West Seattle, Washington
11:24 PM: The Guardian One helicopter is helping Seattle Police search for a missing child. There’s no official bulletin out about him but what we heard on police radio was that he’s 9 years old, Black, about 4’5″, in a pink shirt. No other info about description or circumstances, so far.
11:49 PM: No word of the child’s whereabouts yet, nor have police issued a bulletin asking for the public’s help. Listening back to police-radio discussion from before the helicopter dispatch caught our attention, they are looking into the possibility he’s with a family member other than the one who reported him missing.
12:04 AM: Police have just now tweeted the child’s photo and name.
12:23 AM: Per scanner, the aforementioned family member has told police she has the child and he’s safe.
12:47 AM: Police have confirmed in person that he’s OK.
The phase-change news tops tonight’s roundup:
PHASE CHANGE: Gov. Inslee says our county and six others can advance to Phase 2, as of Monday. That means changes primarily for restaurants, fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment/recreation. Also, among other tweaks to the reopening policy, the state will review metrics every two weeks from here on out rather than weekly.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, here are today’s cumulative totals:
*75,682 people have tested positive, 393 more than yesterday’s total
*1,242 people have died, 1 more than yesterday’s total
*4,763 people have been hospitalized, unchanged from yesterday’s total
*822,810 people have been tested, 513 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 70,547/1,165/4,495/782,951.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 101.4 million cases worldwide, 25.7 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
WHERE TO GET VACCINATED – WHEN SUPPLIES ARE IN: Some QFC pharmacies will be sites – we checked the list today and the West Seattle Junction store is scheduled to be one of those sites. They join the Safeway pharmacies (Admiral and Roxbury) as places to watch. But those locations don’t have vaccine right now. And none are on the state’s location list, yet.
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 email@example.com – thank you!
Six years have passed since King County voters approved the first “Best Starts for Kids” levy, you’ll be asked in August if you support renewing it. King County Executive Dow Constantine‘s announcement says it has served more than 500,000 children in the past six years (here’s a report), “providing comprehensive supports from prenatal development all the way to young adulthood.” The programs proposed to be funded through the levy include:
• Home-based services for new parents – provides support for new families throughout the first years. In these programs, an average of 97 percent of new parents started breastfeeding, helping their babies off to a healthy start. This exceeded the goal of “Healthy People 2020,” a federal initiative with a goal of 82 percent of new parents breastfeeding.
• Programs that promote healthy development for youth – provides support for children and young people to develop leaderships skill, connect with their community, and succeed in school. The levy served 40,000 children and young people with programs before, during, and after school, and throughout the summer.
• Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative – flexible funds and intensive case management helped 9,200 young people and families. Ninety percent of enrollees did not enter the homeless system, and 92 percent remained housed at least one year after exiting the program.
Child care would also be addressed, “new funding for 3,000 children under 5 who currently have no access to child care.” So what will it cost? The first-year rate is 19 cents per $1,000 valuation, $114 a year for a “median-priced King County home,” with annual increases capped at three percent, raising about $811 million over the six years. The announcement says this is five cents more per $1,000 than the original Best Starts for Kids levy. You can read more about this in the full announcement. Next step for the proposal is a County Council decision on whether to send it to the ballot.
Around this time yesterday, we were reporting on a ground and air search in Highland Park for what was eventually described as a domestic-violence assault suspect – later revealed to have gotten out of jail two days after an arrest for attacking the same victim. The suspect, 25-year-old Ulises Chaires-Batalla, was charged today with four felonies. He was first booked into jail early Monday for attacking the victim in their Highland Park apartment. Court documents say his bail was set at $50,000 and he got out of jail Wednesday morning. Hours later, he was charged with assault and harassment for Monday’s attack. But by then, he had returned to the apartment, prosecutors say, pushing his way in, knocking over a baby swing holding their 3-month-old daughter, choking the victim in view of their 3-year-old and 5-year-old sons, then pulling her into a bedroom and raping her while threatening her with a box-cutter. Prosecutors wrote, “Perhaps the only thing that saved the victim was that she happened to be on the phone with a friend” when Chaires-Batalla showed up. Aware of the previous attack, the friend called 911.
During Wednesday’s attack, the court documents say, the little boys yelled at their father to “stop killing Mommy.” He fled when he heard the sirens of the police cars responding to the 911 call from the victim’s friend. In Monday’s attack, he also had choked her, and threatened to shoot her, according to those charging papers – again, in view/earshot of at least one of their young children. She waited for him to fall asleep before fleeing to a friend’s apartment in the same building and calling police. Their response included SWAT team members because she told them he had a gun; they were able to enter the apartment and arrest him. Chaires-Batalla’s bail is now set at half a million dollars.
