West Seattle, Washington
A new year, a new plan, and that’s where we start tonight’s roundup:
NEW REOPENING PLAN: Out with “Safe Start,” in with “Healthy Washington.” That’s the reopening plan announced by Gov. Inslee at his afternoon briefing. This time, instead of county by county, it’s region by region, and advancing in phases is dependent on improvements rather than specific numbers.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now the numbers, as shown in today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals:
*65,144 people have tested positive, 232 more than yesterday’s total
*1,110 people have died, 14 more than yesterday’s total
*4,327 people have been hospitalized, 31 more than yesterday’s total
*760,782 people have been tested, 1,224 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the totals were 60,799/1,066/4,100/739,941.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 86.4 million cases worldwide, 21 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
IN-PERSON LEARNING UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools continues planning to offer in-person learning to preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and (some) special-education students starting March 1st. This update has answers to some common questions.
BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health officials plan to talk about vaccine prioritization during their weekly briefing at noon Wednesday – here’s the link.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
You’re invited to the District 1 Community Network‘s first meeting of 2021, 7 pm tomorrow (Wednesday, January 6th) online. The coalition of community advocates usually focuses on a variety of priorities, but this agenda also includes one presentation, the recently relaunched gondola-transit concept West Seattle SkyLink. We talked recently with its supporters, who believe gondolas could get people across the Duwamish River more cheaply and simply than light rail, especially with Sound Transit facing funding shortfalls and schedule realignment. If you’re interested in attending, connection and call-in information is in our calendar listing.
Back on December 7th, we reported on a chaotic incident involving gunfire and a crash in North Shorewood. Today, we learned a suspect has been charged. 19-year-old Naquan L. Mapp is charged with three counts of first-degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment. He is not yet in custody but a half-million-dollar warrant is out for his arrest. The charging documents say the incident started around 2:45 that afternoon, when three teens saw Mapp at a gas station on Roxbury. Driving a white BMW, he followed the teens, who were in a blue Corolla, after they left. When they rolled down the window to ask why, investigators say, he shot at them. Trying to get away, they continued to the intersection of 26th SW/SW 107th, where the Corolla’s driver hit a minivan and then a pole, causing the van to spin around and hit another car. The charging documents say Mapp was still following them and that he pulled up along the teens’ car after the crash and shot into it at least 13 times, hitting one of them in the leg and arm, before driving off. A passing car was hit by gunfire, too. Meantime, two people involved in the crash – one in the Corolla, one in the minivan – suffered head injuries. With the help of surveillance video, detectives say, they discovered the white BMW had been stolen from Kent almost two weeks earlier. Police found it abandoned late that night at Westcrest Park. Investigators identified Mapp with the help of two of the teens who had been in the Corolla – one of whom may have had some kind of “beef” with him – and charges were filed just before Christmas. Records show no prior criminal history. Side note: Though deputies said on the day of the incident that the Corolla also was a stolen car, that’s not mentioned in the charging papers at all.
Just got word from SDOT that the emergency tree-removal work will continue tomorrow along West Marginal Way SW, north of Highland Park Way. Seattle Parks was unable to complete the work today, so its crews will be back on Wednesday, again reducing WMW to one lane each way in the work zone. As far as we know, this work will start after 9 am as it did today. The trees are being taken out because they’re considered to be at risk of falling, with the ground so saturated by recent rain.
2:38 PM: Gov. Inslee and state health officials have just begun a media briefing/Q&A. You can watch live (and, afterward, archived) video above. We’ll post toplines as it goes. …. He begins by saying he’ll be talking about “a new way to move our state forward during the pandemic.” He reiterates, “We are not out of the woods yet,” but the new plan “Healthy Washington” will kick in “once we see COVID activity reduced.” The plan will not result in significant immediate reopenings, Inslee says, but will take effect 1/11 with “certain fitness programs” and “some live entertainment” allowed. This will be implemented by region, not by county, because “health-care systems are regional,” he says. The state will be split into eight regions for this plan. Advancing phases will be automatic when certain reduction goals are met.
