West Seattle, Washington
First pandemic update of spring 2021:
NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here are the cumulative totals from Public Health‘s daily-summary dashboard:
*85,283 people have tested positive, 210 more than yesterday’s total
*1,452 people have died, 2 more than yesterday’s total
*5,203 people have been hospitalized, 3 more than yesterday’s total
*942,501 people have been tested, 264 more than yesterday’s total
ONE WEEK AGO: Last Saturday, those numbers were 84,031/1,437/5,175/927,326.
STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.
WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: 122.7 million people have tested positive, and more than 2,709,000 people have died; U.S. deaths exceed 541,000. Most cases: U.S., Brazil, India, Russia, UK. See the breakdown, nation by nation, here.
SCHOOL SCHEDULES: As Seattle Public Schools moves toward complying with the governor’s order to offer students in-person learning, the district has announced a change in elementary and K-8 schedules.
IF YOU’RE ELIGIBLE AND LOOKING FOR AN APPOINTMENT … here are the links we’ve amassed:
*Check for West Seattle city-run site appointments here; sign up for the city’s notification list for all three of its sites here.
*Health-care providers (particularly bigger ones like UW Medicine, CHI Franciscan, Swedish, Kaiser Permanente, etc.)
*covidwa.com (volunteer-run aggregator)\
*The state says it’s improved its own lookup tool
*Pharmacies big and small – Safeway, Rite Aid, QFC, Pharmaca, Costco
*Sea Mar clinics
GOT SOMETHING TO REPORT? email@example.com or 206-293-6302, text/voice – thank you!
Thanks for the tip. With email to families and an update on the district website, Seattle Public Schools announced tonight that it’s trying to deal with a bus-driver shortage by changing schedules for elementary and K-8 schools as they reopen for some in-person learning:
Providing SPS student transportation became significantly more challenging to plan and staff as a result of the governor’s order to return all K-5 students by April 5.
The transportation department had been thoughtfully building full-time routes for a phased increase of students beginning with preschool and K-12 students enrolled in Special Education Intensive Pathways.
The governor’s March 15 order to immediately increase K-5 students in addition to the 1/2 day in-person instructional model agreed to with Seattle Education Association didn’t leave the transportation team enough time to rebuild routes, and our bus contractor to hire and train drivers. To serve students per the district’s pre-pandemic transportation service standards and follow additional bargained agreements, approximately 400 buses would have been required. As of March 18, about half the number of required bus drivers were available.
The district recognizes and is deeply concerned about the inequities created for our students and families during our pandemic response – especially those furthest from educational justice.
To address this and keep school start and end times consistent, the district determined yellow buses would be prioritized for students that we are legally obligated to provide transportation and those most vulnerable. These students include students receiving special education services whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) requires transportation, Head Start participants, McKinney-Vento (a program that serves students experiencing homelessness), students receiving foster care services, and students with a 504 accommodation for transportation.
We know these efforts didn’t go far enough to provide access to in-person learning for students who need it most.
To support students’ equitable access to in-person learning, we are taking the immediate step to increase yellow bus transportation and accommodate as many students as possible.
This requires a change to elementary and K-8 bell schedules, school start and end times. We are asking everyone to adjust a little so that we can serve more students that need and want in-person learning.
Elementary and K-8 schools will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. for students in both the remote and hybrid, in-person model (part-time in person and part-time remote).
This change is subject to Board approval. This change does not include 6th-8th grade comprehensive middle schools. Comprehensive middle schools will continue to begin at 9 a.m.
8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Morning Block: 8 – 10:45 a.m.
Afternoon Block: 11:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
8 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Wednesday
All students will be remote
This 30-minute adjustment to bell schedules will allow more students the opportunity to participate in the 1/2 day, in-person hybrid learning model. With an hour between elementary and secondary start times, we can use the same drivers and buses to transport students, increasing access to yellow bus transportation. This approach is a return to our normal transportation model and operations for in-person learning.
The change will take place on March 29 for all elementary and K-8 students and continue through the end of this school year.
While the district can’t guarantee transportation to students beyond those that we are legally obligated to support, we will continue to work to increase transportation access in the most equitable way possible. The district will use our school equity tiering system as we develop routes and expand opportunities for general education students to return in person with transportation.
Once 6-12th grade students return to school buildings, Orca Cards will be provided. We are working with King County Metro to coordinate additional safety and timing for routes.
One other big announcement as SPS moves toward reopening schools – Superintendent Denise Juneau is leaving at the start of May instead of the end of June, making way for Dr. Brent Jones to take over sooner as interim superintendent.
The first spring sunshine greeted the West City Rope Ninjas jump-rope team for their pop-up shows outside Alki Bathhouse this afternoon. We stopped by for part of the first one.
World-champion jumper René Bibaud coaches the team. (For a bit of video, see our Twitter feed.)
Liliana Morales at Floors Plus Northwest, which opened last fall at 6959 California SW, emailed on this first day of spring to say they’re having a spring sale:
25 percent off seleect LVP flooring, and $8.50/square foot on engineered hardwood (Grand Pacific Hardwood). “Very nice variety of colors available,” she adds. The shop is open weekdays 10 am-5 pm, Saturdays 11 am-4 pm, closed Sundays.
Got a biznote? Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
Kersti Muul sends word that transient orcas are southbound just south of Blake Island, toward the west side of the channel.
Even before the West Seattle Bridge closure, it was clear WSB readers are deeply interested in transportation – it’s a top topic in our most-read, most-discussed stories. So if you’re among those for whom it’s a topic of major interest, here’s a chance to take your interest to the next level – join the West Seattle Transportation Coalition board. Here’s the announcement we received:
The West Seattle Transportation Coalition invites volunteers to join our board.
