day : 09/03/2021 11 results

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 3/9/2021 roundup

March 9, 2021 10:16 pm
|    Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 3/9/2021 roundup
 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle news

Our nightly roundup of local pandemic news:

BACK TO SCHOOL: Seattle Public Schools and its teachers’ union made a joint announcement today that they are close to agreeing on resuming in-person instruction at month’s end for special-education “intensive pathways” students and preschoolers. Meantime, Highline Public Schools to our south announced today that it has reached an agreement with its teachers union to start phasing in some in-person classes starting this Thursday, and by April 1st they expect to have preschoolers through 5th graders all in “hybrid” mode.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Checking today’s daily summary from Seattle-King County Public Health – the cumulative totals:

*83,274 people have tested positive, 78 more than yesterday’s total

*1,421 people have died, 5 more than yesterday’s total

*5,150 people have been hospitalized, 3 more than yesterday’s total

*920,798 people have been tested, 2,307 more than yesterday’s total

One week ago, the totals were 82,363/1,399/5,120/910,070.


NATIONAL/WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 117.5 million cases worldwide, 29 million of them in the U.S. – see other nation-by-nation stats by going here.

VACCINATION SITUATION: If you’re eligible, here are some places to look:
*65+ Seattle residents are eligible for the city-run West Seattle and Rainier Beach sites, at least through Saturday – go here
*Your health-care provider (particularly bigger ones like UW Medicine, CHI Franciscan, Swedish, etc.)
* (volunteer-run aggregator)
*Pharmacy chains big and small – Safeway, Rite Aid, QFC, Pharmaca, Costco
*Sea Mar clinics

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

WEST SEATTLE BIRDS: Pheasant sightings

Quick bird break – two pheasants! For all the bird photos we’ve published over the years, this is the first time we’ve featured a Ring-necked Pheasant; two people sent us photos – the one above is from Stewart L., who saw it at Don Armeni Boat Ramp (the other sighting was near Alki Point). Below, a pheasant we’ve seen a few times over the years – Josh Niederberger photographed this Golden Pheasant near Hillcrest/Genesee:

Thanks again to everyone who shares bird photos – we have some others in queue for a gallery next weekend!

FOLLOWUP: See what’s in the final ‘Home Zone’ plans for Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than 70 locations for speed humps/cushions are part of the final plans for “Home Zone” traffic-calming in Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge neighborhoods besieged by detouring drivers since the West Seattle Bridge closed a year ago.

The plans were presented last night – along with side notes about a new stretch of greenway and the bridge itself – at an online meeting led by SDOT and Department of Neighborhoods reps.

THE PLANS: First, the definition of Home Zone:

SDOT did traffic counts at more than 39 locations and took three walking tours while coming up with the draft plan presented in January. They also offered a survey that brought 542 responses. 59 percent of respondents felt the draft plan was missing something that would make them feel safer – 300 suggestions came in. “About 30 percent were things we can accommodate in the Home Zone plan or look into further,” said SDOT’s David Burgesser. The rest were too general, not feasible, too expensive, or put aside for future consideration.


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MUSIC: West Seattle Co-op Preschools presenting 4 online concerts

West Seattle’s own South Seattle College Co-op Preschools are presenting a four-concert kids’ music series this spring – no charge but if you can donate, that’ll help support scholarship funds for West Seattle families in need.

The Spring Virtual Music Funfest has concerts planned March 20 (Squirrel Butter), March 27 (Bruce & Bonnie), April 10 (Gabrielle Macrea), and April 24 (Eli Rosenblatt), all at 10 am – here’s the flyer.

If you’re not familiar with the schools, the announcement explains:

The SSC Co-Op Preschools have been serving West Seattle and beyond for over 75 years. We’ve always been committed to making early childhood education accessible to anyone in our community. In the past, money for scholarships has been raised through in-person fundraising efforts (such as concerts and movie nights). Clearly, these aren’t possible due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 also means that more families in our community need help than ever before. We want to be able to provide West Seattle families with affordable early childhood education, community support, and parent education, regardless of their current financial situation.

So, the Parent Advisory Committee organized the online concert series! To get tickets, with or without a donation, go to, select one of the event names, and then follow the “Tickets” link.

