West Seattle, Washington
Looking across Elliott Bay from Seacrest tonight, T-Mobile Park was the brightest sign of the Inauguration Eve vigil, coast to coast, in memory of the 400,000+ people lost to COVID-19. Some lit candles at home – Steve sent this photo:
Steve wrote, “In honor of all those who have lost their life to the Covid-19 virus … and the hope of a better time ahead. I think the sign says it all.”
Finally, fiddler Dawn Hepburn with the National Anthem, for an audience who truly knows the pandemic pain:
Dawn explains that this was “Zoom ‘virtual volunteering’ for Providence Mt. St. Vincent. I play familiar tunes for the residents with dementia. For today, the eve of the Presidential inauguration, I played ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ lyrics by Francis Scott Key and music by John Stafford Smith. Kudos to Suzanne Gollhofer, Activity Program Supervisor, who set this up and is working so hard to keep the residents enriched. I hope this video encourages everyone to reach out with love, how we can, where we can.”
P.S. Tomorrow’s official schedule is here.
The data update is back tonight, so that’s where we’ll start:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s what’s in today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals – note that there was no update yesterday:
*72,600 people have tested positive, 618 more than Sunday’s total
*1,185 people have died, 6 more than Sunday’s total
*4,617 people have been hospitalized, 24 more than Sunday’s total
*801,551 people have been tested, 5,299 more than Sunay’s total
One week ago, the totals were 69,522/1,148/4,488/780.231.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 96.1 million cases worldwide, 24.2 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.
In the new tab, you can view the number of doses given in each county and statewide in a map view or by date. For the state level, you can also see the number of doses delivered to providers and the number of doses delivered through the federal long-term care program. The new tab also shows the population percentage and number of people who have received at least one dose of vaccine and completed the recommended number of doses in each county and the state.
All healthcare providers in our state (including hospitals, pharmacies and primary care providers) are required to report when they give a COVID-19 vaccine to a patient within 24 hours of doing so. Most vaccination data should appear in the dashboard within seven days of when the vaccine was given. We will update the dashboard three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
VACCINE-INFO LINKS: The PhaseFinder is here – to determine whether you’re eliglble yet – and known vaccination locations are here. (Check with your health-care organization/provider first, once you’re eligible.)
BRIEFING TOMORROW: State health officials will present their weekly briefing at noon Wednesday – here’s the link for the live stream.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
So confirmed Lt. Dorothy Kim during tonight’s online West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, a short and sparsely attended gathering. It was led by precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner. Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman was unable to attend, so the meeting-opening update was brief, just a quick recap of some of the 2020 crime stats we reported last week.
That’s a view of tonight’s sunset from Upper Fauntleroy, photographed by 6-year-old Ethan. We’re taking the occasion to check in on the weather chatter about the possibility of a little snow this weekend. The National Weather Service “forecast discussion” says in part:
A stronger, more organized frontal system will … drop SE into the area Saturday night into early Monday. We’re still keeping an eye on the possibility of lowland snow with this system as snow levels drop to near 500 feet and possibly to sea-level in some spots. About half the ensemble members continue to indicate a rain/snow mix or light snow in the Seattle metro but have backed off slightly on potential accumulations …
So don’t get too excited (or worried) yet. Between now and then, cloudy but dry until possible Thursday rain, then two more sunny days are expected.
When the state Transportation Commission set toll rates for the Highway 99 tunnel, the rates were planned to increase 3 percent every 3 years, starting in July 2022 – subject to annual review. Today, the commission was told tunnel tolls might have to rise sooner, since traffic is down and therefore revenue is down. The commission’s monthly meeting included an update on toll revenues from WSDOT facilities, particularly Highway 520 and the 99 tunnel, which started charging users in late 2019. For the 99 tunnel, revenues are 45 percent below what was expected, pre-pandemic.
That’s particularly problematic because an intradepartmental $10 million loan is due soon. The governor’s proposed transportation budget would allow that to be deferred, the commission was told, but $4 million would still be due in a few years, and the financial picture doesn’t look much rosier in the next few years. Raising tolls and/or cutting operation/maintenance costs are the main options WSDOT has for dealing with it. The latter doesn’t seem terribly likely, as another presentation at today’s meeting also mentioned higher costs systemwide from a variety of operational elements, including “repair/replacement” costs and changes in “back-office” and tolling systems. No specific potential increases were mentioned, but staffers told commissioners that if they wanted to implement a toll increase this July, they would need to get the process going ASAP.
Tomorrow, Kamala Harris makes history as America’s first female, first Black, first South Asian vice president. In honor of this historic Inauguration Day, Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction is giving away “Madam Vice President” wall calendars, with purchases, through tomorrow. We just heard about this from a customer who texted, and we subsequently confirmed with Paper Boat co-proprietor Desirae that they have about 20 left. Paper Boat is at 6040 California SW, open until 6 pm (and 11-6 tomorrow).
