West Seattle, Washington
The vaccination situation brightens, as we start tonight’s pandemic headlines:
ANOTHER VACCINE: In case you missed it in the national news, the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine got an encouraging review today and is on its way to a final FDA decision, likely within days.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Now, from the Seattle-King County Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:
*81,525 people have tested positive, 146 more than yesterday’s total
*1,365 people have died, 8 more than yesterday’s total
*5,090 people have been hospitalized, 7 more than yesterday’s total
*896,855 people have been tested, 1,854 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 80,157/1,320/5,021/882,196.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.
RETURNING TO IN-PERSON LEARNING: The state released a new modeling report today. The description:
This new analysis by IDM entitled “Stepping Back to School” uses a detailed computer model of COVID‐19 to explore the interplay between disease transmission inside and outside schools in three steps: 1) introduction to school, 2) spread within school, and 3) exportation from schools. This step‐by‐step approach enables new insights into risks and mitigation strategies that could be applied to different schools and community contexts here in Washington State and elsewhere.
Read the full report here.
(updated) TWO BRIEFINGS THURSDAY: At 9:30 am, state health officials present their weekly pandemic briefing; you can watch here … Then at 3:30 pm, Gov. Inslee will brief the media and answer Q&A on the pandemic response. You can watch live here.
GOT INFO? Email us at email@example.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
Announced at tonight’s HPAC meeting (full report later): A chance to pick up free compost in West Seattle in a week and a half. It’ll be in the north parking lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) on Saturday, March 6th, 9 am-3 pm – or while it lasts. Each household gets up to a half cubic yard; it’ll be in bulk, so bring your own shovels/scoops and containers. It’ll be distanced, masks required, and you’re advised to be ready to wait in line. The giveaway is co-sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities.
Two days after the announcement of a proposal to relax rules for operating businesses at home, a City Council committee discussed it this morning. The Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee is chaired by the bill’s main sponsor, Councilmember Dan Strauss. No vote today, but the committee heard a presentation from council staff as well as comments from councilmembers and the public. The latter included the proprietor of a business cited as inspiration for the bill, a cider company that tried becoming home-based because of the pandemic but ran afoul of city rules. The main presentation/discussion starts at 1 hour, 21 minutes into the meeting video (which you can watch above or here on the Seattle Channel website). The presentation included a mention that if this is adopted, city staff also could start researching making some or all of its provisions permanent; otherwise, it would be temporary, for up to a year. Here’s the slide deck from today’s presentation:
Many of the questions asked during the briefing were from North Seattle Councilmember Debora Juarez. She expressed concern that, as written, the proposal could open the door for neighborhood businesses run from homes to endanger small businesses in nearby business districts. For example, she said, what would be stopping someone from turning their garage into an espresso stand, taking business away from an established shop a few blocks away that has higher expenses because it’s a permanent brick-and-mortar business? “I’m supportive of the intent, but the application … is where I get concerned.” Other agencies’ rules would still apply – for example, health rules for commercial food/beverage service – Strauss said. You can read the proposed legislation here; it’s expected to return to the committee for a potential vote on March 10th.
Two more dine-out fundraisers for local schools, including late word of one happening now:
GENESEE HILL PTA @ CHIPOTLE: Just got word of this – the Genesee Hill Elementary PTA is fundraising with a dine-out event at Chipotle in The Junction (4730 California SW) tonight until 8 pm. If you go, show this flyer (on your phone), which also has a code to use if you order in advance online for pickup.
ALKI ELEMENTARY PTA @ MISSION: This one’s happening Sunday (February 28th) at Mission Cantina (2325 California SW) in Admiral:
We are thrilled to announce that Mission Cantina will generously donate 20% of all sales that the restaurant makes to Alki Elementary PTA on Sunday, February 28th, for their full hours of 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. This includes all food, alcohol, and gift cards!
To order regular menu items please call Mission directly at 206-937-8220 on February 28th. Please note, we are encouraging families to work with the restaurant directly rather than use 3rd party apps such as Grubhub and Ubereats to help the staff get more of the funds from tips and orders.
Doug Ollerenshaw sent us the photos and report after looking into a bridge situation in West Seattle that reminds him, though on a much-smaller scale, of the “other” bridge situation that’s now in its 12th month – a maintenance problem and closure that won’t be resolved before next year. Above is his 2020 photo of a bridge across Longfellow Creek, near Greg Davis Park, that he noticed last year was showing signs of deterioration. Last summer, he noticed it had been removed, without public notice. “I figured it was a short-term thing, but finally started trying to figure out what was going on (this week) after seeing no sign of work on a replacement.” This is how the spot looks now:
He was pointed to the Parks Department, and got this explanation:
The bridge was removed in late summer/early fall this past year by our heavy equipment crew … The bridge had previously been compromised structurally for several years and the cracked stringer finally broke completely and was in the creek. We are looking for funding so we can identify a replacement timeframe/schedule. At this point it is uncertain, but hopefully, in 2022.
We’ll be following up on the funding issue, but in the meantime, this is one for the “in case you wondered too” file.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes, from the same block though not related as far as we know:
POLICE RESPONSE: If you saw/heard the major police response to California/Oregon a short time ago, it’s because there was briefly a “help the officer” callout over police radio. We went over to find out why. Police were briefly struggling with a man in his 50s described as a “person in crisis.” No officers were hurt; an SFD unit was dispatched to check out the man’s report of shoulder pain from what was radioed in as “bursitis.” He was taken into custody.