Outer Space Seattle Preschool & Childcare: Returning WSB sponsor

Today we’re welcoming back Outer Space Seattle Preschool & Childcare as a returning WSB sponsor. They’re serving kids 3-10 years old, with morning and afternoon programs available. Proprietor Caitlin Huertas explains, “We want to be here for families in the future, which means we need families enrolled in our program now!” Here’s information on the programs at Outer Space Seattle:

Preschool, 3 to 5 years old
Our play-based preschool program is perfect for your active little one. We use a combination of child directed play mixed with teacher led activities. Our custom-built indoor playground provides open-ended play for the kids to use, rain or shine, and Alki Beach offers lots of outdoor activities.

Childcare, kids 6 to 10 years old
Our half-day childcare program offers in-person support for elementary-school students, designed to help families balance work and remote learning throughout 2021 and beyond.

Also offering private event rentals
2-hour rental for up to 10 people.

For Outer Space Seattle enrollment/information, go here!

FOLLOWUP: Jack Block Park pier may need to be rebuilt

James sent that photo, wondering about the status of the latest closure of that pier at Jack Block Park. Inquiring with the Port of Seattle (which owns and operates the park), we have learned that it isn’t going to reopen any time soon – and might even have to be rebuilt, according to port spokesperson Peter McGraw:

Deficiencies found in the most recent inspection of Jack Block Park pier in late 2020 led to closing the pier to the public out of an abundance of caution.

The Port’s goal is to address the present conditions of the pier, preserve public shoreline access and the open space public-use areas it provides; while balancing environmental, financial, and community stewardship goals of the Port of Seattle.

The Port is considering several potential park improvement alternatives to address the pier’s closure including its replacement, or shoreline and/or interior enhancements, and will be reaching out to communities and neighbors to gather input. Participation in the Jack Block Park survey will help inform the Port as to what current and potential park features are most important to users of the park.

Following survey analysis, the Port will host a virtual Open House outlining survey results and the proposed modifications for the Park. Stay tuned on further details later this month.

Those details will include how to participate in the survey, which isn’t open yet. The pier was closed in December, at least the third closure in a year and a half. The first of those closures, in 2019, was attributed to damage from an unidentified vessel hitting the pier. The rest of the park (which is at 2130 Harbor SW) remains open.

SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: State ferry, with tugs

March 9, 2021 11:56 am
|    Comments Off on SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: State ferry, with tugs
 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle news

(Photo by Stewart L.)

Washington State Ferries has been somewhat vessel-challenged lately, but in case you wondered – as did a few readers who contacted us – the scene above is not a new breakdown. M/V Wenatchee passed north-facing West Seattle with tugboats this morning on its way from the WSF maintenance facility at Eagle Harbor to Vigor shipyard on Harbor Island in West Seattle. At Eagle Harbor, Wenatchee was painted; at Vigor (where it was built), it will go into drydock for stern-tube repairs. It’s expected to return to service sometime this spring.

FOLLOWUP: Progress in Seattle Public Schools standoff over next step in resuming in-person learning, but no student return before March 29

Seattle Public Schools just announced progress in its talks with the Seattle Education Association, in the dispute over the district’s unilateral declaration that some staff is “essential” and must return to campuses this week to offer in-person learning for Special Education “intensive pathways” and preschool. The district just tweeted that it’s canceling that order, as the union had asked. Here’s the text of the tweets:

It is in the best interest of our students, staff, and families that SPS and SEA are unified in our approach to a return to in-person learning. We are close to a tentative agreement on the return of PreK and Special Education Intensive Service Pathways.

Together, we commit to bargaining an agreement so these students can begin in-person learning services on March 29th. In response to this joint commitment, SPS is rescinding its order from February 25 designating additional staff as “essential.”

Staff that support these students will return to buildings as early as March 22 to receive health and safety training, set up classrooms, and prepare for students. SPS and SEA will continue negotiating the return of K-1 grade students as directed by the School Board.

SPS and SEA also said in an emailed, jointly issued news release:

Today, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and an independent HVAC contractor, together with SPS and SEA leaders, reviewed the readiness of multiple SPS school buildings. While this was not a required reopening step, it was an important one to help ensure staff and families are confident in the district’s adherence to Washington State Labor & Industries, Washington State DOH, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and federal CDC guidance and recommendations.