2:44 PM: New state health secretary Dr. Umair Shah is speaking now. He says “disease growth has slowed – even leveled off” in many parts of the state. He says the restrictions Inslee ordered in November ‘are working.” Dr. Shah reiterates that the regional approach is important because of the way health-care systems are configured. There will be four metrics a region will have to meet to advance phases, he notes. The metrics will be checked on Fridays and any moving forward or back would be done on a following Monday. (It’s clarified later, this could mean some are eligible for Phase 2 as soon as Monday.) He also says “some additional information about vaccines and the 1b category” will be out later this week.
2:51 PM: Assistant Secretary Lacy Fehrenbach elaborates on the metrics, which include hospitalization and test-positivity data. The first round of analyses will be posted this Friday, she says, and any movement would take place next Monday (1/11, the day the plan starts).
2:55 PM: Inslee now turns to the vaccination effort and said he spoke with hospital CEOs this morning for an “assessment of our current vaccine rollout strategy.” CHI-Franciscan has administered 70 percent of what it’s received; Swedish, 67 percent; even higher percentages for some non-Western Washington systems. But he promises that efficiencies and “improvements” are being pursued, “to try to accelerate this program.” He says the CEOs expressed some concern about unpredictable delivery schedules keeping them from scheduling “large vaccine clinics.” He says more prioritization information will be coming from the Department of Health tomorrow, and a “Phase Finder” lookup will be launched so you can figure out what phase you’ll be in, and get notified when your phase is eligible. Moving the vaccine around has been “challenging,” he acknowledges.
Back to the disease situation: He says Washingtonians’ compliance during the holidays was good and that’s why things aren’t worse. He says “45 other states have higher infection rates” than ours. He believes that’s “saved thousands of lives.”
3:03 PM: Q&A. First is about more specifics on what’ll be allowed. Fitness – phase 1 starting 1/11, for example, “appointment-based fitness and training in gyms” with a space requirement. Live entertainment – “doing away with the blanket ban … (and instead implementing) restrictions on venues themselves,” so that something such as a person playing piano in a hotel lobby would no longer be banned. (We’re still awaiting the written details of the new plan.) … Another question is about how to find out about getting vaccinated if you are eligible. The hospital CEOs are willing to provide public access, for one, Inslee said, so a “regulatory change” is being pursued to enable that. He also suggested that “local smaller entities band together” to pursue access – say, small local dental clinics joining forces to contact a local hospital. First stop, though, should be “check with your health-care provider.” But so far, health-care workers and long-term-care facility residents and staff are who’s eligible. … In response to another question, the governor suggests that employers also can play a role in figuring out how to be sure their employees have access. … A little more info, in response to another question: Tennis would be allowed in Phase 1 as a “low-risk indoor sport.” … What about the idea of giving more people one dose of vaccine and worrying about the second dose much later? Dr. Shah says he’s not in favor of that so far – the vaccines were studied with two doses and they might be putting people at risk if they get one dose and not the other. Overall, the governor says, despite what you might have heard, “there’s very substantial vaccination activity going on in this state.” (He also mentions later that 30 percent of health-care workers so far have declined, and that rate needs to change.)
3:27 PM: Regarding the COVID-19 variants detected in other states/countries, Dr. Shah says they’re still watching for it and it’s another reason to remain vigilant with prevention efforts … In closing, the governor again thanked people for “saving lives” by following safety precautions. “We hope that people celebrate that accomplishment … there’s a reason for what we’re doing … life itself.”
4:30 PM: Full details are finally available – go here. Excerpt:
As for the metrics – from the Inslee website:
To go forward from Phase 1 to Phase 2, regions must meet all four metrics:
Decreasing trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population (decrease >10%)
Decreasing trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population (decrease >10%)
ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90%
COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10% To remain in Phase 2, regions must meet at least 3 metrics: Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population Decreasing or flat trend in two-week rate new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population ICU occupancy (total — COVID-19 and non-COVID-19) of less than 90% COVID-19 test positivity rate of <10%. Regions that fail to meet two or more of the above metrics will be moved back to Phase 1. The metrics for each region will be updated on the Risk Assessment Dashboard every Friday. Dependent on a region’s metrics, DOH will move into a new phase — forward or backward — the following Monday.