If you are a victim of domestic violence – here are hotlines with people you can talk to now. If and when you are being attacked, you can text 911 instead of calling, if that’s safer.
2:36 PM: Just announced by Gov. Inslee as he starts another media briefing: The Puget Sound region in the “Healthy Washington” plan – including King County – will move to Phase 2 starting Monday. He’s changed the rules somewhat, enabling areas to advance by meeting 3 of 4 criteria instead of 4.
He also says the pace of vaccinating people is picking up, but the current bottleneck remains how many doses they can get from the federal government.
2:43 PM: The briefing has moved quickly to Q&A. The first question is about people who’ve had their first dose of vaccine and are having trouble getting an appointment for their second one. State officials who answered say it’s dependent on your provider, and the governor says he’s hoping that trouble will ease with the feds sending more vaccine.
2:59 PM: One of the changes is that they’ll be monitoring metrics and potentially announcing phase-change eligibility every 2 weeks, instead of weekly. But overall, he says a major drop in case numbers is one big reason that several counties including ours can move ahead. … Here are details on the governor’s announcement. … This is a two-phase plan, so, the governor was asked, when will we find out about what’s in Phases 3 and beyond? No word on that yet, Inslee replied. … The briefing ended at 3:11 pm.
3:29 PM: In case you’re wondering “so what’s allowed in Phase 2?” see page 5 of this. Biggest changes are for indoor dining, fitness, bowling alleys, movie theaters – all will be allowed indoor operations at 25 percent capacity.
Three West Seattle Junction biznotes, from the WSB inbox:
CITY MOUSE STUDIO: An update from the children’s-apparel store at 4218 SW Alaska:
City Mouse Studio in the West Seattle Junction is now back open with winter clearance! Prices are as marked and up to 60% off select items! If you would like to shop online at www.citymousestudio.com– we ship for free! We are also offering in-store pickups and front-door dropoff if you live in West Seattle.
Our current hours are:
Monday – Friday 10 am-4 pm
Saturday: Closed (will open back up in mid Feb)
Sunday: 10 am-3 pm
We are also HIRING! We are looking for a wonderful full-time employee to join our team. Tuesday – Saturday availability. Email resume and cover letter to: CityMouseStudio@gmail.com
PHOENECIA: The bistro at 4717 42nd SW is offering a Valentine’s Day Weekend dinner for two, $140, pick up February 12th, 13th, or 14th to reheat at home. See the full menu here. Pre-orders only – you can text 206-250-5482 to order.
PUERTO VALLARTA: The restaurant at 4727 California SW just announced that it’s opened some indoor dining per the state’s new “open-air” guidelines.
Got business news? Email firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Since the shutdown of the high-rise West Seattle Bridge on March 23, 2020, the city has restricted access to the low bridge (formally the Spokane Street Swing Bridge), saying that without restrictions, the low bridge would be jammed. At first, intermittent police presence was used to enforce the restrictions; now, cameras are up, photographing license plates for $75 citations to be sent to unauthorized drivers. Those cameras were activated two and a half weeks ago; SDOT says it has no stats yet on how many citations have been sent, but if you’re interested in the overall justification for restrictions, here’s a new document:
That 24-page document (also viewable here) is a “checklist” supporting a Determination of Non-Significance – a declaration that restricting access to the low bridge does not require a full environmental-impact study. It was linked from today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin. If you disagree and think the access restrictions should get a full environmental-impact study, you have until February 18th to appeal the determination – this notice explains how.
Highlights for the last Thursday of January:
DAY BETWEEN SEMESTERS: No classes for Seattle Public Schools.
SOUND TRANSIT BOARD: Monthly meeting at 1:30 pm, with topics including the consultant who will review the recent estimates of dramatically higher costs for West Seattle/Ballard light-rail. The agenda includes viewing information.
COMMUNICATING WITH PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA: Class presented by Aegis Living-West Seattle, 3 pm. Our calendar listing explains how to register.
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: SDOT and Sound Transit are tonight’s guests – here’s the draft agenda and guest list. 6:30 pm online, all welcome – here’s the videoconferencing link, or call 253-215-8782 (Meeting ID: 837 8280 7737).
6:12 AM: Welcome to Thursday, January 28th, the 311th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD (ETC.) WORK
Delridge project – The SW Thistle closure continues between Delridge and 20th. Here’s what else is happening this week.
California and Myrtle – The sewer-repair project continues – if driving/riding on California, be careful going over the bumps on the northbound side. Also, as we saw on Wednesday, you might occasionally have to detour around the site entirely.
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
Low Bridge: Third week for automated enforcement cameras, while restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily. (No stats yet.) Here’s a bridge view:
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):
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, both the arterials and neighborhood streets!)
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.