At the conclusion of this walkthrough there were no major issues identified. However, SPS and SEA together agreed that school staff could benefit from additional time to prepare to offer the safest, most equitable in-person learning environments possible in every SPS building. SPS and SEA’s bargaining teams are negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement this week and allow the time needed to ratify the agreement.

So bottom line, the first group of students to return won’t do so before March 29th.

Here’s what’s happening for the rest of your West Seattle Tuesday!

March 9, 2021 9:58 am
|    Comments Off on Here’s what’s happening for the rest of your West Seattle Tuesday!
 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Leslie Allen – someone adorned Luna Girls on Alki with flowers last weekend)

Checking the calendar for the rest of your Tuesday:

SSC SPEAKER SERIES: 1-2 pm online, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) faculty present the first installment of the Artist as Storyteller: Adaptation, Resiliency, and Environmental Justice” series. All welcome, free. Find the viewing link here.

DEMONSTRATE FOR BLACK LIVES: The twice-weekly streetcorner sign-waving continues:

Black Lives Matter sign waving

Tuesday Mar 9, 4 to 6 p, corner of 16th SW and SW Holden

Thursday Mar 11, 4 to 6 p, 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. Organized by Scott at PR Cohousing, endorsed by Hate-Free Delridge. Signs available.

BAR-S CLEANUP: 5:15-6:15 pm, show up at Bar-S (64th SW/SW Admiral Way) to help prepare it for the West Seattle Little League season – details in our preview.

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: 7 pm online, community members welcome at the FCA board’s monthly meeting. Here’s the agenda. Go here to register to attend.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: Second week of this year’s sale, all online; our list includes links for local Scouts offering contact-free local delivery.

What are we missing? Send your event info to – thank you!

Remembering Eugene Merritt, 1956-2021

Family and friends are remembering Eugene ‘Gene’ Merritt, and sharing this remembrance with his community:

Gene was born June 4th, 1956 in West Seattle, and he spent his life here. He was the first of five children born to Roy and Theda Merritt.

Every summer and fall, you could find Gene fishing for salmon and trout, or otherwise out bow-hunting or golfing – he loved being out in nature. Another one of his passions was making arrowheads out of obsidian and rock. He often gifted his wife Tery with fishing poles and golf clubs, to entice her to join him on his adventures. They also traveled the world together, visiting many countries. His favorite spot was Manual Antonio, Costa Rica.

Gene was known for his great sense of humor, infectious smile, vivid storytelling, and compassionate spirit. His endless humor and wit, and his kindness to everyone, will always be remembered. He was a fun-loving and faithful friend. His life’s motto appeared to be, “Rules were made for those who need them.” Gene definitely did not.

Gene graduated from West Seattle High School in 1974 and received his Associate Degree from Highline Community College. He retired from the Boeing Company in 2016 after working as a Machinist for 36 years.

Gene was preceded in death by his father, Leroy Merritt; mother, Theda Chapin Merritt; and stepson Kyle Sevier. Gene is survived by his wife of 25 years, Tery Webster Merritt; stepdaughter Patricia Hoolahan (Randy) and stepson Cody Sevier; grandchildren Camrin (Gwen), Samara (Aaron), Aly, Rhian, and William. Gene is also survived by his siblings Dana (Lisa) Merritt, Dan (Cheryl) Merritt, Debbie (Dan) Blagovich, and Paula (Mike) Merritt, and many nephews and nieces.

On February 22nd, 2021 at the age of 64, Gene succumbed to the effects of COVID-19 after enjoying a lifelong personal relationship with God. His life was a testimony to the love and grace of his heavenly Father. Gene passed away peacefully in his sleep at Harborview Hospital.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to


March 9, 2021 6:12 am
|    Comments Off on WEATHER, TRAFFIC, TRANSIT: Tuesday watch
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

6:12 AM: Good morning! A mixed forecast today, but you should NOT have to scrape ice this morning.


1st Avenue South BridgeNothing today/tonight. But tomorrow’s a different story:

*Noon Wednesday (March 10th)-Noon Monday (March 15th), two southbound lanes closed around the clock

*The entire southbound bridge will close Sunday night (March 14th) and Monday night (March 15th), 9 pm-5 am both nights

Delridge project – Here’s the work/closure plan, for this week.


Metro and the Water Taxi are on regular schedules.


351st morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here’s how it’s looking on other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: Ninth 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.

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.