West Seattle, Washington
Tonight’s virus-crisis update:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, here are today’s cumulative totals:
*70,547 people have tested positive, 453 more than yesterday’s total
*1,165 people have died, 14 more than yesterday’s total
*4,495 people have been hospitalized, 1 more than yesterday’s total
*782,951 people have been tested, 508 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 66,486/1,132/4,377/765,546.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 93.1 million cases worldwide, 23.3 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
SITUATION REPORT: Elaborating on some of the trends we mentioned last night while summarizing state health officials’ briefing last night, here’s the newest statewide situation report.
SFD’S MOBILE TEAM ROLLS: As promised, the city’s first phase of the new vaccination program got going today:
Our Mobile Vaccination Teams began operating today, visiting adult family homes in the City to provide residents and staff with the first COVID-19 vaccine dose (Moderna). Read more about the vaccination teams here: https://t.co/2FTiwZuMdR 👏
*consent given by patients for photos pic.twitter.com/PY37cF3F3z
— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) January 14, 2021
NEED FOOD? 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th) HQ, emergency food boxes are available.
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
9:22 PM: Pay stations are going in tonight at the four West Seattle Junction Association-managed parking lots that move from free to fee at 12:01 am Friday. Other infrastructure was installed earlier this week:
And reminder notices were left on cars:
If you missed our previous coverage – the change comes after WSJA spent years trying to cover the sharply increasing cost of maintaining the free lots; though they don’t own the land, their lease requires the full property-tax cost to be passed through to WSJA, There’s no free period – $2 (plus tax) buys you from one minute to 2 hours – but remember that you have options: For example, if you’re just going on a quick run, many Junction businesses have curbside pickup spots, retailers (for online or phone orders) as well as restaurants. Some businesses have their own free parking for customers, too, from a handful of spaces behind California SW businesses, to garages in mixed-use buildings like Capco Plaza (42nd/Alaska) and The Whittaker (Fauntleroy/Alaska).
ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: The pay stations are in place:
You can also pay by phone.
Going on 44 hours since the first outages caused by Tuesday night’s windstorm, the biggest remaining pocket finally got power back tonight. We took that photo of a Seattle City Light crew working near 49th/Waite just after dusk tonight; the outage map shows the longrunning 300+-customer pocket in that area has had power restored. The map still shows more than 20 spot outages remaining around West Seattle – most affecting one or two customers. Around the SCL service area, 1,000+ customers are still out, down from what the utility says was a peak of 74,000 customers.
As previewed this morning, this year’s first West Seattle Art Walk is happening now! Above is one of the artists you can meet, Edimbo Lekea, the painter who founded Natty Dread Illustration to tell the “Untold TRUstory of the Afro-Diaspora.” You can meet him and see his art at Snip-Its (4506 California SW) until 8:30 tonight. Some other artists are having receptions elsewhere, while some have work you can enjoy online, and others are showing work you can enjoy at local businesses throughout the month – go here for the full lineup.
“This will be a year of rebuilding.” That observation from the new chair of our area’s largest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, as they met last night to elect new leadership – their every-two-years reorganization. After two years, Gina Topp decided not to run for another term as chair, and Carla Rogers was elected unopposed. They had a virtual gavel-passing during the online meeting (in our screengrabs below, that’s Topp holding the gavel):
Others elected included 1st vice chair Rachel Glass, 2nd vice chair Jordan Crawley, state committee representatives Chris Porter and Janine Anzalota, county committee reps Norman Sigler and Leah Griffin, county committee alternates Bunny Hatcher and Richard O’Neill, treasurer Julie Whittaker and secretary Sara Smith. Post-vote, Rogers – whose goals are laid out in the organization’s latest newsletter – observed, “This is going to be quite an adventure.” The organization spans the entire 34th Legislative District, including West Seattle, White Center, part of Burien, and Vashon/Maury Islands.
3:12 PM: Thanks to Kersti Muul of Salish Wildlife Watch for the tip: Orcas are in view from West Seattle right now! They’re visible from Constellation Park, east of mid-channel, Kersti says, southbound, passing Blake Island. Let us know if you see them.
3:29 PM: Update from Kersti – they’re “just hanging” off Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook (across from Me-Kwa-Mooks – she says they’re transients so they may well be hunting (transients eat other marine mammals, unlike resident orcas, who focus on fish).
4:22 PM: Among those who’ve seen them, Mike Jensen:
— Mike Jensen (@mjtwit) January 14, 2021
ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: Along with the photos in comments, here’s another one – from Kersti:
THURSDAY: If you’re out along the shore, be on the lookout for Laurie‘s neighbor’s floating dock. She sent the request for help:
During the big windstorm two nights ago, a little floating sea-life dock broke loose and floated away. It’s approximately 8×8 and has the letters “ADM C” on it. We’ve checked up and down Beach Drive to no avail and it’s possible it headed north around Alki (based on wind direction). If anyone sees it, please call Howard at 206-579-5316 and he will come retrieve it.
