West Seattle, Washington
Lots of pandemic news tonight:
PHASE 2 AND HOLDING: During his briefing this afternoon (see the video here), Gov. Inslee said the entire state will remain in Phase 2 for at least the next two weeks, “paused” without any chance any region could fall back into Phase 1. He said that so much progress has been made, the possibility of a “circuit-breaker’ isn’t necessary, for now. So what about a Phase 3? That will be answered “in the next several weeks,” he said. In Q&A, he allowed it could be sooner.
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, here are today’s cumulative totals:
*81,786 people have tested positive, 261 more than yesterday’s total
*1,373 people have died, 8 more than yesterday’s total
*5,088 people have been hospitalized, 2 fewer than yesterday’s total (data correction)
*899,466 people have been tested, 2,611 more than yesterday’s total
One week ago, the four totals we track were 80,635/1,331/5,042/884,554.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 112.9 million cases worldwide, 28.4 million of them in the U.S. See the nation-by-nation breakout here.
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS’ BRIEFING: This morning, the weekly briefing by state Health Department leaders included the latest vaccination overview – 1.4 million doses given statewide so far, “making up for lost time” now that weather delays are over. Next week the state’s getting 280,000 doses, and if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine gets approval, 60,900 doses could be sent to our state next week. The virus variants were discussed a bit too – in the past month, the state has had 39 reported cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, for example. Watch the briefing here.
CITY CLINIC FOLLOWUP: Last Sunday, we published word of a city-run pop-up clinic that at the time had appointments available for West Seattle and South Park residents 65+ Friday-Saturday. Today, the city finally officially announced it in a news release (though the appointments are long since all booked), calling it a “pilot” of a “Community Testing & Vaccination Site” that will be operated long-term once the vaccine supply allows. So thanks again to reader Ann for sharing the news of the short-term clinic in time for people to get appointments!
NEED FOOD? Along with the weekly distribution of food boxes tomorrow at 2-5 pm tomorrow at Food Lifeline (815 S. 96th) HQ, there’s also a Snack Pack distribution at Highland Park Elementary (1012 SW Trenton), drive-thru, 3-5 pm tomorrow.
GOT PHOTOS/TIPS? 206-293-6302, text or voice, or email@example.com – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The first West Seattleite to declare she’s running for City Council citywide Position 9 has campaigned for a council spot before.
Back in 2015, Brianna Thomas finished fourth in a field of nine during the first-ever District 1 primary election.
At the time, she had a resumé of political and community organizing. Since then, she’s learned about City Council work from the inside, as chief of staff for Council President Lorena González, whose run for mayor is opening the position Thomas is seeking.
We talked with Thomas by phone at midday today, a few hours after her campaign was announced.
5:17 PM: Thanks for the tips and photos! Wildlife advocates and state/local officers teamed up this afternoon to help a possibly injured or ill Bald Eagle at Don Armeni Boat Ramp.
One neighbor explains that he observed the eagle spending a long time just hanging out on the ground, moving very little even with people nearby – that’s unusual behavior. Wildlife advocate Kersti Muul told us, “It was flying short distances as they were chasing it but it did not want to fly. Its tail looked like it might be a little off.” It was captured for transport to PAWS:
David Hutchinson of Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network says his group got a call about the eagle being on the lawn at the park; “Seal Sitters assisted in taping off the area. A number of calls had been made and Fish & Wildlife Police dispatched two officers. They eventually captured the eagle and provided transport to PAWS for examination and possible rehab. Special thanks to the passersby who took an interest in helping this eagle and to Seattle Parks and the Seattle Police Department, who quickly responded and helped monitor and secure the area.”
11:12 PM: Kersti says she’s been told a vet will examine the eagle tomorrow. Meantime, she sent photos from this afternoon too:
The state ferry MV Cathlamet has just returned to the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth much sooner than expected, after repairs were completed quickly, so that route is now back to two Issaquah-class vessels.
For the second time in three weeks, somebody has stolen a vehicle from the Chevron station at Delridge/Orchard – and a suspect’s been arrested. (Same service station, different suspect.) Last time, the arrest happened blocks away, after the stolen vehicle ended up crashed on its side. This time, the vehicle was a work truck, taken after its driver parked it and left it running around 6:30 this morning. A tracking device led police to an area in South Seattle, where they found the truck, with the suspected thief – ID’d by the Delridge victim – in it. He also turned out to have a felony warrant from another auto-theft case in which he is charged, so we are identifying him as 24-year-old Cainan Bear-Garza, whose previous arrest was one month ago today for allegedly robbing Delridge Home Depot (he spent 11 days in jail after that arrest). The warrant’s not for that case, though; it’s for an October auto theft in the Roxhill area, for which he was charged a day after he was jailed in the Home Depot case. The warrant was issued, documents say, because Bear-Garza failed to show up for the day-reporting program to which he was assigned when he was released on February 5th.
