day : 23/01/2021 10 results

CORONAVIRUS: Saturday 1/23/2021 roundup, including our weekly West Seattle trend check

Here are the mid-weekend pandemic toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: First, the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:

*74,214 people have tested positive, 413 more than yesterday’s total

*1,215 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total

*4,687 people have been hospitalized, 4 more than yesterday’s total

*812,614 people have been tested, 2,505 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, those totals were 72,274/1,188/4,665/790,996.

WEST SEATTLE TRENDS: Here’s our weekly check of this stat, with numbers shown in two-week increments via the “geography over time” tab on the daily-summary dashboard, combining the totals from the West Seattle and Delridge “health reporting areas” (HRAs). For the past two weeks, 210 positive test results; 268 in the 2 weeks before that; 299 in the two weeks before that. … We also are noting WS death totals each week; the HRAs are the most precise count. The total deaths for the entire pandemic in the two HRAs comprising West Seattle: 52, one more than a week ago.


WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 98.7 million people have tested positive, and more than 2,120,000 people have died; U.S. deaths exceed 417,000. Most cases: U.S., India, Brazil, Russia, UK (third consecutive week with the same top five). See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.

‘MORE CONTAGIOUS’ VARIANT: The more-contagious “UK variant” of the virus has shown up in our state for the first time, the Department of Health says:

Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) along with the Snohomish Health District and the UW Medicine Virology Lab, announce that the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 has been found in testing samples from our state.

The UW Medicine Virology Lab detected two cases of the COVID-19 variant, known as B.1.1.7 or SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01 in specimens collected from two Snohomish County residents. The lab screened 1,035 samples between December 25, 2020 and January 20, 2021 to detect mutations associated with B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom (UK). The lab confirmed the variant by whole viral genome sequencing. Data collected so far suggests a low prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant in western Washington. Although these are the first detected B.1.1.7 variants in the state, it is likely that other cases exist and will come to light through ongoing surveillance.

Read the full announcement here. And note that while it’s more contagious, the DOH says, “there is no conclusive evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.”

REOPENING: West Seattle Grounds says everyone tested negative, so it’s reopening tomorrow.

HELPING: 10 am-3 pm tomorrow (Sunday), Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) is collecting food and other donations – details here.

GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: ‘Spotty snow’ possible

Sub-freezing temperatures have been scarce this winter – but this morning’s official low (at Sea-Tac) was 29, explaining the ice-skating the Steller’s Jay was attempting in the photo above by Jerry Simmons. If you have a bird bath, you’ll want to keep it defrosted it in the days ahead, because more extra-chilly weather is on the way, including what the National Weather Service calls “a chance of spotty light snow at times in the lowlands.”

(Photo by Lynn Hall)

As for the near-term, tonight’s NWS “forecast discussion” says: “Clouds will increase tonight and areas of precip should start by daybreak. The hills might pick up a little wet snow tomorrow morning, but accumulations should be mainly in the grass rather than the pavement.”

(Frosty roof and foggy sunrise, by Coleman Smith)

After that, “Another front or two arrive late in the week–but it is too early to say much about that other than a low snow level is likely, but nothing yet looks like a slam dunk for the lowlands.” Snow or no snow, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights may get down to freezing again.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Closer look at ‘Phase 1 rehabilitation’

Exactly 10 months ago – on March 23, 2020 – the city announced the West Seattle Bridge was unsafe and would close within hours. At the time, there was concern it might be unstable enough to fall apart. Stabilization work ensued. SDOT refers to that as “Phase 1 rehabilitation” in a just-published closer look at the work it’s completed, including an explanation of what’s visible from beneath the bridge:

That graphic, credited to SDOT’s consultant WSP, shows, among other things, the bolts for the brackets holding the “post-tensioning” steel cables strengthening the bridge. In a summary of the stabilization work last month, SDOT said 10 miles of those cables had been installed. One of the final tasks, completed this month, was to coat those brackets, according to SDOT’s new update. So what’s next? The update has the same timeline reported in our coverage of this month’s Community Task Force meeting – they’re designing “Phase II” now, expecting to hire a contractor in the spring, starting the work in fall. The timeline shown at the CTF meeting suggested completion in midyear 2022.

Some startled by ‘Stay Healthy Block’ in South Alki

Steve sent that photo this morning showing “Stay Healthy Street”-style signage facing north/westbound trffic at 61st SW/Beach Drive, a little more than a block from the south end of the Alki Point Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Street. SDOT hasn’t announced any expansion of the program – hasn’t even decided the fate of the 63rd/Beach stretch – so we were a little skeptical, especially when we went to check it out and found this less-official-looking sign a block north, at 61st/Spokane:

We weren’t the only ones wondering; we got texts asking about it, and someone even called police to investigate, according to a scanner conversation. That call and our research reveal this is a legitimate “Stay Healthy Block” – shown on the map on that program’s webpage. The “Stay Healthy Block” program allows residents to request permission to close non-arterial blocks to through traffic up to 20 hours per week. The officer who checked out the signage told dispatch that it was authorized 10 am-4 pm on Saturdays; we went back for a look around 5:30 pm and the barricades were gone. Steve, an area resident, notes that using 63rd between Beach and Alki is faster anyway – if you haven’t been on 61st in a while, as we hadn’t, take note that it now has several sets of speed humps south of Admiral.