How do we manage travel while the bridge is closed, handle COVID-19 budget cuts, and build Sound Transit 3? The high bridge repair/replace decision has been made, but big questions and challenges are still ahead of us. And they’ll have long-lasting effects on our community.
Serving on the WSTC board will give you the chance to influence these decisions, and converse directly with elected officials and agencies about issues, big and small, that affect our peninsula. It’s always an exciting time for West Seattle transportation!
Come join us. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn more about transportation in our region. A diversity of opinions is welcome and we’d love to broaden our board to include members from neighborhoods and constituencies whose voices are not always represented.
Visit us at westseattletc.org and join us at our next monthly meeting on March 25 from 6:30-8:30 pm, whether you wish to run for a board position or not. Move the people!
In its nearly eight years of existence, the WSTC has had board members spanning an age range from high school to retired, so don’t rule yourself out, whatever your age or background!
P.S. Here’s a fact sheet about the WSTC.
As the abbreviated, delayed high-school football mini-season continues, two local teams won last night:
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL: The Wildcats (2-1) were at Southwest Athletic Complex, where they beat visiting Lincoln High School (from Wallingford), 33-7. Next Friday, WSHS again plays at SWAC, this time vs.Franklin HS, 7 pm.
CHIEF SEALTH INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: The Seahawks (2-1) were on the road vs. Ingraham HS (in North Seattle), and ended the night with a 20-14 win. Next Friday they’re at the same stadium (Northwest Athletic Complex) to play Lakeside, 7 pm.
STILL NO SPECTATORS: As we mentioned in the Friday event lineup, Seattle Public Schools still isn’t allowing spectators, though the governor said it was OK as of this past Thursday. District spokesperson Tim Robinson tells us the SPS policy remains: “Under the current guidelines of the Governor and Department of Health, it is unlikely fans will be able to view competitions. The guidelines vary based on sport and risk level. At this time, there is not an equitable way to meet the demands of fans attending practices or contests, thus no fans will be allowed.” (This was first decreed in February, but Robinson says it’s the newest policy the district’s put on the record.)
Thanks for the tips about a large police response in the 35th/Webster vicinity. We got there just as it was wrapping up. Police tell us it was a “person in crisis” situation, resolved safely, with a man being taken to Harborview for a mental-health evaluation.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:
MAIL THEFT: Helen sent this just before 12:30 pm: “Just reported mail thief to 911. Seen at 25th SW/SW Brandon. Rummaging and stealing mail. Headed south on Delridge — Black man, gray fleece, black bandana as mask.”
CARS VANDALIZED: From Susan:
At least two cars in the 5000 block of California Ave SW were vandalized sometime between 5:30 p.m. on March 18 and 6:30 p.m. on March 19 (likely during the night). The vandals kicked the driver’s-side door of my car and the car behind me, leaving a large dent in each with a shoe print in the middle of the dent. … This has been reported to Seattle PD. Anyone else whose car sustained damage might want to report it. It seems likely that the vandals were just walking down the middle of the street kicking dents in cars. If anyone has any information, please comment. Thanks!
10:24 AM: If you’re headed for the recycling/shredding event in the north lot at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) – be patient! By 9:30 am, the vehicle line was backed up on northbound 16th SW past the campus’s south entrance and almost all the way to SW Holly. (If you’re just bringing something you can carry, you can park on 16th and walk in.) Once you’re in, here’s the setup:
Trucks are lined up from participants including Friendly Earth for electronics/small-appliance recycling:
Bring your Styrofoam, too, since Styro Recycle is there. And for paper, Sea-Dru-Nar is there for up to four boxes of shredding:
Volunteers are there to guide you in. The event organized by the West Seattle Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce is on until noon – 6000 16th SW, north entrance. Don’t forget your mask! If you have to head north to somewhere else on Puget Ridge this morning, we advise an alternate route. Southbound 16th, however, is not affected.
P.S. If you miss this event, as announced earlier this week, Fauntleroy Church is bringing back its twice-annual dropoff Recycle Roundup on April 25th (no shredding or Styrofoam, though) – details soon!
11:33 AM UPDATE: From volunteer Judy: “No longer taking light bulbs and electronics. Shredding, Styrofoam, batteries still accepted.”
Thanks to the person who just sent a tip on this: Not in West Seattle, but not far, and someone local is making it happen – Seneca Nguyễn, a 10-year-old student from Louisa Boren STEM K-8, has organized a Kids vs Racism rally to show support for the Asian American Pacific Islander community, noon-1 pm at Hing Hay Park (423 Maynard Ave. S.). The event is featured in a long regional list of AAPI-supporting community resources and events published by the South Seattle Emerald.
(Photo by Machel Spence)
Spring is here, as of very early morning – and we have a busy list for today:
RECYCLE/REUSE/SHREDDING EVENT: 9 am-noon, the big dropoff event in the north parking lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) is on! Free. Masks required. The official page on the co-sponsoring West Seattle Junction Association website lists what they are and aren’t taking.
JUMP-ROPE POP-UP PERFORMANCES: As previewed here last night, the West City Rope Ninjas plan pop-up shows outside Alki Bathhouse (60th/Alki) at noon and 12:45 pm.:
— Alice's AstroInfo (@AlicesAstroInfo) March 20, 2021
METRO SERVICE CHANGE: Finally, a reminder – today’s the day Metro bus-service schedule revisions kick in. Our preview looks at what’s different for West Seattle.
Are we missing anything? Text 206-293-6302 … thank you!