A variety of West Seattle business notes …
LIQUOR STORE CHANGING LOCATION, NAME: Back in November, Capco Beverages in The Junction announced plans to close. But there’s been a change in plan – manager Dolly Amend tells WSB the store’s been sold and will move. She says the new space is nearby – the former Subway and Junction Fitness spaces in lower Jefferson Square (4712-4714 42nd SW; photo above). The new name, she says, will be Northwest Liquor and Wine (same name as a Capitol Hill store, to which we’ve sent an inquiry). Until Capco’s closure in its current location (“by January 30”), everything is on sale, 20 percent off. P.S. As noted in November, the store’s current space is being taken over by Swedish, which has not responded to our repeated requests for information, but is shown on publicly filed construction plans as the new tenant.
PLEA FOR PUPS: It’s a tough time for small businesses of all types. One of West Seattle’s dog-care businesses poured his heart out to customers, and flagged us at the suggestion of one of them. Jeffrey Henderson of Good Dog, forced by redevelopment to move last year from south Morgan Junction to South Delridge, says they’re seeing about 25 dogs per day but need 40, or they’re facing closure. The move and the pandemic were a one-two punch, Henderson writes, explaining that they’re not looking for donations, just dogs. You can read his post here.
REOPENING: After a couple readers asked about MOD Pizza being closed at Westwood Village for at least a week, we checked with the company, which tells us the restaurant will reopen this Friday.
POP-UP: Silverdale’s KettleFish plans a “gourmet seafood meal kit” pop-up at West 5 (the West Seattle Junction establishment co-founded by KettleFish’s Dave Montoure). You can order a Cioppino or Bouillabaisse meal kit online for pickup at West 5 (4539 California SW) this Friday or Saturday. Both are described as featuring “wild caught Alaskan cod and a bounty of seafood: locally harvested Manila clams, Penn Cove mussels, Chilean rock crab, and shrimp.” You can order the pop-up kits online via the West 5 pickup menu.
11:38 AM: If you’ve traveled California SW through south Morgan Junction/lower Gatewood in the past few days, you might have wondered about that big tank in the middle of the street near SW Myrtle, accompanied by a lane closure and work crews. Here’s what we’ve found out: Seattle Public Utilities is repairing more than 55 feet of sewer main. The tank is to hold groundwater as needed; it’s known as a Baker tank. The project is expected to take a month or so. Neighboring residents/businesses were sent this flyer, SPU tells us; they’re looking into our followup question about whether the repairs are related to the extensive redevelopment on both sides of the street in that area in recent years.
5:49 PM: Reply from SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register: “The repair involved an 18-inch clay pipe that was installed in 1950 and showing signs of deterioration. The repair was identified as part of Seattle Public Utilities’ normal process to inspect our pipes to look for signs of deterioration and then make repairs as needed.”
Thanks to Jerry Simmons for the photo of today’s colorful sunrise. It’s a milestone – this is the last day of the winter’s latest sunrise (7:57 am) – tomorrow’s sunrise will be at 7:56 am, and ever earlier from there until it gets to 5:11 am in mid-June. Now, highlights for the hours ahead:
NORTHWEST SEAPORT ALLIANCE: 11:30 am online meeting with agenda items including the Terminal 115 fuel-station lease, as previewed here (follow that link for viewing/listening info).
GOVERNOR’S PANDEMIC BRIEFING: 2:30 pm online, Gov. Inslee and state health officials present the newest information on the pandemic; the livestream will be here. He had promised that an updated reopening plan would be made public this week, so that could be part of this.
DEMONSTRATE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: Organizer Scott‘s weekly announcement:
Black Lives Matter sign waving
Tuesday, Jan 5, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, Jan 7, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come show support for BLM and ending systemic racism. Hold signs, meet neighbors, and stand for racial justice. Scott at PR Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
Before 2020 is too much further back in the rear-view mirror, the West Seattle Food Bank is sharing these words of thanks:
We want to take a moment to celebrate you and all our neighbors who have supported us throughout 2020. Through your time, helpful words and actions, and donations, you have shown that the West Seattle community is here for one another.
While this past year has been one of the most challenging in our history, we have seen so many neighbors work together to find thoughtful and creative ways to get food and financial assistance into the community.