6:16 PM: The initial police summary has more details, and says an officer was hurt after all:
Officers responded to a Hazard call near 4453 California AV SW for a high/Intoxicated or in Crisis male walking in the roadway yelling at passing vehicles. As officers were trying to detain the subject for an ITA the subject resisted. During the handcuffing, the subject dropped to his knees and deliberately trapped one of the officer?s left arm under his body. The subject then deliberately rolled on the officer?s left hand which the subject still had trapped between his body and the curb causing injury to the officer?s left hand. The officer was transported to Swedish First Hill to receive medical treatment for his injured hand. The subject was booked into KCJ for Investigation of Assault.
ITA refers to our state’s Involuntary Treatment Act.
COFFEE SHOP BURGLARY: Earlier, we went to Lula Coffee Company (just north of the aforementioned scene) to check out a reader tip that they had been broken into. Lula staff told us that someone had rmmoved the drive-thru window to get in and steal a register. The shop is open (until 7 pm weekdays) but only accepting cards/Apple Pay for now.
Just three and a half weeks until spring. Two gardening/growing notes:
HPAC TALKS GARDENING/COMPOSTING TONIGHT: As previewed here, HPAC is focusing on gardening/composting during its 7 pm monthly meeting online tonight. Viewing/participation/call-in info is on the HPAC website.
HIGH POINT NEEDS FRUIT-TREE HELP: From community builder Ella McRae:
City Fruit is bringing more Fruit Trees to High Point in partnership with SHA/HOA/OSA and Neighborhood House. Are you interested in joining the High Point orchard planting? If yes, see the opportunities below:
We have two opportunities for volunteers to support!
1. The first opportunity will involve planting bare-root fruit trees. Bare-root trees are not stored in soil; instead, their roots are kept in damp wood chips or sawdust. The benefit of bare-root trees is that once planted, they establish themselves quickly and grow prolifically. However, the drawback is that these trees have to be planted earlier in the season. So, the planting of these trees will actually take place in early March — either Tuesday, March 2nd, or Tuesday March 9th.
2. The second opportunity falls on Earth Day, April 22nd. Although most of the trees for the orchard will be bare-root (and thus will be planted in early March), we will still have some volunteer opportunities related to installing signage and a few potted-tree plantings.
Interested? Contact Tiare, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email Ella @ Ella.McRae@seattlehousing.org.
After opposition greeted a suggestion to save up to three-quarters of a million dollars by cutting bus service to most “option schools” – including Louisa Boren STEM and Pathfinder K-8s in West Seattle – Seattle Public Schools is looking at other options too. The School Board spent almost two hours Tuesday hearing and talking about possible ways to save money on transportation; it was a “work session,” so no decisions were made. District staff said the underlying problem is that the state funding for school transportation falls short, so fixing that would mean cuts and changes wouldn’t be necessary, but that’s up to the Legislature and Governor.
(STARS is a state-funding formula.)
Each bus needed costs the district $102,000. Much of the transportation the district offers, it was noted, is not legally required; they could cut back on eligibility, but then they’d be getting less compensation. One possible way to save, district-wide: Group schools in three start-time “tiers” rather than the current two, meaning fewer buses would be needed; that could save $3 million to $5 million, staff believes. One board member said that wouldn’t be simple, recalling the difficulty of getting to the current two tiers. District staff also noted the possibility of unintended consequences – the current two-tier timing means more money has to be spent chartering buses for sports transportation.
Big changes would likely not be possible until the 2022-2023 school year, staff acknowledged, but for next year they could make some money-saving tweaks such as adjusting routes and walk zones, or offering more ORCA cards for older students to use Metro buses.
WHAT’S NEXT: School board members were asked to let staff know what they’re interested in pursuing; the topic will be brought back during a budget work session next week. West Seattle/South Park rep Leslie Harris asked Superintendent Denise Juneau if option-school principals’ request for a meeting with staff was being addressed; Juneau said she believed two members of her staff were “setting up some sort of meeting.” Meantime, though work sessions don’t have public-comment periods, you can comment via email – email@example.com.
10:37 AM: Thanks for the tips. Multiple people have messaged us about a Comcast outage in Arbor Heights; checking the outage map, both 98136 and 98146 are identified as having outages with “51 to 500” customers affected; there’s a smaller outage (50 or less) in 98106 too. We’re checking with the company to see if they can tell us more.
3:37 PM: A Comcast spokesperson says there are “no systemic issues.” But the outages are still showing on the map.
RSVP today if you are interested in this event with the West Seattle Democratic Women tomorrow:
February 25th via Zoom:
The West Seattle Democratic Women are offering a rare opportunity to hear a presentation by Reverend Harriett Walden, founder of Mothers for Police Accountability, member of Seattle’s Community Police Commission, and a well-respected community leader for her compassionate approach to challenging issues. The presentation begins at 11:45; pre-meeting discussion and short business meeting start at 11 a.m. To join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Wednesday [today]. There will be time set aside for questions.
(Photo via seattle.gov.)
6:16 AM: Good morning. Some sunshine in the forecast today.
ROAD WORK: Here’s the Delridge project plan for this week.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES: 338th morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how things are looking on other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: Seventh week for automated enforcement cameras, while restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily. Here’s a bridge view:
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 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.