From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin: The city has reissued its notice that a land-use application has been filed by the developers planning 9 townhouses at 7035 Delridge Way SW. The project, which includes 9 offstreet-parking spaces, has been in the pipeline for more than two years. It’s been going through Administrative Design Review; here’s the original design packet from last August. Comments will be accepted through February 2nd; the new notice explains how to send in yours.
Announced this afternoon by SDOT:
The Seattle Department of Transportation will restrict all traffic from the Spokane Street Swing Bridge (West Seattle Low Bridge) on Saturday, January 23 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This temporary restriction applies to everyone, including all vehicles which are normally authorized to use the bridge except for emergency vehicles. Both the roadway and path on the bridge between West Seattle and Harbor Island will be closed to all people driving, walking, biking, rolling, and taking the bus.
This short-term traffic restriction will allow crews to survey the system that latches the two spans of the bridge together. The bridge will remain operational for maritime traffic during the restriction.
Emergency vehicles will continue to be allowed to cross the bridge. Signs are in place to guide people driving, biking, and taking transit through routes over alternative crossings of the Duwamish Waterway, like the First Avenue South Bridge.
As part of another expansion of pandemic-era services, the Seattle Public Library has just added two more days of curbside service each week at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW). Starting today, that branch will offer curbside service noon-6 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays. Southwest is one of two branches on the peninsula that offer curbside service; the other is High Point (3411 SW Raymond), which remains on a three-day-a-week curbside schedule, noon-6 pm Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Those two branches also are among the locations where SPL is now providing curbside printing-pickup service. SPL also has added return services at the West Seattle (Admiral) branch (2306 42nd SW) and South Park branch (8604 8th S.); the Delridge branch is now the only branch in our area without either curbside service or return service.
While the city has pursued dozens of projects large and small to deal with traffic trouble resulting from the West Seattle Bridge closure, unofficial “projects” have popped up too. Sometime last weekend, baskets of pedestrian flags appeared on all four corners at 37th SW and SW Thistle (we noticed this because it’s on our walking route). Though we don’t have data, we can say anecdotally that SW Thistle, like some other east-west arterials, has become busier since. Along with the flags, new temporary city-provided yard-style signs were placed along the street – with reminders that intersections are crosswalks, even if they’re not striped. While flag baskets are no longer provided by the city, you can get signs from SDOT – they should be available at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW), but check first, as explained here.
Looking ahead to the rest of today/tonight:
CITY COUNCIL: Meetings are one day later than usual this week because of the holiday. The “briefing” meeting is at 9:30 am, agenda here; the regular full meeting is at 2 pm, agenda here. (Both agendas include information on viewing; the 2 pm agenda includes information on how to comment.)
STATE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION: Highway 99 tunnel toll revenue is down, unsurprisingly. The state Transportation Commission, which sets toll rates, has that on its agenda for today, first day of the monthly two-day meeting, at 1:15 pm; the agenda includes information on viewing.
SAVE THE ARCHIVES: The Duwamish Tribe is asking for support at this online public meeting today:
Save the Historical records and archives on behalf of the Duwamish Tribe
Public Meeting on Jan. 19 re: National Archives Facility in Seattle … hosted by Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday, January 19, from 3:30 to 5:30.
We invite you to participate to provide comments about the closure of the facility and transfer of the un-digitized records to Southern California and Missouri.
Meeting ID: 838 5218 6385
DEMONSTRATE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE: Scott from Puget Ridge Cohousing continues organizing two demonstrations each week:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Tuesday, January 19, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Thursday, January 21, 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.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL: 6 pm online, hear from and talk with local police about crime/safety trends and concerns. Participation info is in our calendar listing.
PRAYER FOR NATIONAL HEALING AND HOPE: Organized by West Side Presbyterian Church, online at 7 pm tonight.
(added) CHIEF SEALTH IHS PTSA: 7 pm general meeting, online – registration required.
FOOD FUNDRAISER: Today’s the deadline to order three family dinners from Dream Dinners-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) for the Denny International Middle School fundraiser pickup on Thursday – details in our calendar listing.
6:07 AM: It’s Tuesday, January 19th, the 302nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Water Taxi – Back to its regular schedule
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project – The SW Thistle closure between Delridge and 20th continues. Here’s what else is expected this week.
California and Myrtle – The sewer-repair project continues – if driving/riding on California, watch out for the bumps.
Sylvan Way work – Also beware of the bumps left after this weekend work.
Arbor Heights project – Gas-line replacement work on SW 104th is scheduled to continue.
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
Low Bridge: Second week for automated enforcement cameras, while restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily.
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
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 all the other detour-route neighborhoods!)
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.