3:37 PM: Police and fire are responding to the 2700 block of Harbor Avenue SW for a crash, with at least one person reported injured. Avoid the area.
4:20 PM: By the time we got there, emergency crews had already departed, nobody there but a tow truck and the two damaged vehicles:
We are checking with SFD on whether anyone was taken to the hospital.
ADDED FRIDAY: SFD tells WSB that a 23-year-old man was transported, in stable condition.
The longtime principal of Chief Sealth International High School, Aida Fraser-Hammer, is in her eighth year there, and has just announced it will be her last. Here is the letter she sent to the school community:
It is a tremendous honor being principal at Chief Sealth International High School. I truly love the school and I cannot see myself working anywhere else. When I walked in the doors of this beautiful school 8 years ago, I had already fallen in love with the students and I was driven by my deep desire to provide them with the education they deserve, an education that empowers the powerless, open doors for the uninvited, and makes dreams a reality. I truly appreciate the trust that you placed in me to guide the school to where we are now. Together we have designed the path to social justice and equity in education. Without your support, our school would not be on the cusp of becoming a place where ALL students belong. YOU made the difference for our students, and along the way YOU have empowered me.
By means of this letter, I would like to let you know that I have decided to retire at the end of this school year. My decision to leave was a very difficult one to make. It was difficult because I am still in love with the school and to our mission; and I am still committed to the students, to you, and to the community. However, the time has come for me to fulfill a promise that I made 40 years ago to my late husband. I will work with the Human Resources Department and the district Leadership Team to find my replacement. Together we will ensure a smooth transition and a continued emphasis on increasing student voice, embracing practices that focus on the value of people as individuals, appreciating ethnic/cultural contributions, practicing inclusion, demanding academic relevance and authenticating the assessment process. I leave with appreciation for your support, encouragement and trust. I grew professionally and personally over the last eight years, and I am thankful for all the valuable lessons and wonderful memories. I am going to miss coming to work every day.
As I fulfill my long-standing promise, I will remain active during my retirement. I will travel, volunteer with DAWN and CASA, and explore any enticing opportunity that comes my way. I will also host family reunions in Trinidad and Nicaragua so my children and grandchildren can become more acquainted with their complex heritages. I may also find time to write my autobiography. And of course, I will keep in touch with you.
Although my date of departure is still a long way off, I want to express my best wishes to everyone at Chief Sealth. I wish you all continued success and growth with current and future projects. It’s great to be a Seahawk!
Before Fraser-Hammer started in fall 2013, Chris Kinsey was Sealth principal for 2 years; he was preceded by John Boyd, who was there for 7 years.
ADDED FRIDAY: Fraser-Hammer has since sent a letter to families, and asked us to add it to the story:
If you noticed all those city vehicles parked alongside SW Thistle just east of Chief Sealth International High School, here’s what was happening: The Clean City Initiative spent time this morning at Longfellow Creek P-Patch, focused on the area behind the garden. We don’t have a “before” photo, but here’s the creekside greenbelt after more than a ton of trash and junk was removed and other maintenance work was done:
The garden beds are tidy too:
Clean City is a new multidepartmental program in which crews from Seattle Public Utilities, Parks, and SDOT visit various locations for “trash pickup and enhanced maintenance,” including graffiti removal where applicable. Previous West Seattle stops have included Greg Davis Park in North Delridge; the mayor’s office tells WSB that Camp Long is on the schedule next month. Crews’ work around the city removed more than a million pounds of trash and junk in January alone. To report trash/junk/vandalism on city property, you can call 206-684-CITY or use Find It, Fix It.
Just in from Seattle Public Utilities, a traffic alert for the start of next week:
A contractor for Seattle Public Utilities will begin asphalt paving on Sylvan Way SW on Monday, March 1. SPU completed a drainage improvement project on Sylvan Way SW last month and is now permanently restoring the roadway. This paving work had been scheduled for February 15 but was rescheduled due to winter weather.
