West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Only one thing’s for sure about southbound West Marginal Way between the bridge and the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse: As it passes under the bridge, it will remain one lane.
Beyond that, a variety of options are on the table for that stretch of the street, as SDOT launches a public-comment period, with a mailer headed to 33,000 local mailboxes this week, and an online “open house” set for February 18th.
We first showed you the options a week ago, after SDOT included West Marginal in a wide-ranging West Seattle Bridge-related update at the WS Transportation Coalition meeting. Then last week, the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board got a detailed briefing, and today we met with SDOT reps for followup questions so we could take a closer look.
The nightly numbers check tops tonight’s pandemic roundup:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the key points of the daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health:
*78,863 people have tested positive, 177 more than yesterday’s total
*1,299 people have died, unchanged from Saturday’s total
*4,909 people have been hospitalized, 7 more than yesterday’s total
*862,969 people have been tested, 7,224 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, those totals were 77,017/1,264/4,815/832,970.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 106.4 million cases, 2,324,000+ deaths. See the other stats – nation by nation – here.
VACCINATION SITUATION: No major news today. No local sites added to the state’s “where to find it” map. We are likely to hear a lot tomorrow, though, when two City Council committees devote the bulk of their meetings to vaccination discussions – the city response during the Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting at 9:30 am (agenda/viewing/commenting info here), equity and distribution roundtables during the Governance and Education Committee meeting at 2 pm (agenda/viewing/commenting info here).
VACCINE FACT-CHECKING: Public Health has launched a new page to try to clear up some misinformation.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY BILL: Gov. Inslee signed legislation today affecting both unemployment benefits and the taxes businesses pay to fund them. Here’s the announcement.
NEED FOOD? This week’s nearest Food Lifeline distribution is 2-5 pm Friday (February 12th) at 815 S. 96th … Also on Friday, “snack packs” will be distributed in a free drive-up event at Highland Park Elementary, 3-5 pm, 1012 SW Trenton.
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Reminder to students thinking about, or planning on, entering the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s first-ever writing contest for youth – the deadline for entries is now one week away! The theme, as originally announced, is “Women History Makers of the Duwamish Peninsula.” From the SWSHS announcement:
Students should submit an essay that explores the contributions of a specific woman from the Duwamish Peninsula who has made a historical impact on the community, past or present, famous or not-yet-famous. Essays will be accepted in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Winners will be selected in each grade category outlined below:
Grades: 3 – 5: 250 words maximum
Grades: 6 — 8: 500 words maximum
Grades: 9 – 12: 750 words maximum
Essays will be judged by a panel of SWSHS staff, volunteers, and community partners based on the following criteria:
Demonstrated understanding of the woman as a person and the role she has played or is playing in the history of the Duwamish Peninsula
Effective use of descriptive language.
Correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar
For grades 6 and up, appropriate citations in any reference style.
The winner in the high school category will receive a $125 cash prize and the winner in middle school category will receive a $75 cash prize. Winners in all categories will receive a special certificate and gift from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Paper Boat Booksellers. Winning essays will also be published on the Historical Society’s website and West Seattle Blog. Best of all, winners will be honored at a special digital event hosted by the Historical Society!
The deadline for entries is 5 pm February 15th. Go here to enter.
You’ve seen the snow on the mountains, and if you were up early this morning, you might have seen some down here. Might we see more? The first official National Weather Service alert of the week has been issued this afternoon – a Special Weather Statement:
Cold air over British Columbia is likely to push south into Western Washington this week. … After the colder air arrives, a front might reach the area with a chance of snow Thursday and Friday.
You know how often local forecasts change, so don’t get too excited and/or worried yet. But do be ready. Snow or no snow, overnight lows are expected to dip into the 20s.
Two weeks ago, we reported on two local schools’ concerns over a district proposal to save money by cutting school-bus service. Seattle Public Schools says it would save $740,000 – chipping away at a projected $48 million shortfall next year – by dropping service to “option schools.” West Seattle has two – Louisa Boren STEM K-8 in Delridge and Pathfinder K-8 on Pigeon Point. The cuts would affect thousands of students district-wide, according to an SPS breakdown in this budget update on the district website. In an FAQ included in that update, the district responds to the question “How can families make informed [enrollment] decisions if they don’t know if transportation will be provided to option schools?” by saying that the enrollment period has been extended to February 26th. The budget isn’t finalized until summer, but one event of note will happen before that deadline – the School Board is having a “work session” at 4:30 pm Tuesday, February 23rd, focused on transportation. The agenda’s not available yet, but work sessions don’t usually include public comment, and a chance to have a say is what local families have been pushing for – both have online petition drives going, Pathfinder here and Boren STEM here.
ADDED: Two School Board members, including West Seattle/South Park rep Leslie Harris, are having an online community meeting about this at 3 pm Saturday (February 13th) – register here ASAP for attendance info.