P.S. The city’s asking for feedback on Stay Healthy Blocks, which were launched – take the survey by going here.

GIVING: ‘Little Free Toy Box’ awaits visitors

The photo is from Karen, who says, “Our little free toy box has had so many donations that they don’t all fit! We’d love to have people stop by and pick a toy!” You’ll see it in the 8600 block of 18th SW [map].

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 stolen vehicles to watch for

Two vehicle-theft reports received so far today:

That’s Indy‘s red 2001 Subaru Impreza hatchback. The plate in the photo is NOT the current plate – the car now has license # BUZ7132. Indy says it was “last seen in West Seattle 1/22/21.” Next, Jesse‘s stolen Toyota:

Jesse reports, “My truck was just stolen around 1:15 pm today in broad daylight in the 30th Ave SW alley behind Luna Park Café. They apparently took something out of my neighbor’s truck, and cut through the club on my steering wheel. They might not get far though, the engine surges when at an idle stop…” The plate, shown in the photo, is BTZ1825.

If you see either of these – or any other known stolen vehicle – call 911.

TRAFFIC ALERTS: Seattle City Light work continues downhill from Olson/Myers; 1st Ave. S. Bridge crash

2:20 PM: Thanks to @clarisaface for the tweeted photo/tip. There’s traffic trouble on the uphill side of the 1st Avenue South hill east/northeast of Olson/Myers, because Seattle City Light is still working at the site where one or more trees took out lines and caused that 5,700-customer power outage Friday afternoon. The SCL map shows 74 customers still out, 25 hours later, in that area of southeast West Seattle.

2:42 PM: Also of note, a crash response is blocking multiple northbound lanes on the 1st Avenue South Bridge.

Volunteer storytelling along Alki path of ‘Walking in Eva’s Shoes’ – and a winner!

(WSB photo)

Until 2 pm, you can be “Walking in Eva’s Shoes” and finding Save The Stone Cottage volunteers at any or all of five historic spots on Alki. We stopped by Luna/Anchor Park and found local historians Clay Eals (above left) and Ken Workman (above right) – a descendant of Chief Seattle – there to share stories including the site’s fame as home to a waterfront amusement park more than a century ago. This is all to commemorate how the Stone Cottage (1123 Harbor SW) got its unique look – with wagonloads of beach stones hauled by Eva Falk and her family from Alki Point to the bungalow’s site across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp. The Stone Cottage itself is another of the stops along today’s self-guided walk, as are the Alki Point Lighthouse, the “Birthplace of Seattle” monument at 63rd/Alki, and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s Log House Museum at 61st/Stevens. More info here; this is all part of a series of events sponsored by the local advocates working to preserve the Stone Cottage, crowdfunding to move it to an interim site before a redevelopment project starts where it is now.

P.S. Today’s walk also featured optional participation in a search for the third “Story Stone” – just as we finished writing this, we got word there’s been a winner – Beata S.:

(Photo courtesy Save The Stone Cottage)

Save The Stone Cottage’s Jeff McCord says, “Beata S. impressed us all by not only completing the “Walking in Eva’s Shoes” walking event at 11:33 am this morning, but answering all five puzzle questions correctly! Congratulations, Beata!!” Here’s her story.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 more robberies, 1 arrest

Two more store robberies last night, we’ve learned this morning, and the suspect in one was arrested. Here’s the SPD summary on that one, which happened just after 10:30 pm:

A suspect smashed one of the front-facing windows of the 7/11 at 35th Ave. SW/SW Avalon Way. The suspect entered the store, threatened to kill the clerk and a customer, went behind the clerk’s counter and stole merchandise while holding a blunt-object weapon. The suspect had just fled from across the street where he had committed a burglary by breaking into a building by smashing out a front-facing window. Patrol officers responding to the burglary chased the suspect on foot as he fled the robbery. The suspect was captured four blocks away. The suspect was booked into KCJ for Investigation of Robbery and Investigation of Burglary.

(The burglary was at the 3295 SW Avalon building – added beliw, the boarded-up door:)

The other robbery was the third Walgreens robbery this week in West Seattle, second one at the 15th/Roxbury store. Few details except that one person robbed the store by implying they had a gun, making off with about $250. No suspect description provided but police do not believe last night’s two robberies were related.

WEST SEATTLE SATURDAY: Low-bridge closure; ‘Walking in Eva’s Shoes,’ free food, more…

We start Saturday with a traffic alert:

(“Live” view of SDOT camera)

LOW BRIDGE CLOSURE: 8 am-1 pm, the low bridge is scheduled to close to all but emergency traffic, so it can be inspected. Here are the bus reroutes:

C Line

Route 21

Route 50

Routes 120 & 125

WALKING IN EVA’S SHOES 10 am-2 pm, walk Alki and imagine Eva Falk‘s journey toting the stones that cover the historic (and endangered) Stone Cottage – at five stops along the way, including the Stone Cottage itself, volunteers will tell the true stories of those places’ histories. More info here!

(Photo by James Bratsanos)

NEED FOOD? Get it free, while supplies last, today at the Greater Seattle Filipino-American SDA Church, starting at 2:30 pm, 2620 SW Kenyon.

STREETCAR HISTORY: If you missed out on registering for Historic Seattle‘s 11 am online presentation about West Seattle’s streetcar history, good news – it will be livestreamed here.

(Photo by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

SUNSET: 4:57 pm.