You have brought us so much joy this year and helped us stay hopeful through all the ups and downs. In 2020, over 3,000 neighbors gave their first-ever gift to the West Seattle Food Bank, joining our resilient network of supporters. We missed many longtime volunteers who were kept away by COVID-19 but have been fortunate enough to have roughly 240 new volunteers step in during this time. Nearly three times as many people donated in lieu of presents for birthdays or other holidays. We received gifts from as far as Germany and as close as the apartments upstairs, reminding us that our West Seattle community is more than a geographic location.
Together in 2020 we have:
-Expanded our Home Delivery program from 100 deliveries per week to 400 deliveries per week
-Increased our financial assistance program for rent and utilities by 200%
-Adapted our food distribution to an outdoor shopping model so neighbors can choose the groceries they need while staying safe and distanced
-Adjusted our Clothesline hours so neighbors have more flexibility to shop
-And, most importantly, helped our neighbors stay safe, fed, housed, and healthy.
As the late Mr. Rogers once shared, when looking to find comfort in scary times, his mother told him to “look for the helpers. You can always find people who are helping.” This past year has shown that West Seattle is a community of helpers. Seeing this commitment to helping others warms our hearts and bolsters our spirits as the work continues. We are grateful every day to be part of such a strong and caring community. Thank you all for your dedication to supporting your neighbors!
If you’re able to continue helping … or if you need help … all the info’s on the WSFB website.
Family and friends are remembering Lonzell Johnson, and sharing this with the community:
Lonzell Spencer Johnson
Born December 13, 1987 in Anchorage, AK
Died December 6, 2020 in West Seattle, WA
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Lonzell Spencer Johnson. Lonzell was a beloved son, caring brother, proud uncle, role model, and friend.
Lonzell is survived by his mother Barbara Eddy (John – deceased), father Paul Johnson (Launa), brother Nathan Johnson, sisters Joy Lacher (Joe, Josie), Sarah Cochran (Evan, Brody, Caden, Anna, LilyAnn), Melissa Johnson, Mallory Hanus (John, James, Maggie), ErinAnn Corwin (Josh, Edwin), and brothers Jesse and Reggie Johnson.
Lonzell was born in Anchorage, Alaska, but spent most of his childhood and adult years in Western Washington. Known as Lonnie to his family, he graduated from Enumclaw High School in 2006, and was an active participant in drama and student publications. He was a movie buff, collector, and loved competition. Baking was a favorite pastime, and Lonnie was known for passing out an annual tray of holiday treats to friends, family, and co-workers.
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 at 10 years old; his mother signed him up for Camp Leo for Children with Diabetes, something that would drastically change his life and the lives of so many others. Over the past 20 years, he has been an integral part of the Camp Leo community, starting as a camper and later serving as a key volunteer and staff member. He devoted his time to helping others. He was a member of the Enumclaw and Tacoma Centennial Lions Clubs, and one of the youngest-ever graduates of the Northwest Lions Leadership Institute. He spent time volunteering with nonprofit organizations including JDRF, ConnecT1D, and the Diabetes Education and Camping Association.
Lonzell’s positive impact on his community was immense and far-reaching. His infectious energy, deep thoughtfulness, quirky humor, and spirit of service changed thousands of people’s lives for the better in ways large and small. The outpouring of grief at his passing from people of all walks of life — those who knew him well or only a little, young and old, from across Washington State and beyond — is a testament to his ability to connect with others, and bring joy and wonder to their lives. Lonzell brought laughter and light to all those around him. Though he battled depression, we take comfort knowing that he is now beyond pain and suffering and his profound impact on those he inspired will never fade.
Condolences to the family can be sent to Barbara Eddy, P.O.Box 884, Buckley, WA 98321.
In light of the importance of Camp Leo to his life, supporters of Camp Leo have created the Lonzell “Stacker” Johnson Memorial Fund, dedicated to supporting children with diabetes and their families through the magic of summer camp. His Camp Leo community will also be holding an online celebration of his life in the coming weeks and an in-person celebration later in the year. Please contact email@example.com for more information on these events or on donating.
If you or someone you love is in emotional distress or crisis, please call the N.S.P. Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:07 AM: It’s Tuesday, January 5th, the 288th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
West Marginal Way SW – Emergency tree removal will narrow WMW just north of Highland Park Way, to one lane each way, starting after 9 am.
Delridge project: Here’s what’s planned this weekTRANSIT
Metro – On regular schedule
Water Taxi – On 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.