SATURDAY UPDATE; See comments – it’s been found! Thanks to everyone who looked.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force‘s first meeting of 2021 was far more of a briefing than a discussion, two hours stuffed with information tidbits on almost every bridge-related topic.
When the volunteer advisory group’s members agreed to keep meeting even after Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her decision to have the closed high bridge repaired rather than replaced, that was one major role they agreed to keep – community information conduits. So as co-chair Greg Nickels described it, what happened at Wednesday’s meeting was the start of their “second phase of work”; co-chair Paulina López also urged CTF members to let them know how they’d like to “devote (their) energy … to next steps.”
The meeting video is above, and the full slide deck is here; below, highlights of what the group heard:
BRIDGE UPDATES: The high bridge has now been closed for almost 10 months. Project leader Heather Marx said stabilization work – a necessary first step no matter whether repairs or replacement had been chosen – is done and now they’re monitoring the bridge’s stability. She showed a schedule for both high- and low-bridge work ahead:
Last month, we reported on Mayor Jenny Durkan‘s announcement that she planned to pursue a ban on natural-gas usage in many types of new construction. On Wednesday, while we were focused on windstorm aftermath, her office announced that the proposal has been officially sent to the City Council. Note, this is for new multifamily/commercial construction and major remodeling of larger buildings, NOT existing gas usage. Here’s the announcement:
Following the State Environmental Policy Act process, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that she has transmitted to City Council the proposed update to the energy code that would further electrify buildings using clean energy and restrict fossil fuels for most building use. By updating its energy code, the City will restrict the use of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating in order to cut down on the significant emissions contributed by the building sector. Space and water heating account for most building gas use according to City and national data.
“2020 and 2021 will be remembered as years of crises, and as we recover, Seattle can create a more equitable city with green buildings. It is up to Seattle and other cities to make the bold changes necessary to lower our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Durkan. “Business as usual will not get us to a future where all Seattle residents, especially our Black, Indigenous and people of color neighbors who are unfairly burdened by environmental inequities, enjoy a healthy and prosperous future. Electrifying our buildings is an important step in the many actions needed to curb climate pollution.”
The proposed Seattle Energy Code update includes the following key changes for commercial and large multifamily buildings:
Eliminates all gas and most electric resistance space heating systems
Eliminates gas water heating in large multifamily buildings and hotels
Improves building exteriors to improve energy efficiency and comfort
Creates more opportunities for solar power
Requires electrical infrastructure necessary for future conversion of any gas appliances in multifamily buildings
In 2019, Mayor Durkan issued an Executive Order committing the City to new actions that will support the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal. In addition to requiring that all new or substantially altered City of Seattle buildings operate without fossil fuels, City departments will work with the Office of Sustainability & Environment to develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings, improve data collection and sharing on Seattle’s climate emissions, and engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal.
The proposed energy code amendments will eliminate most direct carbon emissions from new commercial and multifamily buildings. Requiring these changes at construction is the most economical opportunity to transition to clean electricity. Without the proposed code changes, the City expects that greenhouse gas emissions from buildings to be at least 12% higher by 2050.
Since 2017, the City has also helped approximately 600 households convert from dirty, inefficient heating oil to clean, energy-efficient heat pumps. The City will convert more households to electric heat with the goal of eliminating heating oil use by 2028.
The City also requires Building Tune-Ups to help building owners identify ways to reduce energy and water costs. Through tune-ups, building owners find operational efficiencies and low- and no-cost fixes that improve building performance and can reduce building emissions 10-15% on average. Seattle’s largest buildings have completed 450 tune-ups to date, reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the city and saving money on their energy bills.
The Seattle Energy Code impacts new construction and substantial alterations of commercial and 4+ story tall multi-family buildings. The proposed code changes were recommended for approval late last year by Seattle’s Construction Codes Advisory Board (CCAB), an advisory body tasked with reviewing changes to technical codes for construction.
The City of Seattle is receiving technical support in developing the energy code from the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Seattle is one of 25 cities participating in the Climate Challenge, a program to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents.
With City Council approval, code updates will become effective in the spring of 2021, along with the full suite of Seattle building code changes in line with the statewide building code updates. For more information about the proposed energy code updates, including the proposed code language, visit the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections energy code web page.
We’ll follow up when it appears on council agendas (which you can always preview here, once they are published).
Tonight is the first second Thursday of the new year, and that means it’s West Seattle Art Walk night! The monthly Art Walk has continued during the pandemic as a mix of in-person and online showcases. Three highlights from this month’s preview:
FOGUE GALLERY: The new Junction art gallery at 4130 California SW welcomes visitors to its first Art Walk reception, 4:30-8 pm. Fogue is also an Art Walk co-sponsor (as is WSB).
CAPERS: The Junction shop at 4525 California SW hosts artist Reeve Washburn, 5-7 pm.
SNIP-ITS: The kids’ salon at 4506 California SW hosts artist Edimbo Lekea, 5-8:30 pm.
Some other participating venues are featuring art during business hours all month long – stop in at your leisure – and you also can enjoy a sampling of work by scrolling through this month’s preview.