ask her to move. The driver of the vehicle was described as a female, 5’11, medium build, long curly hair and all black clothing. The unknown female began screaming at the caller. She used a racial slur more than once and added that she did not like the way he wore his mask. The caller stated that no threat or assault was made towards him. The unknown female never prevented him from leaving. The caller stated it was unknown if he was targeted because of his race. Suspect not located at the time of this incident.
If you travel on West Marginal Way SW, here’s an alert about work that will mean lane closures tomorrow. From SDOT:
Tomorrow, Seattle Parks and Recreation will be performing emergency tree removal work. Parks will be removing 5 trees on West Marginal Way SW that are at risk of being uprooted due to heavy rains and could fall into the roadway, causing safety issues and unplanned road closures.
Tree removal will start as early as 9 a.m. on January 5 and continue through the afternoon. The trees are being removed approximately 300 feet north of the intersection of West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way SW. West Marginal Way SW will be reduced to one lane each way near the work area. People using the corridor should follow posted signs in the area.
For years, we’ve been reporting on the West Seattle Junction Association‘s struggle to keep the “free parking” lots free, despite the ever-rising property-tax bills – the lots are assessed as potentially developable land. They’ve tried fundraisers and other tactics to hold off the inevitable – but now, the “free-parking lot” era is about to end. Here’s the WSJA announcement we received this afternoon:
For more than 30 years, the West Seattle Junction merchants have paid for the ‘free’ parking lots in the heart of West Seattle. A benefit that has been shared with the community will be turning a new chapter in the parking-lot book in 2021.
“We live in a world where the definition of transportation has changed since the 1970s. People have the power to get around West Seattle in different ways,” says Lora Radford, West Seattle Junction Association Executive Director.
In partnership with Diamond Parking, who has been working with the Junction since 1997, the merchant-funded parking spaces will be upgraded to pay parking on January 15th, 2021.
The change comes at a time where the Junction has been shouldering the full cost of rapidly increasing taxes that have become unsustainable. 100% of the Junction’s portion of the revenue from the paid parking will be applied to the tax burden, lessening the amount due, but by no means paying for the entire obligation.
The idea of maintaining free parking in an urban village like the Junction (the last in the City of Seattle), is no surprise for the residents. In early 2019 the Junction conducted a community survey (through a grant), that underscored the sentiment free parking was an anomaly in a rapidly growing city.
Especially in this time, the Junction has asked the community to include the support of small business in their daily lives. The request for West Seattleites to pay a modest $2 to $3 per hour (the cost of a greeting card, cup of coffee, or craft beer) to preserve the economic vibrancy of their downtown should be a simple request.
“For many, experiencing the downtown of West Seattle will become easier,” continues Radford. “The ability to find parking each time you visit the Junction will increase dramatically with the movement into paid parking. Gone will be the days of cars parked in the lots for hours at a time.”
The experiences of West Seattleites are a true reflection of who they are and what they care about, and visiting the Junction is one of the most vivid examples of normalcy in a far-from-normal world. For some, a trip to the West Seattle Junction is, in itself, the only and best destination. People can feel the heartbeat of some of the best small businesses through a perfectly scooped ice cream, to the bite of a tangy piece of pizza, or through quirky items found at local independent shops. They can reflect on collections of cultural significance through the murals or take a stroll under the flower baskets heavy with summer blooms.
Luckily for them, the Junction can continue to offer an avenue to attract those uniquely Northwest experiences in West Seattle.
The Junction strongly believes in the continued community benefit provided to West Seattle residents. We believe the West Seattle Junction is the core of West Seattle where neighbors come together to meet which promotes community openness and sense of place. The wellbeing of West Seattle will continue through the ease of parking close to the very heart of our community through a new and modern version of history.
As explained in this WSB story almost three years ago, the Junction Association doesn’t own the lots, but its lease with the owners, West Seattle Trusteed Properties, leaves WSJA on the hook for the taxes, in addition to the rent. The lots include 228 spaces that have allowed customers up to 3 free hours.