Thanks to Lorie for mentioning a power outage that affected some homes in Belvidere early this morning. It was over by the time we saw her note, which meant it was no longer shown on the Seattle City Light power-outage map, so we checked with SCL’s Julie Moore about the size and cause. She tells WSB, “Apparently tree limbs caused a transformer outage impacting eight customers. Our records show the outage lasted 4:16-6:37 a.m.”
During this time of uncertainty, the West Seattle Bee Garden is also in a period of transition. Our volunteers who previously hosted field trips with local students are no longer available, and we’re seeking new recruits! The garden was created with the goal of educating Seattle residents about our ecosystems and importance of pollination, and we hope to keep our educational reach as strong as possible!
The WSBG hosted VERY limited groups in 2020 during the pandemic, and we foresee continued limited gathering in 2021. With information to guide safe decision making, we think hosting some groups outdoors is possible. Of course masks and social distancing will be required.
Since its opening in 2013, the garden has historically hosted 20-40 field trips per year, with primarily elementary-school-aged groups – typically on weekday mornings between 10 am and noon (timing is flexible). Field trips usually start with a 15-minute talk, followed by looking at the bees – although all ideas for creating educational experiences are welcome. Opening the hives has historically been included during field trips (and is admittedly a highlight), but this step is not required. Spare beehive components, large photos of bees, and information to learn the presentation material are also available. The adjacent pollination garden and P-Patch create wonderful opportunities to learn about plants, as well as their symbiotic relationship with bees. The WSBG is part of Commons Park in the High Point Neighborhood – the park provides a playground and large green space for students to play and eat lunch.
I am personally saddened by my inability to host field trips any more, due to a change in my work schedule. Witnessing the excitement and awe of children learning routinely brought joy to my days. On occasion I had the pleasure of witnessing local children return to the garden, and enthusiastically teach their parents what they had learned during a recent field trip. It is truly a rewarding experience.
We’re hoping to recruit volunteers who can meet with groups interested in coming to learn. I will continue to field email requests from teachers and group leaders, and help facilitate. The WSBG does not charge for field trips because we want to make access to education available to all. We do encourage donations from those able to donate. It is important for volunteers to reliably meet with groups at the coordinated times, as much effort and expense (buses) are utilized to organize and transport students.
More information is available on our website: westseattlebeegarden.com. Please reach out to me at email@example.com with any interest or questions.
Two months ago, Endolyne Joe’s in Fauntleroy announced it would close until “this nightmare is at least close to over.” Now that our area is in Phase 2 and indoor dining is allowed at 25 percent capacity, the restaurant at 9261 45th SW has decided to reopen next week, starting Tuesday, February 16th. The restaurant’s announcement says, “We have been freshening up our dining room and are having our wood floors refinished this upcoming week in anticipation of us giving indoor dining another roll of the dice!” Hours “for both in-house dining and low-contact curbside pickup” will be Monday-Friday 11 am-8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-8 pm.
The Seattle Public Library, which has four branches in West Seattle, is looking for a new leader – Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner has announced his departure after a decade. Here’s the SPL announcement:
The Seattle Public Library announced that Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner, who has led the Library since 2011, is accepting a new post as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Librarian for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, N.C.
“I am so grateful and proud to have led a passionate and creative team of people at The Seattle Public Library who deliver library services to one of the greatest cities of literature in the world,” said Turner. “I am confident the Library – with its dedicated board, strong leadership, committed staff and community support – will make a smooth transition, and I personally can’t wait to see how that unfolds. Thank you, Seattle, for the opportunity to be a part of your story.”
In a statement, The Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees president Jay Reich praised Turner’s leadership and accomplishments during his nearly 10 years of service, which he says leaves the Library in an ideal position to make the transition.
“While the Library Board of Trustees is very sad to see Chief Librarian Turner leave, his leadership has created a foundation of excellence that I know will sustain us through this transition and beyond,” said Reich. “Under his watch, the Library has earned national recognition and has underscored and reinforced its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. He leaves the Library well prepared for continued success. We wish him well in his new role.”
Reich said the Library Board will name an interim Chief Librarian very soon and will immediately begin the search for a permanent replacement. View Reich’s complete statement on spl.org.
Turner’s last day at The Seattle Public Library will be Wednesday, March 31. He will begin his new position as CEO and Chief Librarian of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library on Thursday, April 1.
(WSB file photo: Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner during a 2017 visit to High Point Library)
6:12 AM: Welcome to Monday, February 8th, the 322nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
ROAD WORK & MORE
Delridge project – The SW Thistle closure continues between Delridge and 20th. Here’s what to expect this week.
Fauntleroy Way work – The sewer repair, on Fauntleroy between Alaska and Edmunds as previewed here, is scheduled to be under way.
CHECK TRAFFIC BEFORE YOU GO
Low Bridge: Fifth week for automated enforcement cameras, while restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily. (Here’s an update on how it’s going.) Here’s a bridge view (note, it’s been experiencing intermittent trouble):
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden – with a new left-turn signal for northbound HP Way, turning to westbound 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 (note, it’s been experiencing intermittent trouble):
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.