Work hours are anticipated to be 9 am to 4 pm. On Monday, March 1, one lane near 6950 Sylvan Way SW will be closed. Two-way traffic will be maintained by flaggers. All travel lanes will be open outside of working hours. The following day, on Tuesday, March 2, crews will complete paving within the road’s bike lane near 7194 Sylvan Way SW. Two-way traffic will be maintained via a lane shift into the middle turn lane. Vehicles should use caution near the work area.
Asphalt paving work is weather-dependent, and schedule is subject to change.
Just in from the state Department of Transportation: A new, shorter schedule for the upcoming work on the southbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, starting later and ending earlier than announced last week. The work to repair bearing pads (as explained here) will start the night of Friday, March 5th. That night, and the next night (Saturday, March 6th), the southbound bridge will be fully closed 9 pm-6 am. Then, no work until noon March 10th, when the southbound bridge will be reduced to two lanes. Those closures will continue until noon March 15th, with two full overnight closures 9 pm-6 am the nights of Sunday, March 14th, and Monday, March 15th. (WSDOT explains that, “During the first two overnight closures, crews will lift the bridge deck a small amount to access, remove, and begin replacement of the bearing pads. When work is complete, crews will use the final two closures to complete the bridge repair work.”) This work will NOT involve the northbound side – which is actually a separate, older bridge – at any point, WSDOT stresses. We first reported last October that this project was in the works; it was originally expected to happen in January.
P.S. If you have questions, be at tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, which is scheduled to include a WSDOT guest talking about this work.
(Photo by Machel Spence)
Busiest day this week! Here’s what’s happening:
FOOD FUNDRAISER: 10:30 am-10 pm, get takeout or delivery directly from (not via third party) MOD Pizza at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW and mention Alki Cooperative Preschool – or use code GR176595A – and the nonprofit school will get a share of the proceeds.
SOUND TRANSIT BOARD SEES SCENARIOS: 1:30 to 4 pm, the Sound Transit Board‘s monthly meeting includes its first look at possible “realignment scenarios” – which could include delaying projects including West Seattle light rail. The agenda includes information on how to watch/listen/comment.
CRYSTAL-BOWL MEDITATION AT THE BEACH: The Woo-Woos have been visiting Lowman Beach Park (7017 Beach Drive SW) for outdoor crystal-bowl meditation in support of clean water worldwide. You’re invited to join them again 2:30 pm-3 pm today.
DEMONSTRATION: From the announcement of this regular twice-weekly event:
Black Lives Matter sign-waving
Thursday, Feb. 25, 4 to 6 pm, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden
Come build awareness that will help tear down the systems that have oppressed Black lives for over 400 years on this continent. Hold signs, meet neighbors, and stand for racial justice. Scott at PR Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.
SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: 4 pm, with reopening info on the agenda, which includes information on how to watch/listen.
BRIDGES & GONDOLAS AT WSTC:6:30 pm, this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition agenda includes SDOT on city bridges, WSDOT on the 1st Avenue South Bridge, and West Seattle SkyLink on the gondola concept. Viewing/listening/participation info is in our calendar listing.
Anything we’re missiing? firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Alki UCC was going to host its next food/clothing drive earlier this month – but got snowed out. So it’s now rescheduled to this Sunday. Here’s the announcement we just received:
Alki UCC Winter Food/Men’s Casual Clothes Drive and Call for Socks this Sunday, February 28
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Outside in our front courtyard at 6115 SW Hinds
Last month our generous community donated more than 1,200 lbs. of food. Let’s top that!
Non-perishable donations are distributed through the White Center Food Bank. Suggestions include:
• Canned Meat/Soup/Fruit (pop-top cans, if possible)
• Rice, Noodles, Peanut Butter, Oats, etc.
• Stove Top Stuffing
The following items are especially appreciated and rarely donated:
• Boxed Milk
• Cooking Oil
• Sandwich Bread
• Sugar & Flour
• Clearly labeled packets of pet food.
Essential Supplies are also needed:
• Toilet Paper
• Diapers/Similac Formula/Baby Wipes
• Can Openers
• Personal hygiene items
• Hand Sanitizer
Donations of Men’s Casual/Work Clothes are also being taken, as well as NEW socks — the clothing item most requested by our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
6:07 AM: Good morning. Windy forecast today, maybe even some thunderstorms.
ROAD WORK: The Delridge project continues. Here’s where this week’s work is happening.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES: 339th 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.