ADDED 6:47 PM: To clarify a couple points raised in comment discussion – this involves only the four lots managed by WSJA – off 42nd south of Oregon, off the east side of 44th just south of Oregon, on the southeast corner of 44th/Alaska, and off the east side of 44th just north of Edmunds. Street parking is managed by the city, which has reviewed the Junction area twice in the past 12 years and concluded both times (2009 coverage here, 2018 coverage here) that metered/pay-station street parking was unnecessary, though an RPZ was added in 2019.
Two notes today about related school projects – the West Seattle Elementary addition, and the Schmitz Park Elementary portables that will be required to house WSES students during construction:
WEST SEATTLE ELEMENTARY HEARING: At 10 am Wednesday (January 6th) online, the district opens an appeal hearing on the project’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)-related checklist. (“Checklist” is the official term for this document, but it’s 228 pages long.- see it here.) The hearing is open to the public; this calendar listing includes information on attending by video or phone. The project is scheduled to start construction this summer and be complete in time for the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
SCHMITZ PARK ELEMENTARY PORTABLES COMMENT TIME: While the addition is built, WSE’s students are scheduled to spend the 2021-2022 school year at the former Schmitz Park Elementary campus. To facilitate that, the district plans to add 17 portables to the site, which held 20 before students were moved to the new Genesee Hill Elementary in 2016. 16 would be classrooms, while one would be restrooms. The two old portables left on the site would be demolished. After the year of housing WSE students, the district also plans for the site to be temporary home to Alki Elementary during its rebuild in 2023-2025. All this is detailed in the draft SEPA checklist for the project, on which the district is now accepting comments; you can see the 82-page document here. From the district website, here is how to comment, deadline January 11th:
Fred Podesta, Chief Operations Officer
Seattle Public Schools
PO Box 34165, MS 22-183
Seattle, WA 98124
This event Saturday is happening in the parking lot at Highland Park Elementary (1012 SW Trenton), but everyone’s welcome, whether there’s a student in your family or not:
The announcement is from organizer Dominique Pie, who you can call with questions, 206-437-4068.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Camp Second Chance, West Seattle’s only city-sanctioned tiny-house encampment, remains COVID-free.
That was one of the updates heard by the camp’s Community Advisory Committee in its monthly online meeting Sunday afternoon, which also featured a look inside the new tiny-house-building site in SODO that replaced the “big tent” at Camp Second Chance where volunteers built them previously.
CAMP UPDATE: Site coordinator Eric Pattin reported 53 people are now living at CSC (9701 Myers Way S.), 14 women, 39 men. Two people exited to affordable housing and two others left; all four were replaced by new arrivals.
10:17 AM: Thanks to @i8ipod for tweeting that photo from Alki about an hour ago, as high tide topped the seawall on the promenade. We noted back on Friday that today would bring one of the month’s highest tides, 12.6 feet, but as a texter points out with the screengrab below, atmospheric conditions pushed the actual peak even higher, close to 14 feet:
The highest predicted tides of the month are pre-dawn January 13 and 14, in the 6 am hour, at 12.8 feet.
10:35 AM: Just received Don Armeni Boat Ramp photos from Stewart L.
Note how high the floating dock rose, almost swamping the signage:
(Photo by Machel Spence)
Notes for the first post-holiday weekday of the new year:
TEST SITE REOPENS: West Seattle’s public COVID-19 testing site is open again for Monday-Saturday operation. Go here to start the appointment process. (2801 SW Thistle)
YOUTH WRITING COMPETITION BEGINS: Today’s the first day the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will accept entries in its youth writing competition on “Women History Makers of the Duwamish Peninsula.” Background info is here; winners’ essays will be published here on WSB, in addition to other prizes/honors.
CITY COUNCIL RETURNS: Meetings resume today after the holiday break. The 9:30 am agenda is here, 2 pm agenda is here (including info on how to participate in that meeting’s public-comment period). Both will be streamed live via Seattle Channel (cable 21).
SCHOOL MEALS: 11:15 am-1:15 pm, Seattle Public Schools meal sites resume full operation post-winter break.
6:16 AM: It’s Monday, January 4th, the 287th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project: Here’s what’s planned this week, including the postponed SW Thistle closure east of Delridge starting as soon as today.
Metro – Back to regular schedule
Water Taxi – Back to regular schedule
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.